Matt Bauer’s music incorporates the elements of accordion, banjos, bells and Wurlitzer organs that complements his soft understated voice. It could be loosely filed under Americana. It feeds directly from the rich heritage of American roots music that was celebrated in the milestone collection 'Anthology of American Folk Music’ and the celebrated folk/bluegrass of The Carter Family. This is not to suggest that his music is stuck in the past, for the tunes are fresh, contemporary and relevant. There is an honesty in the way Matt Bauer has crafted beautiful, simple songs, where the attention is focused on the soul of the tunes, allowing them to flourish without the need to clutter with too much unnecessary details.
Matt grew up in the Daniel Boone National Forest at the foothills of Appalachia in Eastern Kentucky and cites influences as diverse as Gillian Welch, Steve Earle and Fugazi. Though he is now based in Greenpoint, Brooklin, he obviously continues to draw deeply from the well of his former home territory. There is a loose concept behind the collection of songs making up the 'The Island Moved in The Storm' album, taking inspiration of the tragic tale of an unidentified body found in 1968, near to where Matt grew up. The case of the dead girl came to be known as ‘Tent Girl’ due to her body being found wrapped up in tent tarpaulin. More of the fascinating story of the efforts to solve the mystery of her identity over a thirty years period can be found here. Matt's haunting melodies serve the subject matter of the murder mystery well.
The influence of the wilderness, permeates throughout his music. There's a stark clarity and desire for the simple truths to be found within, telling it straight, if you like, without the influence of the collective cacophony of urban America to impede the flow. This is a soundtrack of a sabbatical of solitude into the mountains, like that in which Bon Iver participated in recently with such successful results. It also reminds me of beat generation writer Jack Kerouac’s time working as a fire-watcher on remote Desolation Peak in North Cascades National Park, as chronicled in his books 'Desolation Angels' and 'Dharma Bums' , with his wish to strip away the confusion to gain a new enlightenment about the nature of life.
Matt assembled a cast of talented performers for contributions on his second full length studio album, including Angel Deradoorian (Dirty Projectors), Alela Diane, Mariee Sioux, Greg McMullen (Chris Whitley), Elizabeth Dotson-Westphalen (St. Vincent), Nathan Wanta (Last of the Blacksmiths), Angela Webster (Rhett Miller), and longtime collaborator Frank Floyd.
The album The Island Moved In The Storm is released on 2nd September 2008
through La Société Expéditionnaire. Matt has already released an E.P called 'Wasps and White Roses' via Crossbill Records in 2006 and a self-released album in 2004 titled 'Nandina'
I have to thank muzzleofbees for enlightening me to the joys of Matt Bauer, that’s what it’s all about, spreading the word about music that we appreciate and deserves wider attention, also a nod to thankcaptainobvious for his excellent posting on our man Bauer.
Don't Let Me Out
He off on a U.S tour so catch him at the following locations, how about crossing the pond at some point soon Matt? You’ll go down a storm!
08/29/08 - Brooklyn, NY - Union Pool
09/04/08 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
09/05/08 - Baltimore, MD - Golden West
09/06/08 - Chapel Hill, NC - Eaglewing Farm
09/08/08 - Knoxville, TN - The Pilot Light
09/09/08 - Nashville, TN - The End
09/12/08 - Norman, OK - Opolis
09/13/08 - Dallas, TX - The Cavern w/Evangelicals
09/14/08 - Austin, TX - Emos Lounge
09/17/08 - Tuscon, AZ - Plush
09/18/08 - Los Angeles, CA - Hotel Cafe
09/19/08 - KDVS fm - Live on Cool as Folk radio
09/19/08 - Davis, CA - Primary Concepts
09/21/08 - Sacramento, CA - Luigi's Fun Garden
09/24/08 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Crepe Place
10/02/08 - Seattle, WA - Sunset Tavern
10/03/08 - Portland, OR - Holocene
10/04/08 - Yakima, WA - Yakima Sports Center
10/09/08 - Des Moines, IA - Vaudville Mews
10/11/08 - Chicago, IL - AV-Aerie
10/13/08 - Bloomington, IN - Cinemat
10/16/08 - Lexington, KY - Al's Bar
10/17/08 - Columbus, OH - Cafe Bourbon St.
10/18/08 - Pittsburgh, PA - Club Cafe w/Woven Hand