John’s Blues Picks March 2016 – Matt Andersen
Matt Andersen Honest Man (True North/eOne) | stubbyfingers.ca
For someone who tours as much as this man, it’s a wonder he has time to record a new album at all, let alone one that involves a fair amount of production time. He went to New York to record with Commissioner Gordon, who has worked with many of the greatest in the pop music business. Matt Andersen writes in the press release that he was very happy with the new ideas that Gordon brought to the sessions. To Gordon”s great credit, he has made sure that that great voice was front and centre. That voice is in the service of some excellent new songs, all co-writes once again, that while aimed squarely at the mainstream has more than enough to delight all his fans.
You will especially enjoy the soul blues of “Honest Man” & “Break Away” or “Let’s Get Back” & “All The Way”. “Honest Man” & “Let’s Get Back” are both political as opposed to his more usual personal and both are solid songs, well-chosen as pre-release singles. “Let’s Get Back” is also the first video. Gordon’s use of horns, especially on “Honest Man” is superb. It wouldn’t be a proper Andersen disc without those wonderful ballads and “I’m Giving In” goes right to the top of that list, a gorgeous song with a beautiful late-night vocal about finally fully committing to a relationship. “Last Surrender” is a delicious soul ballad. He rocks it up for a song returning to political commentary, “Who Are You Listening To?”, asking people to make up their own minds and not listen to the media. “One Good Song” is also well chosen as the concluding one, about the journey of songwriting. If “I’m Giving In” is the best, this is a very close second. The players here are all from Gordon’s stable in New York but the band Andersen is bringing to Massey Hall on March 5th includes Steve Marriner on harp, Geoff Arsenault on (real) drums and Chris Kirby on keys & guitar. Gordon’s use of drum beats and other studio wizardry is not particularly oppressive but you won’t get any of that at the live show and the blues content will be emphasized – that will be a show not to be missed. Andersen’s web site is www.stubbyfingers.ca.