Howdy, fine readers, and welcome back to another installment of the Telegraph, where your pleasure is our pleasure - and we do aim to please.
So I think we're officially in the dog days of Summer. Heat and humidity levels both well into the 90s with corresponding heat indexes into the triple-digits. Well, that's just late July and August deep in the heart of the Georgia Piedmont, right? We all know the score; we got the memo.
And school starts up here in the home county on Friday! How is that even possible? Did we ever really have a Summer break? I think with all the rain, we may feel as if we kind of got stiffed on that one.
Matt Kennon live at The Listening Room at Irish Bred Pub, Saturday, July 29:
Matt Kennon is a really cool fella. With a raspy, southern voice and his laid-back demeanor, he's a great guy to talk to, and he also happens to be a great singer-songwriter, too.
A fair number of you probably know about Matt. How he catapulted to the stratosphere about 10 years ago when his top-selling track, "The Call," shot up the country charts with a bullet and become one of the very first Country-music YouTube viral juggernauts.
A great song with great lyrics and instrumentation, and an even better message, the professionally-made video just seemed to resonate with folks – folks all over the planet. And as of this writing, that video has just hit its 11 millionth view.
So there Matt was, and the world was his oyster, and he really rode the wave. He continued to record, publish and had some other tunes hit the charts. He also started supplementing, and you could maybe say hedging his bets a bit, by writing for some other folks, including several tunes recorded by Randy Travis.
And then, according to Matt, he found himself a couple of years ago at kind of a metaphorical cross roads. He'd been doing the real-deal Nashville country thing, and everything that entails, and basically decided he didn't want to do that anymore.
Matt's always kind of been ahead of the curve with a lot of things. He's basically been self-publishing and handling all his business decisions. Unlike a lot of Country acts, including probably a lot you see on the TV or radio, Matt holds all of his own rights and has always done things his own way.
And to that point, about a couple of years ago, he decided he was going to unplug from the Nashville machine, and concentrate more on the singer-songwriter circuit, including the Midwest, Mountain West and specifically, the Pacific Northwest, where real-deal Country and Americana is, by all accounts, still truly celebrated.
I asked Matt about his new album which just hit a few days ago.
"This is exactly the album that I wanted to do," he said. He went on to talk about how in his 14-year career as a professional musician, he'd never really done an entire album of just what he wanted to do. He always felt like he should record some more of the "safe" songs, more typical modern Country. But he decided that life was too short, and that he believed in his music enough to take a leap of faith of sorts.
"If it's good music, it'll stand on its own," he mentioned. And no videos, no big social media hype. Recorded in a rich, natural and scaled-down way, these songs are really standing on their own. And they're doing so successfully, in this writer's estimation. There's some really great stuff there. I highly recommend it.
You can hear several of these new songs from the new album at the show on Saturday. You'll definitely hear "The Call," and several of his originals over the last decade or so. There will also be several covers, of which this grateful writer and musician will be sitting in on at least a few of by the likes of Travis Tritt, David Allen Coe and others. Last time Matt and I did a show together this past December, we did a few and both really enjoyed it. I'm happy and honored to be able to help on a couple again this time. This really should be a great night. Parks McIntosh, who we hear great things about, will open the show at 7:30 p.m., Matt's scheduled for around 8:30 p.m. You can learn more about Matt Kennon by searching his name on Facebook or Google.