Stringman (psychedelic rock and blues show)
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Stringman (psychedelic rock and blues show)

San Antonio, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1976 | SELF

San Antonio, Texas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 1976
Duo Rock Acoustic

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"Interview conducted February 2016 for issue 75 of UK’s Fireworks Rock Magazine"

Interview conducted February 2016 for upcoming issue 75 of UK’s Fireworks Rock Magazine
http://www.rocktopia.co.uk


By Nicky Baldrian
Fireworks & Rocktopia Contributing Writer


From San Antonio, TX we find classic rock blues artist STRINGMAN DELIVERY, who have a fabulous eleven track CD out now called 'Tonight We Ride' that is well worth checking out and borders between Americana, rock and blues through to melodic pop, the songs flow with majestic passion.
Singer Don Stephens has a fantastic diverse voice that is somewhere between Don Henley, Tom Waits, Brian Wilson, John Cougar Mellencamp, Neil Young and the late Dan Peek. Stringman Delivery are Don Stephens – lead guitar, keyboards, harmonica, Mike Cerny – drums, Terrell Mabrito – bass, Gary Stephens – rhythm guitar and Eric Zawadzki - sound technician.
Back in the 60’s the band’s lead guitar, keyboards, harmonica player and song writer Don Stephens became completely overwhelmed and absorbed in the melodies, lyrics, and culture of folk and rock music. He was a fourteen or fifteen years old Midwestern boy from Indiana during this time. From that point on, classic rock, folk and blues have been an integral part of Don's life. His personal pursuit of musical exploration began in his teens as a drummer in a neighbourhood rock band banging on a cheap Pearl drum set that he bought from a Sears and Roebucks’ catalogue. Don spent a lot of time back then playing along with his record player to the Kinks, Rolling Stones, Animals, Byrds, etc... It wasn’t long after that when he picked up the acoustic guitar, piano, and harmonica after getting caught up in the folk music of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, CS&N, and such. "What a magical time for music," says Don.

