Matt Andersen review…March 24, 2019

MATT ANDERSEN

HALFWAY HOME BY MORNING

TRUE NORTH RECORDS

WHAT WOULD YOUR MAMA SAY–FREE MAN–SOMETHING TO LOSE (FEAT. AMY HELM)–THE BED I MADE–GIVE ME SOME LIGHT–BETTER THAN YOU WANT–GASOLINE–OVER ME–HELP YOURS ELF–LONG RIDER–TAKE ME BACK–BEEN MY LAST–QUARTER ON THE GROUND (A SONG FOR UNCLE JOE)

Award-winning Canadian bluesman Matt Andersen chose wisely for his latest release for True North Records, “Halfway Home By Morning.”  He made the trek all the way to Music City to team up with our friend Steve Dawson, who produced this gem down at the Southern Ground Studio.  Steve captured Matt at his soul-baring, blues-rocking best over these thirteen originals.  Also on board for this musical journey were Steve Dawson on a myriad of instruments, Jim Hoke on sax, Amy Helm, The McCrary Sisters, and a host of more of the best players this town has to offer.

The set begins with Matt telling a tale of backslidin’ and doing things we know we ought not to, and The McCrary Sisters add a Sunday-morning spiritual fervor to “What Would Your Mama Say?”  A soulful slide-drenched ballad featuring Amy Helm on the duet vocals gives a STAX feel to the story of a man who’s “gonna love you like I’ve got Something To Lose.”  He brings that same fire and passion to an acoustic story of finding that one true love–“If you were my first love, you would have Been My Last,” with Steve on the pedal steel.

Our favorite was a biting, horn-fueled shout-out to society as a whole, and “how long can we last, fighting fire with Gasoline,?” and our seeming penchant for self-destruction.

That burnished, rough-hewn vocal delivery, plus his dazzling fretwork and uniquely-clever lyrics is what makes Matt Andersen such a force on the contemporary scene on both sides of the border,  “Halfway Home By Morning” takes you to that place where the lights are always on and the door is always open whenever you need a good friend!  Be sure to check him out in a love setting on Tuesday, June 4, 2019, at Nashville’s City Winery!   Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

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