Monkey Man: A Stones Band promises moves like Jagger at Starland Yard

Members of Monkey Man: A Stones Band prepare for their upcoming concert at Starland Yard.
Local Rolling Stones tribute band Monkey Man: A Stones Band will bring a little British Invasion to Starland Yard Friday, July 2, just before Independence Day. The free show kicks off the holiday weekend at 6:30 p.m., and the first 50 guests get a surprise from the band if they give them a special shout on social media.

Monkey Man—named after a song from the 1969 album “Let It Bleed”—draws from select vintage Stones tunes from the 60s, 70s, and a maybe a few from the early 80s, said co-founder, rhythm guitarist and vocalist Stewart Marshall, also known for local groups Junkyard Angel and Stewart and Winfield.

“We perform them true to ragged form,” Marshall said. “We’ve been around since about 2004, and have a decent sized following even though we don’t play that many shows a year.”

The band is further comprised of Stewart’s brother Joe Marshall on vocals and guitar, Craig Johansen on lead guitar and vocals, Jason Anderson on piano, organ and vocals, Scott Tanner on bass, and Billy Groves on drums.

Marshall shrugs at being called a true “tribute band,” since they don’t don any costumes, but their set is straight Stones favorites, and Joe “does all the Mick duties,” he added. “I moved back here from Athens, and Joe was just killing it on the karaoke circuit doing the Stones stuff. It’s really amazing to see him. Craig plays a great lead guitar, and Jason plays piano and organ, and also sings, so it really opened up our repertoire,” Marshall said.

This is the band’s first time at Starland Yard, and they’re excited to see how the crowd reacts.

“We love interacting with the crowd,” Marshall said. “And it’s a cool spot—outdoors, good central location, and all last year we were basically playing on people’s docks. We had 60 or 70 boats as an audience though, so this will be our land show.” Calling it the kickoff to their Summer Tour 2021, the first 50 guests to post “I’m a Monkey!” on the band’s Facebook page will get a free logo koozie.

“We love having the fans interact with us like that,” he added.

As far as the sound goes, if you’re a Rolling Stones fan, you’re in for a treat.

“We dig pretty deep on these Stones songs, so “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and that kind of thing, but we like to go into ‘Exile on Main Street’ as well as some ‘Sticky Fingers’— the Mick Taylor years, as some people call them. That’s actually something we lean pretty heavy on.”

“We’ll play something called ‘100 Years Ago’ which is a deep track on ‘Goats Head Soup,’ which — if you listen to it — you’ll see it’s a little different than normal; it’s a great jam song. It’s fun to play because it’s challenging,” Marshall said.

He added that the band’s vibe is to stick pretty close to the songs as they’re written.

“There are parts where you’ll get some theatrics with some pretty convincing Mick Jagger moves,” he said. “But we try to add more to it because we have the ability to have more vocals in it. And Craig will be ripping his Keith Richards licks.” “It’s engaging and fun. It’s great to be out playing music again. We’ve missed it for so long, and just enjoy it. It’s going to be a rock ‘n’ roll show, so if you’re looking for that, you’re going to have a great time!

See the band perform at 6:30 p.m., July 2 at Starland Yard, 2411 De soto Ave. Visit starlandyard.com.

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