Which Is Worse
Headlines Never Last
Not Letting One Get By
Questions and Accusations
45 in the Cut
Someboody's Got to Go
Back To Me
It Didn't Take Long
When You Lose Your Best Friend
Rusty Old Ship
Rusty Old Ship (Acoustic Version)
My Last Heavy Load
From: Statesville, NC
Current Base: High Point
Bands: The Low Counts (formerly)
Matt Walsh is a singer, guitarist and songwriter from Statesville NC who performs solo or with his backup band around 200 shows a year throughout the southeast and beyond. His sound is influenced by anyone from Link Wray, Howlin' Wolf, Prince, Black Sabbath or Pete Rock among many other musicians and styles of music. His primary focus is making original music and mixing his roots with new ideas rather than replicating them. The result reflects an exciting blend of many genres of music - early electric and hill country Blues, Rock, Rockabilly, Soul, Country, Garage Rock, Hip-Hop and Psychedelia among others. His exposure to music came first came from his mother through her love of Motown. In his youth, he was fascinated with various types of music and was always anxious when he heard a sound that was different or foreign to his ear. When he was 9 his mother took him to a Prince concert and Matt knew he wanted to be a musician.
His real musical education began in his early teens with his late uncle, who would turn him onto his record collection. It included many kinds of early 50's Rock, 60's Psychedelic and British Rock aside prewar, 50's electric and Hill Country Blues. When he introduced Matt to records by Lightnin' Hopkins and similar musicians, he was taken by the rawness of the guitar on the recordings and was inspired to learn the instrument. When he was 13, Matt got a knock off electric guitar for $25 at a flea market. Rather than going to the prom or attending football games, he set out to learn how to play the stripped down Blues that his new idols played. At the same time, he was also listening and learning from 50's Rock/Sun Records, Stax Soul, old Country, 60's and 70's Rock or whatever else he could find, as long is it had feeling and and wasn't contrived. By the age of 19 Matt began playing gigs and soon after dropped his day job at a hat store blocking and shaping hats to become a full time musician.
Matt recorded and released his first solo album, Hard Luck in 2007. Hard Luck featured all original material with the focus on uncompromising, visceral sounding Blues Rock that reflected Matt's love for guitarists like Willie Johnson (Howlin' Wolf) Link Wray and Robert Nighthawk. The album enjoyed rave reviews in multiple music publications, radio play on stations around the world including a featured spot on XM 74 Sirius Satellite Radio as a 'Pick to Click'. In 2008 along with his own touring schedule, Matt began teaming up with and touring playing guitar/Supero Pocket bass with his friend Bob Margolin (guitarist for Muddy Waters 1973-1980). Through that opportunity Matt got to back up his some of his heroes, legendary artists such as Hurbert Sumlin (Howlin' Wolf's guitarist), Pinetop Perkins and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith.
Looking for a new musical direction to blend all of his influences, Matt met and started working with drummer Austin Hicks after a chance encounter on Craigslist in 2013. They formed the drum-guitar duo, the Low Counts and branded their music as "Blue Collar Rock-N-Roll". Together, they turned heads, made an immense number of dedicated fans and blew audiences away with their no frills, high energy shows. Their ride together was cut short on March 8th 2017 when Austin passed unexpectedly. Matt wrote 27 songs that the duo released over three albums of original material in the four short years they were together (The Low Counts 2014, Unsettled Days 2015, Years Pass BY 2015) and garnered radio play in the US and abroad on some 200 plus stations.
Matt's new album Life After Rock N Roll is now available on Full Bloom Records.
Life After Rock N Roll (2017 LP)
Label: Full Bloom Records
Produced by Matt Walsh and Allen Laws
Album info: Matt's first solo album in almost a decade apart from the Low Counts albums finds him taking a new musical direction with Country/Bluegrass and Caribbean influences, R&B and Soul along with the sounds of pedal steel guitar and fiddle.
