Whiskey Myers

In a modest rent house in the small East Texas town of Elkhart, Texas, Cody Cannon and Cody Tate began to write music, only dreaming of the success that is sure to follow. They began to incorporate the talent and imagination of friend and guitarist John Jeffers. At that time, they called themselves Lucky Southern, though they had only three members. As time passed, with their inspiration mounting, they moved to Tyler, Texas. There they met up with Jeff Hogg, a mutual friend and drummer from Palestine, Texas, and Gary Brown, a bass guitarist who had grown up in Neches, Texas. They came together and came to be known as Whiskey Myers.

The Statesboro Revue

"The Statesboro Revue is in the process of re-defining rock and roll, refusing to let blues and country, the real roots of rock music, fall by the wayside. Stewart and the Statesboro Revue are trying to remind America what rock music is really all about: soul. Mann's voice, songs, and band have that in spades." Andy Hertsch, Vail Daily News

Soul is something few people are able to express in song, it is something that cannot be faked nor duplicated. It is something innate and unique to each individual with it, and The Statesboro Revue's music is steeped in soul. Playing over 250 shows a year across the country while traveling in a nasty van, these guys epidomize what rock n roll is all about... Real, rowdy, and raw, The Statesboro Revue's desire to revive authentic rock n roll started in 2008 and it's taken them from one coast to another. Their unique while familiar blend of blues/gospel/soul/country/rock music may border many genres but they've found a niche and they're pushing the envelope everyday. They've taken the attitude of the Stones and Faces, the soul of Otis Redding and Leon Russell, the brawn of Zeppelin, the melancholy trance of the Allman Brothers, and the sincerity and the groove based storytelling aspect of The Band and Little Feat and created their own voice. They are a force to be reckoned with.

"This record is a lifetime in the making" says the band's primary songwriter and front man Stewart Mann. "Years of focusing on songwriting, musicianship, and the goal of incorporating all my extremely diverse influences have truly been realized with this record. I've always strived to create a sound that didn't reinvent the wheel; merely merge the little idiosyncrasies of all my many influences and shape them in a manner that might someday be looked upon as my own, unique sound. I think this record is as close as I've ever been to accomplishing that goal. I finally realized that you don't have to stick to one genre, or conform to what each individual genre typically calls for in a song. This album is extremely broad in subject matter and style, in musicality and production, and I couldn't be happier about it."

After talking with Mann you get the sense he's thought this "sound" through for quite some time. "We were playing a show in Colorado around the time I started this band, and a light bulb went on. From that point on my mission was to create groove-oriented, old-school rock n roll music, and attempt to bring back a sound that has for the most part been missing for quite some time. There are so many quality rock n roll bands out there, but none have really reached the "mainstream" so to speak in quite some time. The bands that call themselves rock bands now are a joke, and I'm just glad there are some real, authentic rock bands making some underground waves right now. I don't know what we are necessarily, rock, soul, blues, country, Americana, southern rock, take your pick. All I know is every song we put out has substance to it, heart and soul, fire and grit. Call it what you want, all we can do is keep making the music we believe in. A huge part of our sound is the caliber of talent I have behind me, and it's a beautiful thing."

That talent Mann is referring to is a star-studded lineup from a wide array of backgrounds, and their cohesiveness and staying power is frightening. From the top, lead guitar players(that's right they have two) Garrett Mann and Marcus Bucci would be remarkable on their own, but together the magic they create is something that comes along once in a lifetime. Garrett Mann is the tasty, lick oriented player who can sit back when needed but can also step right up and take over a show when called upon. Bucci, on the other hand, is the driving force behind the wall of incendiary guitar playing that has come to be a Statesboro Revue staple. The two complement each other and work so well with one another you'd think they'd been playing for 10 years together...not even a year, which is also frightening. Their concise use of dual slide guitar parts, lap steel, and dobro truly showcase the depth of talent each player possesses.

On the bass guitar is Berklee graduate Rob Alton, who provides the backbone and foundation while somehow managing to mix in melodic leads and runs that only a player of his caliber could even fathom. His funk and soul background fits perfectly with Mann's groove-laden tunes. Drummer Mike Peters has grown up quickly over the last two years on the road. His ability to drive the driving tunes and lay down a lazy snare for the slow groovers help further the dancing frenzy that ensues at a Statesboro Revue show. Rounding out the lineup is singer/songwriter Stewart Mann, whose soulful, powerful, and incommensurable voice truly sets The Statesboro Revue apart from other bands. Ranging from Plant-like calls to Van Morrison like precision and beauty, his ability to dive into the emotion of his songs and vary his attack and timbre is something rarely seen or heard. Combined with his knack for hooky, groove-filled songs, Mann is about as diverse as a singer/songwriter comes.

Reminiscent of singers and songwriters of decades back, his voice and soul are both evident and familiar, all the while unique and prodigious. While singing, playing harp, or guitar, Stewart truly wears his heart on his sleeve and is not afraid to showcase that vulnerability and emotion that no doubt go into each and every song he writes. He is a true American poet, and his lyrical ability proves that he has in fact been honing his craft for quite some time. The savvy and prowess of this band is a force to be reckoned with, and if you've seen them you'll realize for yourself why Rolling Stone said they were one of the highlights of SXSW 2009. With the new album, an indie label deal, & sponsorships rolling in, don't stand in their way, just get up & groove with 'em.

Nicholas Marks ~Indie World

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