Word and pictures by Duane Clawson
As I sit at home on a July 4th evening in my comfy, air-conditioned St. Louis suburb, I think about my independence and all of the freedoms and choices I am privileged to have as an American citizen. I also cannot stop listening to the latest, forthcoming release from St. Louis musician, Rev. Matt. I recently had the rare opportunity to be one of the select few to attend Rev. Matt’s album listening party at R&R Music Labs. The featured album was Rev. Matt’s latest release, Still Fight Left in These Fists.
Upon Rev. Matt greeting me at the front door, I immediately was struck by his charisma and outgoing personality. R&R Music Labs had invited various creative types to this event: local musicians, photographers, and all around cool folks were on hand. After some small talk and burgers, it was time to preview the release. This album kicks off with Rev. Matt showcasing the lost art of whistling on “FLLF”; this track also features Bryan Ranney keeping time on mandolin. From the onset, Rev. Matt demonstrates his ability to pen quality lyrics that are akin to the likes of Todd Snider. Barbecues and barn dances fill the air of track number two, “Don’t Hesitate”, as it starts off with Jake Kamp going pizzicato on the stand up bass. Track three, “Barn Swallow Boogie”, complements “Don’t Hesitate” but leans more toward a bluegrass feel. The chorus in "Barn Swallow Boogie "features a unique wait for it breakdown that brought smiles to those in attendance at R&R.
Rev. Matt’s propensity for writing lyrics is at its best on track four, “My Way or Kingshighway.” “My Way or Kingshighway” has local appeal due to its mention of Kingshighway, a major thoroughfare that runs through St. Louis and a place one may not want to walk if being put out. “The Means Really Matter” leads off with the drive of Rev. Matt on harmonica and another well-penned lyrical line, “hair piled high and lipstick red / dress so short, it’s barely thread / she’s looking for a man to pay the bills / looking for a man that’s grey an old / when he dies, she’ll take it all / her garter belts been dipped in arsenic.” Closing out the album with its sixth and the title track, “Still Fight Left in These Fists.” This song could be one of the more ironic titles on a album put out by a man of the cloth (yes folks, he’s a real reverend) but this song really explains the daily struggles that we all must fight through as humans. After listening to Matt’s album, we took up residence in the control room of R&R to discuss our similar life experiences and found the reverend to be a man of many parts and not your typical cleric. Still Fight Left in These Fists will be available for public consumption after 7/13/12. Thanks to the Ryans of R&R Music Labs, Rev. Matt for the invite, and Matt’s wife Kelly for grilling the tasty burgers. Pictures of the event are below:
Rev. Matt Album Listening Party @ R&R Music Labs, St. Louis, MO Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 1:55:00 PM Rating: