Spotlight on Matt Walsh, performing at the Looking Glass Artist Collective
Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 4, 2008
North Carolina’s Matt Walsh is a 30-year-old blues vocalist/guitarist/ songwriter whose primary sound is rooted in the old school southside Chicago Blues style of the 1950’s, but with musical detours that venture into rockabilly, jump blues, and 50’s rock genres as well.
He does around 200 plus shows a year and continues to create a buzz in the Blues World with his 2007 sophmore album “Hard Luck'” on Raw Tone Records. The CD was produced by and features Bob Margolin, who, from 1973-1980, played guitar in Chicago Blues legend, Muddy Waters band.
“Hard Luck” has been played on over 160 blues radio programs across the United States and abroad. Some blues disc jockeys called it the best blues album of 2007 It was added to Blues Deluxe, which syndicates to 100 plus radio stations. Three tracks from the new album have gotten major airplay on Bluesville, XM 74 satelite radio, as “picks to click” and “Hard Luck” became the second most requested album on Bill Wax’s nationally syndicated show.
Matt began his love affair for music at the early age of 6, and it intensified when Matt turned 12 and heard the music of Muddy Waters. Around this time, he bought a $25 guitar at a flea market and began looking for albums by other legendary blues artists. When he was 19, Matt began playing music in front of audiences and a few years later he became a full-time professional musician.
Since then his wailing, singing, distorted guitar tone and raw, soulful vocals have stunned music critics and gained fans with his authentic sound. This is not the glossy over-produced rock-blues sound that is all too familiar in today’s blues world.
Influenced by musicians such as Robert Nighthawk, Howlin’ Wolf, Robert Lockwood Jr., T-Bone Walker, Willie Johnson, Muddy Waters, Elmore James and Johnny Guitar Watson, Matt has dedicated himself to the Blues. Matt also cites early rockers like Little Richard, Link Wray, Johnny Burnett and Carl Perkins for influence as well.
Here’s a partial list of musicians he has either opened for, shared bills or performed with: Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin, Mookie Brill, Big Bill Morganfield, Delbert McClinton, Kenny Neal, Tinsley Ellis, Little Ed and the Blues Imperials, Corey Harris, Sweet Betty, and Jimmy D. Lane.
When Matt was 21, he beat out 12 full bands (some with horn sections) in a Tulsa Okla. blues contest, performing solo with an acoustic guitar. He went on to compete in Memphis for the International Blues Challenge.
He is a high-energy performer worthy of the attention he’s gained. Matt’s determination to carry the Blues into the future with originality and soul makes him one of the best choices for an awesome, low-down, true blues experience.
Listen to Matt Walsh at www.myspace.com/mattwalshblues. – – –
The Matt Walsh Band, also featuring Matt Hill and Chuck Cotton, will perform at tonight’s Blues Night Out at the Looking Glass Artist Collective’s black box theater, 407 N. Lee St.
Special guest performer will be Bob Margolin.
Light refreshments and beverages will be available.
This a fundraiser to benefit Rowan Blues and Jazz Society’s education programs. Admission is by a donation of $8 in advance or $10 at the door. Advance tickets are available at Literary Book Post, 119 S. Main St.
For more information, call 704-636-2811 or visit www.rowanbluesandjazz.com.