CD Review – The Statesboro Revue “Ramble On Privilege Creek”
Fade My Shade of Black kicks off Ramble on Privilege Creek, starting like it might hold toward the acoustic side of the ledger, but that doesn’t last very long. Soon, it’s rocking, but rocking in a cross-genre way that marks this second offering by The Statesboro Revue as something special for those of us in Americana Land who like a little rock, too. Like the rest of the record, Fade is marked and made by Stewart Mann’s vocals. He’s got the kind of voice that you can build a band around. Brother Garrett seems pretty comfortable on lead guitar, and together they form the nucleus of something special.
There’s been a lot of buzz on this record, and it’s well deserved. As it turns out, a Ramble on Privilege Creek covers a lot of ground, working that acoustic feel in with electric licks, organ, harmonica and even a bit of steel. The songs range all over as the ramble continues. Huck Finn is an acoustic cruise down the river with ol’ Tom Sawyer, while Cold November and Hands on the Sun show the temperature extremes of a soulful southern rock band doing well what it does best. Live a Little is an old school, sing along rock ballad. There’s some mystery in this ramble, too. We’re not quite sure of all the details of Lil Mary’s Last Stand, which has a story line reminiscent of that song about killing Earl. We hope things turn out all right for Mary and the kids. Half Mile to Lincoln is an upbeat, bringing-it-all-in song, similar in style to what Jon Randall Stewart and Jessica Alexander do so well with 18 South. I really like this record.
Take a look at the Mann brothers doing Huck Finn at KORA:
Listening to Ramble on Privilege Creek, you get the feeling that you really don’t know this band until you’ve heard them live. No substitute for the real thing, I’m sure, but here they are about a year ago covering Rod Stewart’s Stay With Me:
The promotional materials associated with this release advise us that Stewart Mann recently played Buddy Holly at the Cameo Theatre in San Antonio. To be honest, I didn’t think much about that one way or the other at first. However, while doing my YouTube homework (yes folks, we here at No Depression do the same research you do at home, and in fact, we do it at home, just like you), I came across a video clip about the show. The performance clips in this video give you an idea of the range of Stewart Mann’s vocal talents, while the interview outtakes give a clue about his (and Garrett’s) personality. It’s worth a look:
Till I Leave is one of my favorite songs on the record. You can listen to it here. When Stewart Mann sings “I know she’s all mine … until I leave,” it brings a musical memory to mind, but I’m not sure what it is, or who it is. And it’s really not important, because it’s good on its own, without a reference point. If you like this song, you really need Ramble on Privilege Creek in your collection. If you don’t, well, there’s nothing more we can do for you today.
Ramble on Privilege Creek released April 16.
Mando Lines listens to a lot of music but only gets to write about it a little. A lot of the little he writes is on Twitter, you can follow him there @mando_lines.