Matt Stansberry & The Romance prepares to celebrate the release of new album

Matt Stansberry discusses his love for music and switching the gears on a solo career. Matt Stansberry & The Romance is preparing for its album release party Thursday.
By Jessica Allison, Staff Writer Published: June 6, 2014
Advertisement
;

photo - 
Matt Stansberry rehearses with his band at Oklahoma Christian University. Photo by Garett Fisbeck, For The Oklahoman
  Garett Fisbeck - 
Garett Fisbeck
Matt Stansberry rehearses with his band at Oklahoma Christian University. Photo by Garett Fisbeck, For The Oklahoman Garett Fisbeck - Garett Fisbeck

Members of the throwback band Matt Stansberry & The Romance are arranged in a circle in the back of the Oklahoma Christian University band room. Despite the acoustics, the floor, chairs and scattered percussion instruments shake as the band rehearses “Crash Landing.” It’s the title track of the band’s upcoming album, which will be released Thursday.

Eleven musicians fill the room, including a four-piece horn section with a trumpet, trombone and two saxophones. There’s a keyboard player, drummer, bassist, two background singers, Matt Stansberry and his brother Joe Stansberry on guitar.

Matt Stansberry marks time with both feet until the group makes a mistake and the music stops.

They start back at the beginning.

Musical roots

Matt Stansberry grew up in Edmond, surrounded by music. His grandfather played bluegrass fiddle, and his dad is a singer-songwriter.

When Matt Stansberry was 13, his friend got a guitar as a birthday gift. No one could play the instrument except Stansberry, which made him feel like a rock star. Even if he started with “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

He toured internationally as a solo act for a while after graduating from Oklahoma Christian University in 2004. Yet something was missing. He entertained the idea of quitting music, but a compulsive need to create kept him in the industry.

“I thought I might as well search for an outlet that’s going to make me more fulfilled,” he says.

And so, Matt Stansberry & The Romance was born in 2012. As he wrote songs, he decided he needed a horn section. Then he needed background singers with a gospel sound — enter Myra Beasley and Chandra Graham. They released their first EP, “Brighten It Up,” later that year.

“I feel like they were sent ... well, I wouldn’t even say they were sent to me,” Stansberry says. “It’s more like we were all sent toward each other. That’s kind of a magical piece of it.”

A friend of a friend encouraged Stansberry to hire the pair, so he booked them without hearing them. It’s impossible to imagine the group’s music without their soulful background vocals.

Myra Beasley and Chandra Graham rehearse with Matt Stansberry and the Romance at Oklahoma Christian University. Photo by Garett Fisbeck, For The Oklahoman
 <strong>Garett Fisbeck - 
Garett Fisbeck
</strong>
Myra Beasley and Chandra Graham rehearse with Matt Stansberry and the Romance at Oklahoma Christian University. Photo by Garett Fisbeck, For The Oklahoman Garett Fisbeck - Garett Fisbeck

Game on



GOING ON

Matt Stansberry & The Romance album Release Party

•Where: University of Central Oklahoma Jazz Lab, 100 E Fifth St., Edmond.

When: 8 p.m. Thursday.

Admission: $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

Information: mattstansberry.com.

“It’s more like we were all sent toward each other. That’s kind of a magical piece of it.” — Matt Stansberry

,

Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    UNC hires Zac Selmon as Associate Director of Athletics
  2. 2
    Wendy's: Tests build-your-own burger
  3. 3
    Teen arrested for making threats on Facebook
  4. 4
    Blake Griffin replaced by John Wall on US World Cup roster
  5. 5
    Two Texas players under investigation 'immediately eligible'
+ show more