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When you listen to the tracks on 'Tonight We Ride' you can hear Don's most influential musical inspirations come from Neil Young and Tom Waits. Neil Young’s songs and legend, especially during the 70’s, became an important part of Don's life and actually got him through some very tough times. "I’ve been a huge fan of Neil Young ever since hearing his album After the Gold Rush," says Don. "For some reason I feel connected to the lyrics of Tom Waits, his word pictures of street scenes, cars, taxi cabs, city streets, and the down-and-outers are so graphic and real to me. I became a huge Tom Waits fan after hearing him play Looking for the Heart of Saturday Night on the TV show Saturday Night Live," he explains. "I can only hope to create music at the level of Neil Young and Tom Waits, but I do what I do and write what comes to me. When the right melody comes to my head, the mental visions and storylines start flowing. All I do is write down what I see and as quick as possible or they’re gone," Don explains to me.
Outside of music Don enjoys practicing martial arts. "I find such a close connection between the two arts. It’s too much to explain here, but there is a connection. I currently hold a fourth degree black belt and am still training and discovering that there are so many new things to learn. Maybe someday my martial arts training will come in handy from a self-defense perspective, but that’s not my motivation for practicing it," he tells me.
Stringman Delivery is unique to so many other bands that Don considers over-rehearsed and too polished. "We don’t want to be like that. When we play, we let what’s happening at that moment direct our performance," he explains. "This way we are spontaneous, tuned in to each other, and go along with whatever vibe comes over the band. I can’t say that we play the same song twice the same way. In this way we are like the classic rock and blues jam bands of the 60’s and 70’s. Where ever the song wants to go, we go along for the ride, and that makes it fun and our audience gets in to it," enthuses Don.
The new record 'Tonight We Ride' is a follow up to the band's first release 'Long Ride Home'. Don started writing the songs for 'Tonight We Ride' immediately after releasing 'Long Ride Home' in late 2014. In a sense, the new record is a concept album as each song is tied in some way to the others on the album. "I think my inspirational mentors speak pretty clearly through these songs," he adds. All of the band members love vintage instruments and they used them on this album. Mike Cerny has two vintage 60’s and 70’s Ludwig drum kits, Terrell Mabrito plays an old Gibson bass, and Gary Stephens has an old Les Paul. "I’m a Gretsch and Les Paul guy myself. For 'Tonight We Ride', my main instruments were my 50’s Gretsch Duojet and 70’s acoustic Guild D-55 guitars, a 70’s Wurlitzer electric piano, and an early 1900’s portable pump organ. On a couple of the songs I added banjo tracks," he explains. Since completing and releasing 'Tonight We Ride', Don has written the songs for their third and soon to be recorded album which will be titled 'Stranded on the Moon'. "I’m pretty excited about getting started on this third project. I think it will be good," he enthuses
All Stringman Delivery albums are recorded at the Stringman Studios. This is a backroom recording studio at Don's house in San Antonio, TX. After spending five to six months working on the initial tracks, Mike, Terrell and Gary come in and add their parts. "We then complete the mix along with Eric, our sound tech. After we’ve done all we can do in the Stringman Studio, we take the songs to a friend’s commercial studio for the final mix. The final tracks are mastered at a mastering company in New York," says Don.
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Don has been playing the bars and coffee houses continuously since the mid-70’s. A person can’t be out there that long and not have some amusing stories to share. "Maybe the fights that broke out in the bars while playing could be considered amusing to some. I’ve played in some seedy places over the years. On one occasion a fight broke out between two biker types over some comment about a girl. Seeing the commotion I quit playing and left the stage and became a cut-man for one of the fighters who was bleeding from the top of his head. I also coached him a bit to keep his guard up. When the cops came in, I moved back to the stage and the band played on. But maybe my best personal experience was when I met Neil Young and got the opportunity to shake his hand. I got to meet my idol and that meant a lot," marvels Don.
Don's hope for Stringman Delivery is that the band remain good friends and continue playing their songs and growing their listening audience. "I plan to continue writing and recording as long as the muse is with me. And, hopefully getting better with each song I write and record. Sometime in the near future I would like to record a backlog of acoustic songs that I’ve written over the years, and have been on the shelf gathering dust. This would certainly be a different sound than a Stringman Delivery album, but it’s a shame not to get these songs recorded and out there where they belong," he concludes. - Fireworks Rock Magazine


"2017 Stringman Delivery Album Review from England based Metalliville Zine"

"A quintet from Texas fronted by a guy called Don Stephens (who wrote each song) who are very retro American folk kinda ilk is kind of a way to put it but with a laid back rock style about them too.

There are many standouts that include a very Neil Young like 'A Game Called Love' and 'Instead of Trying to be Cool'; the bluesy 'It's a Strange World; or the black comedic almost, 'Why Am I Trying so hard' that would be the perfect foil for a Woody Allen Movie.

The album is very soothing, almost quirk and laid back with lyrics about ordinary day to day topics such as 'I Think I'll Go to the Dance' or 'The Rules of the Road' with plenty of harmonica through the number.

Overall think Bob Dylan and Neil Young!

7.5/10

By Glenn Milligan - Metalliville's review of the album TONIGHT WE RIDE


"The Rocker http://www.the-rocker.co.uk/ The new home of Zeitgeist and The Rocker Reviews Roundup – Bloodbound vs. Sasha McVeigh vs. Heavy Star vs. The Rising vs. Stringman Delivery"

Now, if Stringman Delivery are ever looking for an opening act, then the aforementioned The Rising wouldn’t offend the audience. Because the Strings (as I shall call them) take their influences from the likes of Neil Young, the Byrds and Tom Petty.
Led by Don Stephens, who has previously released acoustic albums, he can trace his roots back to playing coffee houses in the mid-’70s. Now he’s hooked up with guitarist Gary Stephens, drummer Mike Cerny and bassist Terrell Mabrito for an electric outing which will appeal to fans of Tom Petty and his ilk.
They’ve got some good tunes under their belt with the likes of ‘A Game Called Love’, ‘A Long Way To Go’ and ‘Why Am I Trying So Hard’ more than enough to make fans of their heartland rock very happy indeed. - The Rocker


"Stringman Delivery was played on England's Rock Station"

