He’s from New Brunswick but this record was put together in New York, under the eye of producer Commissioner Gordon. Following on from previous album Weightless, this collection finds Andersen with a cultural rainbow of quality contributors..personnel from The Maytals, Burning Spear, Mary J Blige, Lauryn Hill, Amy Winehouse, Ibibio Sound Machine. How is that going to make a blues and roots guy sound?
Break Away takes a skipping beat and Matt’s regal voice tells the tale of a bid for freedom and escape from outside direction. It’s like a tougher Paul Simon tune and sunshine listening; The Gift has an almost Dylanish swaying tempo and a calming but authoritative vocal delivery. Matt’s voice has its own richness and resonance and a hint of vintage Joe Cocker for good measure. The cooing Hammond makes this sound like an instant classic.
Honest Man was inspired by a US political cartoon, apparently. The cartoonish funk tread seems to underline this, reedy horn sound and all. Should appeal to fans of Levon Helm and Taj Mahal. It’s a lively cut, for sure and well-arranged. I’m Giving In is a romantic piece and gently paced for maximum impact. A tad too solemn for this listener but will melt hearts elsewhere.
Quiet Company is back porch music, pedal steel wisps in the background. Masterful delivery and ambience; Let’s Get Back considers changes to one’s country set to a funk shuffle and downhome instrumentation. All The Way concerns commitment in a relationship in a swamp rock setting, all itchy guitars and wah curls and intimate vocal delivery. Last Surrender is as slow as a Southern Soul style song needs to be. Certainly reeks of Arthur Alexander and Eddie Hinton, for conneisseurs of this kind of stuff.
Who Are You Listening To? questions false ‘information’ in political shenanigans in a rock song that evokes Bob Seger singing The Who’s Who Are You. Sounds like a set closer, to this listener ; end track One Good Song takes it easy, with Leslie’d guitar and possibly another nod to Dylan with its gospellish lilt.
So, good singing and quality traditionally-constructed songs in the main. A few dynamic instrumental solo’s would have added some colour and peaks, perhaps.
Matt Andersen’s new studio album ‘Honest Man’ is out now and released independently.
For more information visit his official website here: http://bit.ly/2ofcAk3
In addition, Matt Andersen will embark on a headline solo UK/Ireland Tour in May 2017.
The tour will visit the following venues:
Sunday 21st May 2017 – The Tunnels, Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2gDMFx0
Monday 22nd May 2017 – Mash House, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2p6FTV6
Wednesday 24th May 2017 – Night & Day, Manchester, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2of560i
Thursday 25th May – The Borderline, London, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2iVlPTk