New Brunswick picker halfway home

Matt Andersen

Matt Andersen is pretty much a household name in Canada.

He’s booked 21 days of the month of June (so far), but only a few of the gigs are in the USA the rest are the other side of the pond - as they say. And that’s the only reason music lovers, who constantly read this page, haven’t heard of him. He does have a date at The Blue Lion, in Fort Smith, Ark. on Oct. 23.

He has shared the stage and toured with Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy, Gregg Allman, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Randy Bachman, Little Feat, April Wine, America, Loverboy, Jonny Lang, Serena Ryder, and Beth Hart.

On his most recent album, Halfway Home by Morning, Matt chose Steve Dawson (another favorite of mine) who didn’t just play on the CD, but mixed and produced the project.

Matt also got the McCrary Sisters to supply additional vocals. Folks from around here remember the sisters helping out local favorite Paul Thorn on his recent Don’t Let the Devil Ride.

On this most recent project, Matt bares his soul and talks about the pressures, and the heartaches of the road. Halfway is the Perth-Andover, New Brunswick native’s tenth studio project. The sound is heavy blues with an equal mix of gospel where the big man tends to testify reeling in listeners and making them forget whatever has been tortuning their minds.

“There really is nothing like listening back in the studio and everybody has the same smile on their face over what we’re hearing,” Matt said. “You can’t fake the vibe of musicians playing together, responding to the choices others are making in that moment.”

I especially like the heartstring puller where Matt brings in Amy Helm “Something to Lose” and one of the best road songs ever, “Long Rider.”

Since the release of Weightless in 2014, Andersen has received a Juno Award nomination for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year, a CIMA Road Gold award, and a Maple Blues Award for Male Vocalist of the Year.

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