Premiere: The Savants of Soul Dwell in a Hearty Blues on “More Than One to Choose From”

The Savants of Soul
The Savants of Soul’s aching new song “More Than One To Choose From” soars with depth, passion, and gilded tones as the band weave a haunting frame fit for a Bond film.
“More Than One to Choose From” – The Savants of Soul




Aptly named and unfathomably talented, The Savants of Soul can crush your heart and make your spirit soar all in a single song. The Gainesville, Florida 9-piece “retro soul and blues” outfit make classic music for the modern ear, singing timeless stories of love, loss, identity, and discovery that ache with feverish passion. Their smoldering new song “More Than One To Choose From” soars with depth, passion, and gilded tones as the band weave a haunting frame fit for a Bond film.

More Than One to Choose From - The Savants of Soul

More Than One to Choose From – The Savants of Soul

You say that I’m your baby
You tell me I’m your love
But what’s it matter in the end
If I’m your number one
When you’ve got more than one to choose from

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “More Than One to Choose From,” the fourth single taken from The Savants of Soul’s upcoming self-titled sophomore album (due out September 18, 2020). Consisting of John Gray Shermyen (Bass), Justin McKenzie (vocals), principle guitarist Will Campbell, Zack Emerson (keyboards), Mandy Ferwerda (trumpet, vocals), Jacob Armstrong (trombone), Jordan Jones (tenor saxophone), Ray Vigil (baritone sax) and Benny Cannon (drums), The Savants of Soul have been tearing it up along America’s southern frontier since 2012. 2014’s debut album Downtown Sound puts the group’s earlier talents on full display, but nothing quite compares to the music they’ve made this time around: Recorded at Rick Hall’s legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, The Savants of Soul promises to stun from end to end.

Pre-release singles “Old Ways” “Son Be Strong,” and “Right on Time” all showcase different sides of a flourishing band’s multicolored tapestry – finding them dwelling in the hot depths of their horns, stringing out playful and powerful guitar licks, and breaking into expressive (and dynamic) solos when words just no longer cut it – all while a grooving, tight rhythm section keeps our heads nodding and feet moving.



'The Savants of Soul' album cover

‘The Savants of Soul’ album cover

In other words, there’s a reason this is the band’s self-titled album. “We’ve grown in many different ways: emotionally, spiritually, and quite literally with this newest iteration of the band,” says bassist and founding member, John Gray Shermyen. The Savants of Soul is unassuming in its display of both musicianship and emotion. The band’s confidence shines throughout a record whose highs, lows, and middles are all impactful, intentional, and nuanced.

You claim she’s just an old friend
That you’d never do me wrong
So imagine my surprise, when your faulty alibi
Starts singing another song
When you’ve got more than one to choose from

“More Than One to Choose From,” a softer spot on the album, highlights Mandy Ferwerda’s sweeping vocal talent while employing tender violins that ring out into a heavy darkness.

“‘More Than One to Choose From’ started out as a straightforward blues tune written by our singer/trumpeter Mandy Ferwerda about an old flame with a wandering eye, but was already moving in a different direction by the time we entered FAME,” Shermyen tells Atwood Magazine. “As we started tracking it, the groove wasn’t coming together and so at the advice of our producer, Vince, we began reworking the arrangement from the ground up. As we experimented with running the guitar through the B3’s Leslie speaker, Will began playing what would become the main riff of the song, as Zack answered his part with the moving Wurlitzer line. Bass and drums joined in and the result is the most unique song on the record, with soaring vocals and sweeping strings reminiscent of a groovier 60’s-era Bond theme.”

You say you won’t burn bridges
It would be a crying shame
But what does your bridge matter when
Your house is up in flames
I won’t be your first lady
You ain’t got me under your thumb
I’m irreplaceable, irrepressible
I refuse to be your number one
When you’ve got more than one to choose from
The Savants of Soul

The Savants of Soul



Watery, warbly guitar tones lay a somber foundation out of which Ferwerda rises, the tempest inside her slowly building to a fever pitch. Her vocal execution is impeccable; this truly could be a Bond theme song – a trait which speaks to the passion and control with which Ferwerda carries every note. As “More Than One To Choose From” fades from view, we’re left feeling unsettled, but nonetheless sated; our appetite for a seismic outpouring quenched, despite the story’s lack of resolution.

Quite frankly, The Savants of Soul leave us wanting more.

A wellspring of engaging delights and haunts awaits those who stumble upon this band. Stream “More Than One to Choose From” exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and look out for The Savants of Soul  – an odyssey of mighty blues and soul music set to hit on September 18, 2020!

— —

“More Than One to Choose From” – The Savants of Soul



— — — —

More Than One to Choose From - The Savants of Soul

Connect to The Savants of Soul on
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
📸 © 2020

:: Stream The Savants of Soul ::



Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com