matt woods

Alumni Update: Matt Woods

Matt Woods was one of our first season’s featured songwriters, and he continues to be one of the best writers who has not reached national name-recognition, but should.  We checked in with Matt for a quick update about his new album.

Sloane Spencer:  What’s happening with your new album?

Matt Woods:  Well, this week we are mixing the tracks for the full length album, (yet to be titled). As always, we started the process with way more tunes than needed for a complete record, so we are also trying to determine which tracks will be included. Since I plan to release this new one on vinyl, we are trying to keep the album at 45 minutes or less, so song selection is key. I have recently released a 7″ single of the song “Deadman’s Blues” which will certainly be on the full length when it releases this coming spring. The A side is the album version of the song and the B side holds an acoustic version as well as my version of Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Trough The Night.” Barring any unforeseen circumstances the release of the full album is scheduled for March of 2014.

SS:  It’s been a couple of years since we featured you on the Country Fried Rock radio show. What’s changed with your music?

MW:  Well, actually, this is my first release since 2011’s The Matt Woods Manifesto. I spent a very long time in support of that one as it was an introduction to my music for most listeners and a defining album for me, marking a departure from the work I had been doing in bands over the years. I have taken the time to expand my touring and now cover nearly all of the country with my live shows, making the rounds a few times a year and staying on the highway 8-9 months out of the year. With the new album, we have been approaching it with a more concise idea of sound and content, honing a piece that is meant to be consumed at once, all songs together in their specific order. If I had anything to note as far as what has changed between the two albums, it would be that the new one is probably more deliberate. I still had several players I admire contribute to the recording, including members of Fifth on the Floor and The Black Lillies, but fewer players over all than made an appearance on the

SS:  What’s working for you? Where do you see things heading?

MW:  Touring is working! I am quite at home on the road. I find that I write more, clearly play constantly, and have been able to reach a much broader audience. It’s like building a family out there and every night is another family reunion of sorts! The support and generosity has been overwhelming. I am cautious to speculate about the future, but I think it is safe to say I plan to keep my foot on the pedal and try to turn as many folks on to what I have to say and the music I make as possible. I have recently confirmed several festival dates for 2014, including Moonrunners Music Festival in Chicago and Muddy Roots Music Festival in Cookeville, TN, and as we slide into winter I am hard at work planning the release and as much touring as I can book. If things go well, I hope to make it to Alaska in the spring and, who knows, maybe cross an ocean sometime soon!

matt woods dead mans blues
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Sarah Gayle Meech #1312

Sarah Gayle Meech looks like a nouveaux rockabilly woman, but her music is straight up traditional country. Her debut album, One Good Thing, shares Meech’s original tunes with an amazing backing band and stellar studio musicians. Just try not to dance while you listen. Don’t let the A-list players distract you, though, because Meech’s live show brings the energy that fills the gap in instrumentation changes from recorded versus live.

Buy One Good Thing from Sarah Gayle Meech HERE ON AMAZON or HERE ON iTUNES. You can download the free podcast at the bottom of this page.

Liner Notes

  • Sarah Gayle Meech One Good Thing “One Good Thing,” “No Angel,” “Sad and Lonely”
  • The .357 String Band Lightning From The North “Lightning from the North” Compadre band.
  • Bob Wayne Till the Wheels Fall Off “All My Friends” The lyrics reference cocaine, heroin & lsd use. I left the lyrics intact to contrast the traditional country music in this song with the surprisingly straightforward lyrics about hard drug use. People love or hate Bob Wayne, but he seems to be pretty honest about the lives a lot of people live, without judging them. I don’t know if it’s a persona or character or real, but this song works.
  • Buck Owens The Instrumental Hits “Buckaroo”  Meech plays regularly at Layla’s Bluegrass Inn and Robert’s Western World on Broadway, mixing her original tunes with Buck Owens and Loretta Lynn covers.
  • Hank III Rebel Within “Gettin’ Drunk and Falling Down” I’ve always avoided listening to any of Hank III’s music because he can’t seem to let the rebel flag go away. I’m a lifelong Southerner, and I don’t care about the “Heritage Not Hate” argument because it DOES represent hate. Move on, Shelton. Your music is sometimes really great. Quit being your own caricature. Get rid of the stupid stars and bars.  That said, his long-time player and producer, Andy Gibson, is the thread connecting many of these bands.
  • Bobby Bare 16 Biggest Hits “Numbers”  Grant Johnson is currently on tour as Bare’s lead guitar player.  He has also been heard on this radio show in the Derek Hoke program.
  • Scott Chism and the Better Half Long Haul Steady “Jet N Dewdrop’s Farm”  I chose this one because of the Chris Scruggs connection.
  • Matt Woods (Country Fried Rock alum) The Matt Woods Manifesto “Beating Down My Door” One of the best songwriters I know.  Woods was one of the other bands on the lineup in Illinois in 2013.
  • Hillbilly Casino Tennessee Stomp [Explicit] “The Ballad of Psycho Steve” (ft Dale Watson) On Watson’s upcoming EP, Hillbilly Casino is his backing abnd and Meech does backing vocals and a duet. I chose this song for the connection to the rest of this album, and the BR 549 Chris Scruggs connections, and Geoff Firebaugh, who co-wrote this tune.
  • The G-ddamn Gallows Seven Devils [Explicit] “7 Devils” Another compadre band.