Many many years ago I worked at a record store in Kelowna. The kind of big box multi purchase store. you could buy a cd, dvd, car stereo and big screen all at the same time. Although these stores are not really much fun to be in or work at this one was an exception. It was a good job for me for a couple years. It allowed me to explore many styles of music and the store had a staff that was genuinely passionate about tunes. Kind of fun for a while.
While working here we had the opportunity to have a few artists (many of which are now huge stars) stop by for “in-store” performances. One of these artists was Matthew Good. I believe at the time he was fairly popular in the west but I also think it was just before he hit it huge nationally. My memory of this is as follows: Fairly underwhelmed by the tunes and not impressed by the artists attitude. While I never turned the station when many of his hits were on the airwaves it was never really something that I would never buy either. It wasn’t necessarily bad but I never really thought it was great either. As for his attitude…who knows. There are a myriad of things that happen on the road that can irritate and I’m sure playing a record store when you should be sleeping could be one of them.
Fast forward many years. Matthew Good Band disbands. Matthew Good has a, sort of, public health episode. Matthew Good (seemingly) no longer gives a fuck what the record industry desires from him and decides to make music for the sake of creating (this is my outsiders look, i certainly don’t claim this is what went on). Around this time he sets out on a solo tour and hits up Fredericton NB. My friend is the promoter and lands me a couple free tix. I go out of curiosity. What happened at that show is what I want to happen EVERY SINGLE TIME I go to a music show, but rarely does. Matt Good blew me away. Just him, an acoustic, a very simple light show and maybe, a bottle of vino. His rapport with the audience was amazing. He was witty and was able to express poignant views on the globe without slipping into rant/rave territory. A fine line for sure. The delivery of the tunes were amazing, both the older ones I recognized and the new ones. I left a Matt Good fan.
Now I still have yet to buy an album, is there a live one from that tour? But I still tell people about that show an how amazing it was to be surprised like that. Currently I am streaming his new album , Vancouver, on his website and I like it. It still has that familiar sound and nice melodies but doesn’t seem to be geared toward any desire of commercial domination (although I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t). I find the tunes and writing to actually be interesting which seems to be a stretch these days as there is an awful lot of what I would describe as SHIT out there.
Most often I am listening to blues in some derivative or another but I am a music LOVER so I can find things I like in all genres. I don’t know what kind of music Mr. Good would call this and I don’t know what I consider it either but I do like the sound of it. Of course if I had a heart it would have a soft spot in it for artist who do what they want and continually turn their ass to the big companies. I wish more artists realized the power they have in this day and age of recording and performing. Chances are if you don’t feel like you can tell the record bigwig to fuck off, you won’t be around in two years. check this article for a great rant about the same topic…
The times they are a changing for sure and if I were a record mogul I think I’d be looking for my gold watch and take the early retirement plan. Anyone who thinks I’m wrong….well we’ll have to revisit this debate in five years when the only artists who are able to make a living will be the ones who can actually go out and take it to the people and perform. Very few of my fav bands are on the airwave these days but they all make a good living because they do it ‘old school’ and go out and tour their asses off after they make a record. I hope Mr. Good Is in this category (I think he is). I’m more than curious to catch a band show of this album and see how he delivers it live. Nicely done Mr. Good. Carry on.