Ansel Matthews

Ansel Matthews


Original soulful acoustic music that is roots oriented with beautiful mellifluous melodies and well-crafted lyrics sung by an artist with a rich authentic baritonal voice


Though he has shared the stage with performers such as Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin and has traveled the world as a member of the Gloria Gaynor Band, It was not always a given that Ansel Matthews would devote his life to music. Glancing at his massive six foot six frame, you would never expect such a sensitive singer/songwriter guitarist to emerge from this structure.

Growing up in Orlando, Fla in the late sixties and seventies, Ansel followed the norm for most young boys blessed with wide open spaces and year long sunshine, engaging and excelling in sports. That along with early success in the academic classroom gave him plenty of paths to chose from on the road of life. "It's easy," says Ansel, "when you are young and unsure to listen to the voices of those around you and because they are many, let them drown out your voice from within." So when his athlecticism and good grades won him a Football scholarship to Furman University, Ansel assumed he must be on the right path.

Not from a musical family, Ansel asked for a recieved a guitar for his ninth birthday. Inspired by the lyrics from the singer/songwriters of the day such as Cat Stevens, Jim Croce, Janis Ian etc., he spent countless hours listening and learning their songs. "What I found so enthralling was their truth seeking, brutal honesty and courage to say what we all know but are afraid to reveal," says Ansel.

It was that same type of courage that eventualy made him start listening and trusting his voice within, so after college he headed up to New York to follow his dream. Now a veteran of the New York Music scene, Ansel has promoted his music by playing in festivals- North by Northwest, South by Southwest and has performed in renown venues such as Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall. He has been recorded on numerous complilations (Prestigious Smithsonian Institute Folkway Recordings, Columbia's Postcrypt 30th Anniversary CD) and has released a Cd with an indepedent label "Workings of The Heart"- Palmetto Records in addition to his self-release Cd "Raised From The Dust". "In retrospect", admits Ansel "had I not the courage to make that leap of faith I probably would be living a safer more comfortable life, but it would have silenced and eventually killed my voice within." Nothing gives him greater joy than sharing that voice with those who are willing to listen.


Distant Thunder

Written By: Ansel Matthews

The Distant Thunder

I've sabotage and compromised
the things that I've been given
I've pulled away and pulled within
much afraid of living

But I feel the fire inside
It's gently flame is affirming
yes I feel it burning
and I hear the roar of the distant thunder

I've given up
and given in to
the things I knew would hurt me
I've been stepped on and stepped aside
not thinking I was worthy


It's so hard to be the one you really want to be
without nurturing to help you grow
You need to take a chance to find a better circumstance
where you can be you, you want to be you
and somehow find the strength to let it show

Repeat V1 and chorus

© 2004 words and music by Ansel Matthews


Written By: Ansel Matthews


May this blessing that you've given me
be a healing for the soul
And this body that you've given me
be a bridge for young and old

Let the lion and the lamb, the black and the white
regain their sight
And see what they've been missing in their earthly lives
Let the lion and the lamb, the black and the white
lie down peacefully
And finally learn to come
to love the things they're furthest from
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

For the lessons that we all must learn
may they never be too tough
The abundance that you've given us
may it one day be enough

© 1996 Ansel Matthews

A Perfect Kind Of World

Written By: Ansel Matthews

I have found myself
far from the crowds and lights
I have found myself
and oh what a precious sight

I have found myself
despite being denied
I have found myself
way down deep inside

In a perfect kind of world
we would all fulfill our dreams
In a perfect kind of world
I know that love would truly reign supreme

I have found myself
by dealing with all the hurt
I have found myself
and now accept my worth

And I have found this world
though sometimes cruel and hard
gives us all a chance
to learn just who we are


I have found myself
by learning to forgive
it takes a lot a strength
to live the live we live


© 2009 words and music by Ansel Matthews


"Workings of the Heart"-Palmetto Records
produced by Matt Balitsaris
Worldwide debut- released by an indie lable
national airplay along with store and internet purchases

"Raised from the Dust"- self release
produced by John Sonntag (Thunder Pumpkin Records)
Available through itunes, CD baby, and

Columbia's Postcrypt Cafe 30yr anniversary CD-released by 1 800 prime CD (producer David Seitz) a complilation of the best singer/songwriters of the day

Smithsonian Institute Folkway Collection

Set List

I have written 3 full Cds worth of music
And usually do a couple 1 hour sets
I only do my original music in a preferred concert setting