Matt Andersen, Artist of the Week
Runs Nov. 17-21 Matt Andersen is a Canadian blues guitarist and singer-songwriter, from Perth-Andover, New Brunswick, signed to True North Records. His musical career started in 2002, with the New Brunswick band, Flat Top. In 2004, Andersen played at the East Coast Music Awards. Growing up in Perth-Andover, you learn a thing or two about the tough grind. The family-oriented, blue-collar community is home to singer-songwriter and guitarist Matt Andersen. While manual labour wasn’t his calling, hard work is something you pride yourself on growing up in a small-town. Having played over 200 shows in 2012, his work ethic has never been questioned. Matt’s narrative-driven writing cuts through the soul, blending blues and folk, encompassed in total honesty. He takes listeners on a ride with his diverse musical styles, skilled guitar work and over-the-top showmanship. Matt’s intimate, high-energy performances have captivated audiences across the world, from Canada, to the US, to Australia and the UK, from small clubs to festivals. In 2011 Matt released Coal Mining Blues, produced by Colin Linden. The album was recorded at the Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, New York and features keyboardist Garth Hudson (The Band) and singer Amy Helm (Olabelle). The songs delve into the lives of the working class and the bonds he shares with mining communities, family and friends back home. The moving title track paints a clear picture of the blood, sweat and tears of a backbreaking trade. “I’m not trying to change anyone’s lives in a big way, but I love it when [listeners] really get involved in the music,” says Matt, who won three 2012 Maple Blues Awards and received a British Blues Award nomination, among many others. “When people get involved, it really makes it a great night — for everyone.” Through his exhilarating performances and connection to his audience, Matt continues to work hard and tell the stories he was born to tell. He took some time off in October to head into the studio. In November he made his way over to Europe to play some shows in Switzerland, Denmark and The Netherlands, then wraped up that run with a few shows in the UK. To support the new release Weightless, he hit the road across the US and Canada in January and will it will continue until May 30th. One of 2014’s biggest discoveries has been around for years, playing more than 200 shows annually, putting out seven albums and claiming the 2013 European Blues Award for Best Solo/Acoustic Act. With the release of his eighth, and highest profile album, Weightless, New Brunswick powerhouse Matt Andersen is making legions of new fans. Co-written with the likes of David Myles, Joel Plaskett and Dave Gunning, Weightless tells stories at once universal and specific—tales of leaving home for the oil sands, of life in a rust-belt town—that resonate long after the last note is played.