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Statesboro Revue: New Single’s Proceeds To Help Support Texas Artists Most In Need

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Amid the current Covid-19 crises, millions of Americans are out of work, and folks in the entertainment business were some of the first to lose their jobs. As the entire music business model has changed over the years with the rise of the digital age, artists these days for the most part rely solely on touring to make a living for themselves.

While artists are scrambling to try and survive financially with their primary source of income on an indefinite pause, we as music lovers and supporters are seeing a lot of Facebook concerts as these artists try and help us emotionally get through this awful situation we are all facing. They continue to give to us while their own wells run dry because, well…that’s what they do. That’s what music does. It gives us, it provides us, and as most folks will not hesitate to admit, it sometimes saves us.

Texas has long been a mecca for touring artists, and one of its own is making an attempt to provide some kind of financial assistance to his music brothers and sisters. Stewart Mann of the blues/rock band Statesboro Revue has just released a new song “Sinner, Saint, S.O.B.” Mann had no plans to release this song until the current crises hit and he realized that maybe, just maybe, he could play some part in an effort to help.

Statesboro Revue started in 2008, a time when the country was dealing with a different financial crisis and a fear of a recession. How did it influence the music you put out?

Honestly, we weren’t too worried about it back then. We were just blindly pursuing a dream and were focused on writing songs and making people feel something when they heard our music. With that being said, now that you mention it, I’m sure our surroundings and the world around us affected our songwriting as it always has and always will. Songs like “The Other Side”, “The Painter”, and “Find A Way”, all off of our debut album “Different Kind Of Light”, have a sense of despair and helplessness to them. I never thought much about where those ideas came from until now. Crazy.

“I’ve been blessed and fortunate enough to be a part of the Texas music scene for a very long time. The most beautiful thing about this scene is that everyone is accepted no matter how you look, sound, write, or play.” Where did you first play in Texas as a 21-year-old?

I played anywhere and everywhere I could, just trying to get the word out. My first gig ever was at a VFW Hall in Calallen, TX and I had no clue what I was doing. I started playing every dive bar, restaurant, front porch, and backyard I could find, and I never looked back. Some of my fondest musical memories and favorite shows were in those early days before music became my “job.”

With your new release, “Sinner, Saint, S.O.B.”, the band is returning from a hiatus. This song was recorded late last year. What is the backstory to the song? Did you have Wade Bowen and Mason Lively in mind when you wrote it? What influenced releasing it now?

I don’t know if I’d call it a hiatus, as we’ve never stopped touring, we just haven’t released any new music in 5 years. As for the back story to the song, I wrote it about 2 years ago and originally didn’t think it was going to be a Statesboro song because the feel and style were different than other tunes we’ve put out. The coolest thing about Statesboro though is the collective influences each of us have and the overall vision that has been in place since day one. I guess in my opinion there is really only one universal theme to our music and that’s groove. Whether it’s a country song, a blues song, a rock song, or something more funky, the band always brings a groove to em and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Groove just feels good.

As for Wade and Mason, I didn’t have them in mind at all but hearing it now they’re a perfect fit. I’ve always been a big fan of Wade’s voice and he came in and knocked it out in like 5 minutes. Zero auto tune, zero overdubs, just like music should be.

As for why we’re releasing it now, COVID-19 has single handedly killed the music industry and my heart hurts for all my fellow musicians that aren’t able to tour right now, aren’t able to pay their bills or provide for their families. I literally wasn’t sleeping at night, just brainstorming ways I could help musicians get through this. I started Rock Star Lawn Care, which allows people to hire musicians to do their lawn as opposed to just giving them money. I started Drive By Concerts, which has musicians performing from their cars & trucks for people in their driveways and front porches. I came up with a bunch of ideas but nothing came as natural as just doing what we do best, writing and recording music. There’s nothing special about this song in terms of why we chose it to be the catalyst for I Heart Texas Arts, it just kind of happened that way naturally. I figured it was a relatable, feel good song, and I think we can all use a little more of that right now.

“ … and let’s show the world that despite every one of is having a little sinner, a little saint, and a little S.O.B. in us, we ALL care about each other and we’re all after one thing…happiness.” Any surprises as to what brings you the most happiness during the quarantine?

It’s no surprise booze brings us all happiness, haha, but honestly it’s the memories my family and I are creating and the time I’m spending with my kids that are bringing me the most happiness. I love their innocence and they’ve really helped me appreciate all the small things that I tend to forget about day to day due to how chaotic life can be. Oh yeah, and vinyl records are also making me very happy!

“With the coronavirus wiping out the music industry and so many musicians’ livelihoods, it is also important to note that many musicians are mentally fragile. So, with no creative outlet, no fans and friends to interact with, and no income to pay bills, this is a devastating time for many of us and we need help. That is why 100% of the proceeds from our new single, Sinner, Saint, S.O.B., will be going directly back to the musicians that continue to make the Texas music scene a force to be reckoned with.” So many of us turn to music when we need healing, so it is an important reminder that the people creating those songs are no different. How have you found healing during these difficult days?

Oh man, great question. It’s pretty difficult day to day with so much uncertainty in the music industry and just hearing about and seeing all the sadness, grief, and heartache in the world. I’ve been praying a lot, playing my guitar a lot, writing songs, listening to music, and most importantly just trying to appreciate the time at home with my wife and 2 little boys. They’re 7 months and 3 years old so their innocence and happiness has really helped me out more than they’ll ever know or understand. God bless little kids.

100% of the proceeds from downloads from the new single will be donated to I Heart Texas Arts, an initiative that will filter funds to those Texas artists who are most in need. How did you choose this initiative to support?

I have been racking my brain on ways to help musicians and just came up with this idea one night. I wrote down about 50 different names and settled on I Heart Texas Arts because the truth is, where would I be without everyone out there that supports the arts in Texas. The answer is nowhere. I’d have about a thousand song ideas on my phone and computer, not have nearly as many lifelong friends, have no sense of purpose, and probably be working at Whataburger.

How can Texas artists connect with them?

Rock Star Lawn Care. Started to help fans support their local music scene from home. How did you come up with this unique idea? What is the contact information for artists to add their names?

Please see answer above (haha)…contact # is 830–461-LAWN

Can fans still schedule private Facetime shows with the band? If so, how?

Absolutely! They can email or message us on facebook, twitter, or instagram.

What message do you hope fans take away from your music?

I just hope it makes them feel good and forget about all the negative in their lives and the world, even if for just a minute.

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