- AUSCAN Music Spotlight
Sunday: 6:30pm – 8:45pm
Matt took up guitar at the age of 14 and before long he was playing classic rock and Top 40 covers in pub bands while he studied studio-engineering. However, things changed dramatically when he discovered the blues. “Through Eric Clapton I got into B.B. King, which led me to the Chicago electric stuff and eventually back to the Mississippi Delta guys,” says the 30 year old singer. “What really hit me most about the blues was its total honesty.”
Matt has played with the likes of Randy Bachman, Bo Diddley, Little Feat, America, Loverboy, April Wine and has been labeled in the UK as “Canada’s greatest guitarist.” In 2010 he became the first Canadian to win Memphis’s famed International Blues Challenge, which led to festival dates in France, Italy and the US.
Matt’s newest album, Coal Mining Blues, was produced by Colin Linden (who co-wrote and plays on several tunes) and recorded at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, New York. Featuring The Band keyboardist Garth Hudson and Olabelle singer Amy Helm, it’s a rich vein of new songs, addressing the trying lives of working people.
Matt performs over 200 shows a year and in 2011 won the Maple Blues Awards for Entertainer of the Year and Acoustic Act of the Year. He was also nominated for four East Coast Music Association awards. At this year’s ECMAs in Moncton (Canada), Matt’s sublime talent earned him multiple awards for Solo Recording of the Year and Blues Recording of the Year for Coal Mining Blues.