Matthew Logan Vasquez – Tickets – World Cafe Live Philadelphia – Upstairs – Philadelphia, PA – May 12th, 2018

Matthew Logan Vasquez

Matthew Logan Vasquez

T. Hardy Morris

Sat · May 12, 2018

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

World Cafe Live Philadelphia - Upstairs

$17 + Fees

Matthew Logan Vasquez
Matthew Logan Vasquez
2015 (The Year of The Ram) has been a year of major change for Matthew Logan Vasquez. He moved with his wife, Marthe, from Brooklyn to Austin, he saw the birth of his first child Thor, and after a decade since founding his critically acclaimed band, Delta Spirit, he’s finally decided to go it alone FOR THE FIRST TIME, with his solo debut, The Austin EP, to be released November, 2015 , and a full length LP, Solicitor Returns, to shortly follow in early 2016. This sea- change is reflected on the EP’s stunning psych-folk-rock opener, a ballsy 18-minute track (yes EIGHTEEN minutes) that conjures desert visions of Crazy Horse guitar solos, David Crosby’s mustache, and all the good things about a journey through the past on mescaline. Matt actually grew up in Austin (and Dana Point, CA too) and the song is a slice of his life--an autobiography that isn’t even close to being finished-- an epic American saga that reflects his skill as a remarkable modern songwriter still on the rise. If Richard Linklater could write a song, this would be it.

"Matt’s voice and words have that Nashville outcast vibe to it,” says Jay Sweet, producer of the Newport Folk Festival and a longtime champion of Matt’s music. “He’s not California, he’s not Texas, he’s not Brooklyn—even though he’s lived in all of those places. He’s a transplant and a vagabond, which is why he embodies folk and rock music. For a singer- songwriter, he is truly refreshing."

Matt went solo for simple reasons-- to return to the style of rock he loves. And when he went solo he REALLY went solo. He plays every instrument on the record, except for two drum tracks and one guitar track. Delta Spirit undoubtedly will be back but he wanted to make a collection of music without the influence of his beloved brethren (it's only natural for a frontman to feel the need to let loose from time to time). You will hear his new material and you will hear Iggy Pop. Neil Young. Kurt Cobain. Gram Parsons. But ultimately, you're hearing Matthew Logan Vasquez. A man young at heart, who loves the shit out of rock music... loves it so much that it's been his life's goal to make the masses reconnect with her spirit. But he's become a father, and he's been through some shit. His dad was a bomb builder. Fact.

At the end of the day, Matt’s objective as a singer, a poet, a preacher, a believer in this beautiful bullshit we call “RocknRoll,” is to find some harmony through life’s confusion and to make you feel good about yourself. He'll be spreading his message via his wonderful songs starting in the fall of 2015. You better go put your dimes in his collection basket. Are there better things you can be doin with those dimes?
T. Hardy Morris
Like ideas, the best songs are the simple ones. And like most simple ideas, they're usually far more complex upon further examination than they seem at first.

So many young songwriters start off looking for the most complex way possible to examine a simple truth. Perhaps to seem smarter, or more "mature". The better songwriters learn - hopefully before too much embarrassment - that the complex thought simply put is the key to a great song. Distilling that subtle truth down to its very essence and expressing it in a way that cuts through the bullshit and takes the listener by the heart into the depths of the intended emotion.

I caught the line on about my third listen, busy as I was doing things around the house while the new album played loud in the next room. I've known Hardy a while. His long running band Dead Confederate played some of their earliest shows opening for Drive-By Truckers several years ago. I always liked them but probably didn't delve deep enough into what they were doing to listen closely to the songs. That all changed when Hardy was about to release his debut solo album (2013's fantastic Audition Tapes) and I saw him play a couple of times around Athens. I was immediately blown away. Every time I'd see or hear him, I'd hear something new. Great songs keep getting better the more you listen to them.

Which leads us to the new one, Hardy & The Hardknocks: Drownin On A Mountaintop. If Hardy's solo debut was a high and lonesome mellow-roast with musical touchstones like Harvest-era Neil Young and driving down a windy back road alone, the new one blasts out of the garage like some high-octane muscle car full of friends, blasting Mott The Hoople on the way to the last-call dive bar. It has it's very own sound, but hits me in the same places as my favorite Replacements albums - stripped down and raw, yet sonically thrilling.

The music is propelled by The Hardknocks. Vaughan Lamb and Nick Sterchi are a rock solid rhythm section, pushing it forward while never over-playing or detracting. That rare thing known as A songwriter's rhythm section. Serious praise has to go to Hardy's long time pedal steel player. Matt "Pistol" Stoessel, a veteran of Athens GA's incredible music scene for many years. Pistol really shines in this band, providing both a melodic counter-point to Hardy's formidable melodies and serving as the glue that holds all the elements together. The album all manages to be stripped down and raw yet sonically thrilling.

All of which leads me back to where I started, the wonderful last song on the album where the beat drops down to a slow waltz and the pedal steel swirls and the leading man sings...
Venue Information:
World Cafe Live Philadelphia - Upstairs
3025 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19104
http://philly.worldcafelive.com/