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Aggie makes life change a musical goal
Published: Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 22:09
Stewart Mann spent two years as an Aggie before leaving for Nashville to pursue a music career.
This Thursday, Mann — one of 125 people out of 40,000 contestants to receive a callback on NBC’s “The Voice” — will be returning to College Station to play in one of his favorite cities.
“That’s my spot,” Mann said. “I love going back to College Station. I love that town. Something changes or something new gets built every single time I go there. It’s just a booming town now.”
Mann and the band have been playing together for years, touring almost continuously — especially in Texas.
“It’s the only way to do it when you don’t have money behind you from a major label,” Mann said. “You have to take the grassroots approach and just get your music out there to anybody and everybody who will listen.”
This is exactly the approach the band has taken, playing up to 250 shows a year. This makes them a favorite of venues across the state.
“They’re really unique, kind of have a different sound,” said Lance Lerfen, who used to book performers for Hurricane Harry’s. “It wasn’t mainstream, and it wasn’t what you were hearing on the scene at the time.”
Mann and “Statesboro Revue” develop an emotional connection with their audiences, said international affairs graduate student Leonard Callaway, which creates a unique moment for each audience.
“That’s the thing about guys like [Mann], they’re making those unique moments happen for people every night, and they don’t realize how special some of their stuff can be,” Callaway said.
Callaway worked in the Texas music industry for 14 years and said he noticed the way audiences connect with the music of Stewart Mann and the Statesboro Revue. Callaway said he once saw an amputee veteran change from walking to sliding prosthetics so he could two-step at a College Station show.
“I’ve seen people fall in love at Statesboro Revue shows,” Callaway said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone break up at one though.”
This connection to the audience is something that Mann prizes and strives for in his music.
“The feeling that you get when you connect with an audience is unlike anything else in the world,” Mann said. “It’s something that doesn’t happen every day.”
Mann said impacting others with his music is his ultimate goal when writing songs.
“There’s no greater satisfaction than having someone come up and tell you that the song you wrote changed their life, or got them through a break up,” Mann said. “It’s an amazing thing to have happen to you.”
Mann and his younger brother Garrett will be playing without the rest of the band in an acoustic set at the Tap on Thursday. He will return to College Station on Oct. 4 to perform at Hurricane Harry’s.
“It’s interesting,” Mann said. “It’s a totally different dynamic of song. You see new things. Sometimes it’s good for you to strip everything down like that because it gives you new ideas and a fresh perspective.”