Hard Luck (2007 LP)
Label: Raw Tone
Produced by Matt Walsh and Bob Margolin
Album info: All original songs feature a new take on 1950's Chicago Blues, Rockabilly and other Roots music
Albums with the Low Counts
Years Pass By (2015 LP)
Label: Real Original Records
Produced by Matt Walsh and Austin Hicks
Album info: All original music - Hard Rock rounded out with journeys into Pop, Soul, Country and Psychedelia
Unsettled Days (2015 EP)
Label: Grimtale Records
Produced by Matt Walsh and Austin Hicks
Album info: All original music combines Blues, Rock and Psychedelia
The Low Counts (2014 LP)
Label: Real Original Records
Produced by Matt Walsh and Austin Hicks
Album info: All original music blends old rural electric Blues, Garage Rock, Rockabilly, Soul and Psychedelia
The song 'Cut Me Out' appears in the film short 'Make Him Talk'
"Walsh still has stories to tell as evidenced by Life After Rock ‘N Roll. While The Low Counts is its own thing Walsh’s new solo effort is a larger palette than that found on the duo’s albums. They are two different things, albeit connected by Walsh’s timeless voice. It begins with “Which is Worse,” a song letting listeners know that the singer fans know is still kicking but bringing something new. With lively, classic sounding piano playing it’s a catchy, radio-ready song. It’s well-rounded in that Walsh speeds up and slows down Life After Rock ‘N Roll with great effect. “Headlines” is acoustic driven, injected with electric guitar atmosphere. There’s the defiance of “Throwing Stones Against the Wall,” the apologetic and bittersweet “It Didn’t Take Long,” and tense rocker “Bad Advice.” “Somebody’s Got to Go” and “45 in the Cut” burns and smolders, the latter delivering a solid one-two punch with its dagger deep delivery. ‘Questions and Accusations” is like late afternoon back porch musing – it burns and sooths, like coffee and whiskey and the uncertainty of which to settle on. Walsh’s singing is pointed and underscored with dreamy slide guitar." - Avenue Music and Entertainment (Wilmington NC)
"After Matt Walsh's The Low Counts bandmate, Austin Hicks, died in March 2017, Walsh sat for a couple of weeks, unable to act. He was encouraged into a North Carolina studio, where he wound up with a burst of creative expression that resulted in what may be his best record yet, "Life After Rock N Roll." - The Roanoke Times (Roanoke VA)
"Matt Walsh blends blues, rock, country and many other genres into a sound that harkens back to another time. His finger picking guitar style and howling voice lend themselves to that sense of an earlier era. Walsh’s first solo record came out in 2007 and was followed by a prolific three-year run with The Low Counts. He’s returning to the stage with his second solo effort, Life After Rock N Roll. Released yesterday on Full Bloom Records, it features 13 tracks that cover a wide spectrum of genres." - Mountain Xpress (Asheville NC)
"Walsh’s range of skills have earned him strong reviews as a member of the Low Counts and as a solo performer.“Matt Walsh is a talented singer and guitarist who knows how to write a good tune, and how to get the best out of it,” according to Blues in Britain magazine.Music allows Walsh to stretch his creativity in multiple directions. He has enjoyed making movies and drawing since his childhood in Statesville, and goofy, funny music videos were a Low Counts staple. He has continued that tradition as a solo artist, working with director Michael Spears to make a trilogy of videos for songs from “Life After Rock-N-Roll” that feature Walsh as a pawn shop employee and a small-town sheriff." - Relish (the Winston Salem Journal)
“Life After Rock ‘N’ Roll” will take listeners on a journey filled with a blend of new sounds Walsh created in the wake of a loss. Walsh, 40, began recording songs for the album in April, about a month after losing his best friend and Low Counts bandmate since 2013, drummer Austin Hicks.“It was just me and him, and we kind of made a pact a long time ago that it would kind of be ridiculous, if we had a falling out or somebody wanted to quit, that the other one carry on (under the Low Counts name),” Walsh said. “There was no point in trying to replicate what we did or carry on the name so it was kind of pretty much gone.” - Statesville Record & Landmark (Statesville NC)
"He is young today and will keep this style alive on bandstands and preserve it as more than history. He may develop so much himself that he will take the style forward with his own contributions..." - Bob Margolin (guitarist for Muddy Waters 1973-1980)"
