Matt will perform on Knoxville Tennessee's Blue Plate Special on January 16th at noon. Music lovers are welcome to attend the concert free of charge at the Knoxville Vistors Center (301 South Gay Street) in downtown Knoxville TN where the show is broadcast in front of a live studio audience. Stream at https://wdvx.com
Matt Walsh (from the album The Midnight Strain available on Full Bloom Records)
An early education for Statesville, North Carolina’s Matt Walsh came from the Blues. His mother presented a background with rhythm, giving lessons with her love of Motown while his late uncle shared a record collection that included 1950’s electric Blues artists from Chess and Stax as well 1960’s Rock’n’Roll. The influence is a sound that organically includes the Blues that formed a soundtrack for a younger Matt Walsh, who in turn fills in the sound with his own touches of Country, Folk, and Psychedelia. The blending of genres becomes a fluid torrent on his recent release, The Midnight Strain. Matt Walsh cruises into “Drive Me Away” with the needle buried deep into electric Blues Rock as The Midnight Strain twists the radio dial for a Country ramble in the title track, picks out Folk Blues to introduce “Ike and Daisy”, and meditates on a mantra of trance riffs for “Guru Blues”.
In 2010, Matt Walsh formed a band with drummer Austin Hicks as The Low Counts, the no frills energy of the drum-guitar duo giving them a fanbase nurtured by three album releases prior to Austin passing away suddenly, Matt returned as a solo artist, releasing his first album in a decade in 2017 (Life After Rock’n’Roll). The Midnight Strain stirs a swampy groove into the Jazz-inflected melody of “Sitting on Empty” while Matt Walsh plucks and picks both acoustic and electric notes to hold off the ‘clowns and vampires’ circling in “Don’t Hold Your Breath”, barrels into “Here We Go Again” with a beat to match the stories resolve, and admits “She Belongs to the Bottle” on top shelf bar band Blues.
Listen and buy the music of Matt Walsh from his website
Matt Walsh and the Movers just finished recording Matt’s next album at Columbia Records Studio A, part of historic Music Row in Nashville TN. This is the studio where Bob Dylan recorded, ‘Nashville Skyline’ which ignited the spark that attracted the legendary musicians who have recorded here: Dusty Springfield, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee, Buddy Holly, Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Charlie Rich, The Byrds, Patti Page, Elvis Costello, Simon & Garfunkel, and many more. Stay tuned...
THE MIDNIGHT STRAIN–TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT–SHE BELONGS TO THE BOTTLE–GURU BLUE–THE DECLARED ONES–SITTING ON EMPTY–IKE AND DAISY–HERE WE GO AGAIN–DRIVE ME AWAY–DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH
Matt Walsh’s first exposure to music came from his mom’s love of Motown, and, as a young ‘un, his first concert was a Prince show. We became acquainted with Matt back ’round 2007, through a mutual friend, fellow North Carolinian and blues legend extraordinaire, Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin. Matt’s 2007 release of “Hard Luck” got great buzz throughout the blues community, and he has only gotten better over the course of the last decade.
His latest release is on his own label, Full Bloom Records, and shows his incredible ease at handling various genres’. “The Midnight Strain” is its title, and, on the eleven all-original cuts herein, Matt covers blues, R & B, rockabilly, and even some hard-core honky-tonk. He’s on all manner of guitars, and harp and bottles on a few tracks!
Let’s get into this brilliant music. Leading off is the title cut, and it would be right at home for last call down at Tootsie’s or Robert’s. With pedal steel from Mike Salley and fiddle from Jesse Eversole, our hero bemoans his life’s situation, “I work all day and drink all night.” He uses cool twangin’ guitars for a “Peter Gunn”-ish (Go Google it if you are too young!) intro on “The Takeaway,” as Matt knows his lover is only sellin’ wolf tickets, “always talkin’, didn’t have a word to say.” “Guru Blues” taps into those deep blues roots, as does the acoustic, Delta-fied groove of the instrumental, “Ike And Daisy.” He closes the set with our favorite. It’s mostly-acoustic and passes on a valuable lesson–“good days will come again, so I am told, you think things bother you won’t take their toll, Don’t Hold Your Breath.”
Take a good look at the cover of “The Midnight Strain” and you’ll get a good idea of what’s in the grooves. Yep–the two devilish-looking characters involved in a tug-of-war embody Life’s choices, and the constant pull of good choices against the not-so-good. Matt Walsh, thru these songs, tries to help us make the right choices, or, at least, cope with the ones we do make! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.