Matt Lowen – ‘Last Year’s Leaves’
The fire of music burned in my veins, I danced with the muses, let the dogs off the chain, Burgundy poured, it stained every blank page, There was no cork for my mind, I drank oversized bottles of underpriced wine…
By Walter Price
The brilliant and prevalent thing about Matt Lowen’s music is the man himself. From the opening lines of the new release Last Year’s Leaves you discover you already believe in what you’re involved in with this songwriter. Lowen is a student of Bob Dylan, a wondering soul and clearly a singer who knows how to convey honesty in his sounds, even if the journey dips its toes in the sometimes quirky side of life. Story songs with hints of bluegrass and folky Rock N’ Roll reminiscent of 1967 – 1975 AM radio, Matt Lowen tells tales crossing back and forth from soulful imagery and a sprinkling of near whimsical.
Another right-on thing about this 7 track collection is that every track works. Every nook and cranny maintains rightful purposes. The usage of so many instruments to enhance storytelling and not to showboat talents is pretty refreshing. This is music you can trust, Last Year’s Leaves will fill your lust for something to feel.
There are many past seasons in the voice of this multi-instrumented troubadour and the Gods willing, many more to come.
When I got to the house, I rushed to the CD player, put in the first disc, pushed play and went out on the patio for a cigarette. I left the patio door open, not only to hear the music, but also to let the cool October air clear the “old-people” smell out of the living room.
The hollow reverberations of “I can’t make it alone” filled the empty room with its spooky minor-chord mojo. I let the records play, switching out each disc as it ended, completely overwhelmed by the depth and magnitude of the music. I had sighted the white whale in my “Bonnie Ship, the Diamond.” Inspired.
I slept alone in the spooky house that evening: most of it spent listening to the silence in the unfamiliar room, waiting for some screeching hag ghost to jump out of the closet, or else some red-eyed succubus to wake me up with its claws on my chest. My eyes met the dawn reddened and deprived of rest.
The next evening after work I called over my musician friends to jam and listen to these tapes. We got howling drunk and I passed out on the guest bed with a big pink stuffed bunny for a blanket. When I woke up in the morning the basement tapes were still playing quietly through the speakers, the red repeat light glowing next to the play button.
Over the next few autumn days, my friend and I, wildly inspired by the new music we had discovered, hatched a plan to visit the east coast of Canada with only our guitars and backpacks, making our way through Montreal, up to Halifax and eventually, to New York in the wintertime, rolling into Greenwich village just like Bobby did back in 1961.
A week later on November 5th, we were on a plane to Montreal, “The French Girl” playing in my headphones…
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