The Ellington Blues Weekend: MattyTWall - Sunday Blues
Sunday 05 November 6.00pm
Matty T Wall is a blues guitar player with a difference. And that’s what makes the difference.
Inspired by influences both multi-genre and multi-generational, Wall’s musical template starting forming when, as a teenager, he became obsessed with heavy metal, notable the angst and precision of the likes of Metallica, Pantera and Sepultura.
“From that I found a love in music that is intense, unbridled and aggressive,” he notes now. “It all started for me as a young boy when a mate at school turned me onto AC/DC. I then followed my older brother’s lead into heavier sounds.”
Wall’s roving ear, however, had already began to wander. Having studied and emulated his heavy metal guitar heroes, he turned his attention towards the virtuosic gypsy jazz of Django Reinhart and Stephane Grappelli; Spanish flamenco guitar music, and jazz influences ranging from Joe Pass to John Scofield.
“The real ‘education’ in blues music for me happened when watching a video tape of Blues Alive which contained some absolutely epic performances at Buddy Guy’s Legends blues club. Incredible performances by Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Junior Wells, Otis Rush, etc. That’s where I first learnt about real blues music in the USA, how it worked, what it looked like, and how cool, fun and honest it was in delivery.”
In the here/hear and now, the manner in which Wall fuses the melange of his diverse musical obsessions is fascinating. The apparent ease with which he incorporates jazz, flamenco, metal, electronic, folk and roots into his beloved blues is countered by the fact that staying fresh and pushing his own boundaries is more important than notions of polish or perfection.
And while so many genres are in his palette, the core of blues is all-important.
“Blues has to be honest and totally direct in delivery,” Wall says. “It has to cut straight to the heart of emotion. Because of this, you can’t get too clever with lyrics or too tricky and technical with the music, otherwise it loses the effect that blues music should have. Blues keeps me grounded with my writing, otherwise, all of those other influences could very easily take over.
Wall’s current album, Blue Skies, received a nomination for ‘Blues Album Of The Year’ at the Independent Music Awards, a worldwide competition, with winners announced at a ceremony held at the Lincoln Centre in New York in November, 2016.The LP has since rated in allaboutbluesmusic.com’s ‘Top 20 Blues Albums Of The Year’. It’s a portion of the mounting interest from around the world in his music and widespread touring beckons.
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