It is still warm but we have noticed a kind of crispness in the morning air. Now when we get up for work at 5:30 in the morning, the sky is still dark. That must mean that fall is close at hand.
Along with the return of the cooler weather, we start to focus more on inside activities. That means it is time for the Doverlaff House Concerts Series to ride boldly back to provide autumnal (as well as wintry and vernal) entertainment in the form of a big tribe of people getting together to listen to great music.
To kick our 2014-2015 season, we will have Matt the Electrician and Tim Easton here in the Tiki Room on Thursday, October 16 at 7 pm. We are suggesting a $15-20,sliding scale donation for this show. We will provide the usual snacks with beer and wine available for a nominal donation. We sure hope you can join us to start the new season right. Seats are only guaranteed when we receive the suggested donation. Mail checks made out to Dan Dover with Matt and Tim in the memo line to Dan Dover, 7326 SE Woodward St, Portland, Oregon 97206. We hold all checks until the week of the show in case you or the artists have to cancel.
Dan first met Matt the Electrician at Sisters Americana Songwriting Academy back in 2011. He thought, that’s a strange name, but it was attached to some really cool music. He was struck by a song about Walmart. It was funny and touching. It was called “For Angela” and you can find a link to the video below.
The Houston Chronicle‘s William Michael Smith wrote, “Austin‘s Matt the Electrician (Matthew Sower to his family and friends) must be both proud and puzzled by the blurb on his CDBaby marketing page which says, “Recommended if you like Ben Folds, Paul Simon, Taj Mahal.” Oddly enough, that description isn’t as far off as it seems at first, although we would have added Tom Waits and fellow Austinite Beaver Nelson to that list. Sower is one of a handful of brainy, somewhat quiet Central Texas singer-songwriters who write with considerable plainfolks wit, down-to-earth blue-collar common sense and smart-folks ideas. What emerges are songs like “Change the Subject” and “One Right Thing,” delivered somewhere between Paul Simon’s New Yorky folk-pop and Waits’s back-alley sandpaper growl. There’s just the right mix of vulnerability and strength, ennui and hope to make women want to take him home and mother him. The Electrician makes it earthy and ethereal, and that’s a hard trick to pull off.”
But we think the name is Matt Server
From Matt’s website:
Matt the Electrician crafts sharp narratives with equal measures heart and home. Evidence: It’s a Beacon, It’s a Bell. The longtime Austin resident’s excellent new album showcases a seasoned songwriter in top form. “Look out the window at the road rushing by,” he sings on the stunning “Muddy Waters.” “The shatterproof glass breaking up in your eyes/Your own private movie when things fall apart/Everyone’s trying to break your heart.” Details whittled from real experience frequently fortify his songs…
“Matt’s greatest asset as a songwriter is his natural ability to tell a story,” says Austin-based singer Seela Misra. “The world in his retelling is brutally honest, tender and hilarious at the same, a comforting combination. Equally comforting is his singing voice. You believe what he tells you.”
Key words: Honest, tender, hilarious. Yes, Matt’s most thoughtful moments mirror Van Zandt. They shadow Guy Clark. Haunt every great Texas storyteller with an eye for triumph and truth. Still, every lyrical twist and turn maintains his own unique style and substance. “I think Matt will be an influence on a lot of songwriters in the future,” Newcomb says. “What really stands out about Matt as a performer is he makes every crowd his own. By the end of his set, no matter who they came to see, the audience will be Matt the Electrician fans.”
We had not heard Tim Easton before. He and Matt are touring together so we get them both. So I went on YouTube to check him out. See videos from each of them below.
Review of Tim Easton by Hal Horowitz
For his first release in over three years, and his third for the New West label, singer/songwriter Tim Easton goes even further back to his roots. An album made on the road, its 13 songs were recorded in six studios in six different states. Still, it maintains a distinctive thread provided by Easton‘s unplugged, unvarnished approach and smooth yet earthy vocals. Various members of the Jayhawks contribute, but like Tift Merritt, whose barely-there backing vocals on the lovely “Next to You” don’t add much personality, they only bring muted accompaniment to what is very much a solo project. Only Lucinda Williams‘ trademarked whisky-soured harmonies on “Back to the Pain” convey another distinctive voice to the mix. Easton sticks primarily to emotional ballads, with even his own strumming guitar and occasional percussion relegated to the background as he sings primarily of alienation and lost or waning love. The album’s generally dark, somber lyrics mesh well with his doe-eyed sleepy voice and the laconic tempo of the songs. “C-Dub” and “News Blackout” return him to Bringing It All Back Home-era Bob Dylan with prominent harmonica and political lyrics on the latter that creep into the personal as he closes the song with “Sweetheart, please, please take my hand.” There is a lonely, solemn quality to the unaccompanied “J.P.M.F.Y.F.” (short for “Jesus Protect Me from Your Followers”) that sounds like Easton strumming in his bedroom as he quietly lashes out at those who are “spitting in the face of love with one hand on the Bible and the other in the purse.” The closing cover of the blues standard “Sitting on Top of the World” brings the disc to a resigned and tranquil conclusion. Easton shoots his bullets with a silencer on the scraggly, moving, and introspective Ammunition, a personal album that takes a few spins, or more, to appreciate.
Some Videos from Matt the Electrician:
I Will Do the Breathing
Some Videos from Tim Easton:
Sittin’ on Top of the World
Just Like Home
Audio of Tim on Mountain Stage
We really hope you can join us Thursday, October 16 for this great show.
Cheryl and Dan