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Matt Andersen (from House to House on Sonic Records) (by Lee Zimmerman)
Matt Andersen is one of those artists who’s able to grab immediate attention on first hearing. He doesn’t do it by the use of glitz or glamor, but instead, manages to win listeners over with abject soul and sincerity, imbued with a genuine emotion that’s consistently honest and evocative in equal measure. With his latest effort, House to House, this seasoned yet stoic singer and songwriter from Perth-Andover, New Brunswick conveys his sentiments through a series of reassuring melodies that bring that his passion to full fruition.
It’s a decided change of pace for Andersen who, up until now, has shared songs mostly borne from the Blues. That’s reflected by the fact that he’s toured with any number of like-minded artists, Buddy Guy, Bo Diddley, Gregg Allman, the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Beth Hart, and Jonny Lang, among them. In addition, in 2009 he received significant recognition from ECMA (East Coast Music Awards) — Male Solo Artist of the year and Blues Recording of the year. He’s continued to receive recognition from that organization while also reaping awards from the International Blues Challenge (the first Canadian to do so) and Canada’s own Maple Blues Awards as well as a Juno nomination.
With House to House, Matt Andersen opts for a mellower stance, one that finds him relying primarily on acoustic guitar sans additional accompaniment. Nevertheless, that stripped down approach doesn’t dilute the power or the passion so firmly instilled in each of these performances. Opening track “Other Side of Goodbye” offers a riveting refrain and a stirring vocal to boot. “Time for the Wicked to Rest” is a rousing declaration of the need to stand up for righteousness and put the evil the world’s experienced of late aside, as conveyed through Andersen’s repeated recitation of the mantra shared in the title. Mostly though, he offers songs that are somewhat more subdued, but regardless, the sound that rings through such evocative entries as “Let Me Hold You”, “Peace of Mind”, “See This Through”, and “All We Need” brings a sweeter sentiment front and center.
Here in particular, Andersen proves himself to be a uniquely powerful performer capable of inspiring his listeners through his spiritual entreaties. Capping the album with the classic call to arms “People Get Ready” reaffirms that fact completely. So too, given that optimism is in such short supply these days, Matt Andersen provides the perfect tonic for our times. In that sense, House to House brings it all back home. (By Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Matt Andersen from AMAZON
For more information and purchase options, please visit the Matt Andersen website
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