Stringman Delivery was played on the popular GRTR radio in the UK

http://www.getreadytorockradio.com/news/mar16_radio1.htm

New to GRTR! Playlist
Showcase: Sunday 21:00, (Tuesday 16:00 & Thursday 21:00 repeat)
FRAYMED What You're Doing Now (indie)
THE SENTON BOMBS Mass Vendetta (7Hard)
BROKEN WITT REBELS Georgia Pine (indie)
ECLIPTICA For Good (indie)
GRANDHOUR Grey Skies (Rock Hawk Records)
DEFECTO When Daylight Dies (Koda)
GRANDMA STRANGE Moonglade (indie)
SOULSTACK Just Don't Call It The Blues (indie)
SMOKE HEALER Figure It Out (indie)
REBECCA DOWNES It's That Easy (Mad Hat/Cargo Records)
THE WONDER STUFF Don't You Ever (IRL)
PRYTI Bitter Pill (indie)
TEMPORARY HERO Time After Time (Anticodon Records)
TEMPLE RENEGADE Last Man Standing (indie)
STRINGMAN DELIVERY Tonight We Ride (indie)

http://arfmco.proboards.com/thread/8100/colin-noble-unsigned-show-march

Deep Purple – Black night
The Genders – Rock bottom
Stringman Delivery – Instead of trying to be cool
The Static Shift – Try me
Wildflower – Rainbow ground
Sonny Jim – I want a tattoo
Outburst – Reborn
The Easy Outs – Gotta get away from Jane
Ray Gilman – When I come home
The Buzzard Orchestral – Marchioness
The Dog Gods – Paper flower lady
Gutter Candy – Ricky Skittles
Steely Dan – Rikki don’t lose that number
Jade Vine – Corpus collosum
Jade Vine – Asy (now or never)
Jade Vine – Would you
Mojo Rose – Undone
M.I.C. – Time to rock
Nick Aslam – Night train
D2UR – Good together
Heavy Star – Electric overdrive -


"Stringman Delivery Gets Played on England's Rock Station #2"

Stringman Delivery gets played on London radio!
7:37am

Pete
Pete Feenstra
Classic Rock Radio || Pete Feenstra on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio || Streaming new and classic...
Get Ready to ROCK! Radio streaming new and classic blues rock music
getreadytorockradio.com

Stringman delivery on PF show tonight.

TONIGHT: 19.00 - 21.00hrs PETE FEENSTRA ROCK & BLUES SHOW
http://www.getreadytorockradio.com/pete_feenstra.htm

1. JJ Appleton & Jason Ricci - Leaning Blues from Dirty Memory on Old Boy Network 3.17
2. Bonnie Rait - Shakin' Shakin' Shakes from Dig In Deep on Redwing 4.52
3. Dennis Jones - The Machine from Both Sides of The Track on CD Baby 6.21
4. Joe Bonamassa – Drive from Blues Of Desperation on Provogue 5.47
5. Soulstack – Tip Of My Tongue from Soulstack, self release 4.47
Johnny Heartsman – Tongue from The Touch on Alligator 5.25
6. Kevin Selfe – Buy My Soul Back from Buy My Soul Back on Vizztone 4.53
7. Geoff Carne & The Hatz – Giving Me the Blues from Get Close on Advision UK 4.00
8. Ina Forsman – Farewell from Ina Forsman on Ruf 4.01
9. Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats – Howling At Nothing from Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats on Stax 3.09
10. The Blue Horizon – every last one of us from Volume: 1, self release 4.57
11. Mick Jagger (Rolling Stones) – Memo From Turner from The Singles Collection: the London Years on Universal 4.06
12. Catfish – You Upset Me Baby from BB King Plays the Blues on CD Baby2.36
Zora Young & Little Mike & The Tornadoes - Friday Night from Friday Night on Elrob 5.07
13. Joe Louis Walker – Black & Blue from Everybody Wants A Piece on Provogue 5.57
14. Dana Gaynor band – In the Land Of The Fools Gold from Power To The People on Euphoric Rebel 6.38
15. Stringman Delivery- Tonight We Ride from Tonight We Ride on CD Baby 4.03
16. Carl Weathersby – Hipshakin' Woman Looking Out Of My Window on Evidence 4.30
Jetbone – Woman from Magical Ride on Juicy Peach 6.05
17. Kim Wilson – Everything I Do Is Wrong from My Blues on Blue Collar 4.19
Albert Cummings – Like Never Before from Someone Like You on Blind Pig 4.16
18. Taj Mahal – Scattered from Like Never Before on Private Music 5.40
19. Lucky Peterson –Remember The Day from Double Dealin’ on Verve 3.12
20. Karnataka – Road To Cairo from Secrets of Angels on Immrama 5.27