"What's most impressive is that each of the dozen songs on the CD were written by Walsh. If this guy rode a time machine back to the early 1950s, he could probably line up a gig as a house songwriter at Chess Records..." - Blues Bytes
"Hard Luck” is rough-edged and magnificent. For a modern era, when a cover of classic is sometimes seen as a mandatory validation, it is a pleasant surprise to be presented with an album entirely of originals. The songs on the album are well constructed and written with that unique voice in mind. What "Hard Luck" does, above all, is present the Blues as they should be - tough, uncompromising and honest" - Blues Matters Magazine
"I'm certainly not joking when I say that if "HARD LUCK" should catch a bit of "good luck" and fall into enough right hands, MATT WALSH may just get himself a "Best New Artist Debut" nod..." - Mary 4 Music
"Matt Walsh...Soulful playing, great vocals...It's great to hear young musicians playing in the tradition. That's the only way the Blues will stay alive" - Paul Oscher (former Muddy Waters band member)
"When you listen to him, you find yourself wondering just which old vault of Delta or Chicago blues did he find his songs in. You just KNOW you’ve heard that song SOMEWHERE, but it just won’t come to you. But you are wrong. Matt’s deep understanding of the blues allows him to create authentic but original songs that ring true to the soul. It is just astounding..." - Nonzine (Oklahoma City, OK)
Just a heads up, when talking about Matt in any future press releases in advance of the festival, just tell the folks you can describe Matt Walsh and his music in 3 words….. “Whole-Lee-Cow” - Harold Donaldson / Planet Texas (Mesquite TX )
" He sounds almost as if his band was blasting from a mono speaker deep in the South. But it works, with music that is easy-going yet scoarched with a sweaty grit best suited to a smokey juke joint." - Rod Pocowatchit - The Wichita Eagle ( Wichita, Kansas )
Other than listening to the 3 or 4 slide guitar players who I consider to be the cream of the crop, I generally prefer to not even here it played. Hearing MATT on "WHY MY BABY AIN'T AROUND" just increased my favorite slide players to a complete handful...I'm certainly not joking when I say that if "HARD LUCK" should catch a bit of "good luck" and fall into enough right hands, MATT WALSH may just get himself a "Best New Artist Debut" nod..." - Mary 4 Music (Florida)
"Every song on the album was penned by Walsh. You really can't take a musical journey like this disc takes you on without playing your own music. Walsh has a lot of original ideas and works some out on this disc, but you know there are many more ideas still in his head. Give him time and he should be putting out shining gems in the future. Hard Luck is an excellent start to his recording career. This is a foundation that can launch him onto one of the Blues labels out there. He hits so many bases on this album that he will find a comfortable niche and blast off from there. He is not an artist who will be happy playing just one style" - Blueswax
"Matt Walsh, a native of North Carolina has a command of the early electric blues sound that very few artists possess. If that were not enough to recommend this disc, his second, add to that the fact that he writes his own stuff and you have the makings of the best new blues artist to hit the scene in quite some time. It is hard to overstate how accomplished a musician and songcrafter Matt is. And calling him a "blues" artist underestimates him a bit as he has connections (obvious on this CD) to rockabilly and other forms and styles of "roots" rock. He has learned from some of the best musicians you've never heard of and some you have, but his sound is identifiably his. He rocks (the title track; "20 more miles" are good examples) and plays with soul and subtlety ("Sit and Wonder") equally well and his song writing is thoughtful, humorous ("Pointless Blues") and, at times, profound (the aforementioned "Sit and Wonder" as an example). If this man does not get some nominations for best new blues artist of the year, it will only be because this disc doesn't get the audience it deserves. If you want to know whether the traditional blues sound can be made current while staying true to the form, get this disc. You'll have your answer". - M. W. Russell - Swamp Rat Music (Manteo NC)