Earlier in the year, I went to a gig in Melbourne that was an Alt. Country Musicfest, or Americana. I knew all of the acts very well, bar from one. I had heard his name and my friend was a big fan. I only knew one song, but of course, now I know that there are many more. That guy was Matt Joe Gow. Unfortunately, that night, due to a “blackout” of sorts, I didn’t get to talk to Matt after the gig, let alone purchase any music. However, I started to do some homework, via Youtube, other friends and eagerly awaited his next album. Matt Joe Gow is originally from Auckland, yet another Kiwi artist we have adopted as our own and he is now firmly entrenched in Melbourne giggery and with the cool clan of fine musicians that are abundant and awesome.
Matt’s music is a fusion of a few types, as Alt. Country is, in many respects. Ransom is my favourite track, it is a real bluesy kind of number…..my style of course. At times there are traces of Springsteen, other times I can hear a bit of Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry but Matt is a much better singer. These are subtle undertones. His music is a mixture of things which echo quite a few genres. There is even one song which starts with a Rolling Stones sort of riff and then goes into something totally different. Any musician who includes a sax is okay with me. Another has a bit of a The Doors thing going on there.
He has good company of this recording….those Weeping Willows, Gretta Ziller, Thor Phillips and many others are included in an album which takes you on many happy detours. Not too shabby at all.
The lyrics are sometimes relaxed, uncomplicated and little stories within big stories, at other times, they go a bit deeper. I like a song that I can listen to in several different ways and extract different meanings from. Matt Joe Gow provides many of those here.
There is an element of music taken from a few decades of music. You can get lost in the music as it meanders through an interesting course of styles and moods. Amongst all the comparisons to other musicians and genres, there is an original vein that breathes new life into the genres it depicts and perhaps an introduction to a much younger generation than I, into a world of music which was probably the greatest era that we will ever know.
This is a polished production that oozes class and gets better with every play. A gently strumming, smooth song takes us out… We get lost – and it is a beautiful way to fade into the next album that you spin on your stereo or into a moonlit night.
If you can catch Matt Joe Gow LIVE in the next few months, do. This is an album which will be on high rotation and it will be one of those albums where you discover new things every time you play it.
1.Bridge Over Concrete
- Ride On
- Light My Way
- Break, Rattle and Roll
- Gamblin’ Man
- Old Hotel Room
- Sun Will Set
- Love Sick Child
- House That Burn Down (Reprise)
- We Get Lost
All Songs and Lyrics by Matt Joe Gow except tracks 7 and 9 by Matt Joe Gow and Andrew Pollock
Produced and arranged by Andrew Pollock and Matt Joe Gow
Mixed by Fraser Montgomery, Andrew Pollock and Matt Joe Gow at The Aviary
Engineered by Fraser Montgomery, Nick Edin and Andrew Pollock and Chris Elliott
Recorded at The Aviary and Leafy Green Studios
Mastered by Jack the Bear at Deluxe Mastering, Melbourne
Musicians: Matt Joe Gow, Andrew Pollock, Brendan Mitchell, Daniel Brates, Katya Harrop, Gus Rigby, Oscar O’Bryan, James Van Cuylenburg, Pete Carolan, Gretta Ziller, Thor Phillips and The Weeping Willows.