Classic Rock Radio || Pete Feenstra on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio || Streaming new and classic...
Get Ready to ROCK! Radio streaming new and classic blues rock music
getreadytorockradio.com -


Discography

Where Were You When the Curtain Fell - Don Stephens (2003)

At the All Night Diner - Don Stephens (2009)

Long Ride Home - Stringman Delivery (2014)

Tonight We Ride - Stringman Delivery (2015)

Stranded on the Moon - Stringman Delivery (2016)

Across the Galaxy - Stringman Delivery (2017)

Psychedelic Lullaby - Stringman Delivery (2018)

Out for Delivery - Stringman Delivery (2019)

Stars - Stringman Delivery (2019)

Photos

Bio

STRINGMAN (singer/songwriter Don Stephens) is a SOLO rock, acoustic and blues performance.  Don plays all of the instruments that make the show sound like a solid three piece band.

DON STEPHENS has been playing electric and acoustic guitar, piano, bass pedals and harmonica professionally for over thirty years. He began his music career playing coffee houses and clubs in Indiana in the mid-'70s. His sound is heavily influenced by the rock bands and folk artists of that time including Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Roger McGuinn, Tom Waits and others.   Don is a prolific songwriter and currently has seven albums released and all are available online for listening and CD sales at Stringman Delivery shows.

JEFF COWART adds percussion to the songs.  Jeff is originally from Baton Rouge LA and has been performing on drums and percussion for over 40 years.

ERIC ZAWADZKI has mixed sound professionally dating back to the days when Molly Hatchett and Lickety Split toured together. Eric was also the sound engineer for a group called New Math... a band that headlined numerous shows in and around New York and also opened for other major East Coast concert events featuring  names like The Plasmatics and The Ramones. Eric's uncanny ear for sound is taking Stringman Delivery to new levels.

Below are reviews from highly regarded English rock critics of Stringman Delivery's album Tonight We Ride that was played on English radio.  This was when Stringman was a three piece band.  Don Stephens now performs as Stringman Delivery as a solo artist. 

Stuart Hamilton with The Rocker: "Now, if Stringman Delivery is ever looking for an opening act, then the aforementioned The Rising wouldn’t offend the audience. Because the Strings (as I shall call them) take their influences from the likes of Neil Young, the Byrds and Tom Petty. Led by Don Stephens, who has previously released acoustic albums, he can trace his roots back to playing coffee houses in the mid-’70s. Now he’s hooked up with guitarist Gary Stephens, drummer Mike Cerny and bassist Terrell Mabrito for an electric outing which will appeal to fans of Tom Petty and his ilk.  They’ve got some good tunes under their belt with the likes of ‘A Game Called Love’, ‘A Long Way To Go’ and ‘Why Am I Trying So Hard’ more than enough to make fans of their heartland rock very happy indeed." 

And from rock critic Glen Milligan with Metalliville online music magazine:  "A quintet from Texas fronted by a guy called Don Stephens (who wrote each song) who are very retro American folk kind of a way to put it, but with a laid back rock style about them too.  There are many standouts that include a very Neil Young like 'A Game Called Love' and 'Why Am I Trying So Hard' that would be the perfect foil for a Woody Allen Movie.  The album is very soothing, almost quirk and laid back with lyrics about ordinary day to day topics such as 'I Think I'll Go to the Dance' with a marvelous distortive echoing guitar work 'Should I Turn Back' or 'The Rules of the Road'.  Overall think Bob Dylan and Neil Young!"  

Thank you and we hope you enjoy albums by Stringman Delivery and visit us at a Stringman Delivery show!


Band Members