Born and raised in East Texas, near enough to Houston to claim it, Matthew grew up in a home that was always filled with Music and Music appreciation. Singing in Christian churches and taking Piano lessons helped to reinforce the spirit of Music that has driven the dedication to the craft. Early teen years brought new interests such as Guitar, which is when the song writing began.
It wasn’t until the early 2000’s that Matthew first started showing interest in becoming serious about trying to record the scattered pieces of Music written up to that point. It was at this time that Matthew, influenced by good friend and musical collaborator, Kenny Eshelman, moved to West Haven, Connecticut where they formed the group Cold Stare. Comfort, complacency and a general lack of work ethic led to Matthew being removed from the band within a year of joining. It was this failure that presented the opportunity to turn a weakness into a strength and eventually led back to Houston.
The return to home brought the first real experiences in dealing with live audio equipment, a reintroduction to Music Theory and a veritable torture chamber of endless Blues records. In “The Cave”, on the edge of Lake Houston with Tim Reid, immersion was the name of the game. The idea here is that the only way to get better at doing anything is to do it repeatedly. And “BREATHE!”. The shell was cracked, but certainly not broken yet.
Wanderlust again stepped in and took a hold of the wheel, driving Westward to the Davis Mountains, a hundred miles or so from Texas’ Big Bend. Working in an Art Gallery and Coffee Shop, collecting as many noise making toys as possible and limping along with a badly outdated PC, more time was spent dipping toes into the interests of recording, mixing, producing and playing on the patio for anyone who would listen (or not).
Life, as it has a tendency to do, continued. Having enrolled in Sul Ross State University pursuing Business Administration and as much Music education as time would allow and engaged to be married, Matthew started playing with Alpine local cover band “Down Played” and was able to spend some time working on a few original pieces, eventually winning a “Battle of the Bands”. Words of encouragement from great artists such as Doyle Bramhall, Boyd Elder and Carlos Maxwell did little to quench the fire now started.
Varied music interests, such as journalism on West Texas Weekly, booking and live audio began to put a strain on involvement with Down Played and eventually led to striking out alone again. Shortly thereafter, in the Summer heat more garage hashings led to the 7 Year Drought band project, coincidentally lasting around as long as the namesake, but providing the foundation for all things to come. As interest grow, the tools get bigger, more expensive and more sophisticated. Following this, the deeper the waters in which you swim, the more you learn. From assisting with providing live sound mixing at venues such Padres in Marfa, The Granada Theater and world famous Railroad Blues in Alpine, to playing live shows at all of the above and more, radio performances on Marfa Public Radio and KVLF, as well as writing, mixing and recording in private space, the collections of materials continued to grow.
The 7 Year Drought fallout resulted in continuing inter-involvement of multiple projects such as Time Waves, Allison Martin and The Talley Brothers, many of whom had been on the 7YD roster when it was dissolved.
Now married and a father, supporting his family providing IT services, Matthew is continuing to collect and develop skills to help create a robust environment and community for independent Music and Art multi-media publishing with a wealth of individuals to work with. Presently the call for the next step of evolution is playing, crying for a tie to bind all projects together under one roof with a wider stage. This is the beginning construction phase of building that platform and this vision seems to naturally gravitate toward opening the format to content of all kinds, from foreign correspondence, lifestyle multi-media, Art in the broadest perspective and who knows what else.
Stay tuned MaDKats