Mat d. and the Profane Saints
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Mat d. and the Profane Saints

Band Americana Rock


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"Mat d. and the Profane Saints"

Mat D and the Profane Saints
by Autopsy IV

I remember when Biohazard released their first album, Urban Discipline. Man, that shit hit me like a jab coming right up the pipe. Raw as a freshly popped blister with more grit than a fish fry. You got the feeling that the songs on that album were written from experience and when he sang “you’re on the wrong side of the tracks” it probably wasn’t the first time such an encounter had occurred. While Mat D. and the Profane Saints don’t sound anything like Biohazard they still manage to remind me of that debut cd in every other way.

Mat D and the Profane Saints are like a well worn pair of jeans. Frayed edges, skoal can imprint in the back pocket and too many stains for them to be proper in local eating establishments but you do it anyhow. Mat D writes songs about the underbelly of the American dream. Dive bars, dead lovers, drag queens, and liquor fueled nights. All the while you have his Profane Saints providing a southern fried blues back beat with a little rockabilly and country thrown in for spice. All of this is performed with more familiarity than a Bible College graduate should have. On a personal note, I am glad the devil’s siren, rock and roll, pulled this guy off the path of righteousness and pointed him down the seeder road of lost faith, sexuality, and sin of back roads rural America.

Mat D and the Profane Saints are Mat D (Guitar & Mandolin, Vocals), Jeff Deignan (Drums), Kurt Mullins (Bass) and Kelli Johnson (Lead). With the recent break-up of their other Deignan and Mullins’ projects the Profane Saints became a full fledged band and are currently in the process of recording tracks for a new cd scheduled to be released sometime this year. If you come around this blog looking for new music then you are probably right up the Profane Saints alley. Mat D puts it best when he says, “I don’t try to market myself to a very young rock ‘n’ roll crowd because I don’t think they’ve really caught on,” he said. “What I go for are people that are probably more into the country thing, probably classic rock. I think my age group is probably 30 and over.”

So there you go. Check out these guys internet offerings and be on the lookout for that new cd. I am guessing that deciding to be an exclusive band will only make their new material stronger. -

"Small Town Burning...has all the right rough edges"

“Small Town Burning” has all the right rough edges
Posted by Jim Pipkin at October 22, 2006 09:12 PM

Let’s face it, there are thousands and thousands of indie acts out there. They all have a CD or three to sell from the stage, and while they might deliver a decent show live, the recording never seems to measure up. This is not the case with “Small Town Burning”, which will be officially released October 28 at Sweet Fanny’s Pub in Sioux City, Iowa.

Ever hear the expression “Saturday night in Sioux City?” Well, here we go!

I found Mat d. and the Profane Saints while surfing the web, at a little hole-in-the-wall website where folks can post their tunes. With network radio firmly in the pocket of organized crime, music associations forming exclusive cliques as fast as they can get organized, and public radio long lost to lite jazz and classical, in my opinion the internet has become the last refuge of real music. If you avoid MySpace, YouTube, and other free networking sites just because they are free (or because they are owned by corporate drones with massive egos and tiny genitalia), you have only yourself to blame. You are, in effect, waiting to be spoon-fed rather than going out and grazing for yourself. Where’s the fun in that? Let me hop down off this soapbox and get to work.

“Small Town Burning” is a quirky trip to the wrong side of town, a low-budget powerhouse cobbled together with spit, baling wire, and a few missed truck payments. There is no title track on the disc, but any one of five or six strong offerings on it could do the job. I’m going to walk through it cut by cut, because each one has a unique story to tell. Here’s the door – watch your step now, and stop for a second just inside to let your eyes adjust to the dark. Man, does this place smell funky!

Our visit starts out with a scratchy, needle-popping intro into “Rambling Mary Jane Walker”, a tune filled with odd characters and double entendre that, according to Mat, was inspired by a Mary Jane candy wrapper. There’s a primitive stream of consciousness thing going on here – hillbilly haiku, broken people who limp on despite the damage. You laugh out loud one second, shake your head the next, with a beat that will get you up dancing.

From this we jump right into “Swivel Town”, a hoppin’ lick again populated with sweaty, gyrating tough nuts from across the tracks. The brief images really stick here, and create some very strong impressions. You’ll swear you’ve been in this place before, and you probably have if you’re tough enough.

I’d like to comment at this point that these tracks are by no means polished – and they couldn’t care less. They stand on their own, with all the right rough edges, and kick butt like sailors on nickel beer night.

That said, we move on to “Carolina Home Wrecker’s Blues”. This song knocked my socks off, because it reminded me of a brawl around the abandoned gas pumps at the Silver Dollar Saloon in Apex, North Carolina one night long ago and far away. A great, gritty anthem, with emotion in it as real as a bullet hole.

One of my personal favorite verses on the whole project comes up next, in “My Soul to Blame”:

“Well I had me a woman – the cold bitch was evil
Wore her hair like some pin-up girl straight outta Hell
We drove around in her Caddy, she called me her daddy
And we did things in private that I’ll never tell”

Those of you who know me must realize that this is a departure. I’m pretty straight laced, and don’t generally hold with strong language in a song. That’s because obscenity is usually a cheap trick, but in this case it rang true. Call me fickle, but “My Soul to Blame” held together from first note to last, not a hint of insincerity.

No sojourn in the rough-stubbled civic underbelly would be complete without stopping by the mission for a free meal. “You Shall Be Free” came out of the corner swinging, a soulful gospel tune, but just what sorta gospel are we talking about here? It was only a brief stop, just long enough to get some soup and a few slices of stale white bread, and then we’re headed back down the street to another strange tale.

“Drinking Gin and Sipping Tea” is an irreverent tribute to Cisco Houston and Woody Guthrie through the eyes of their sailor pal Jim Longhi, possibly one of the strongest and least sappy I’ve heard. Cisco and Woody and Jim were all hard cases, and they deserve a hard tune or two to remind us that the folks who now profess to carry on their legacy would not, for the most part, have made it through a single afternoon with them. They were fighters to a man, and this song trots that right out.

Thirsty? Horny? Here’s your sign. “Bikini Bull Riding” is a hot and slippery slice of Americana apple pie, especially for those of us who have lived and worked near Las Vegas. There’s something about coming in from a hard nasty job and having the chance to party with some hard nasty women…a little sadness, too, because there’s nothing re -

"Mat d. and the Profane Saints Brand New Faith EP"

the more I listened to this thing, the more I had to play it again. The first tune, Lye Soap Cigarettes and Gasoline, has hidden lyrical gems all through it - "Thrift store quickie underneath a truck stop sunrise Keeps the soul alive Pack of cigarettes and a ghost in the back seat There wasn't nothin' to do but drive" Can't argue with that. There are five out of five notable tunes on this disc, like Shine On Me, where it feels like Bob Dylan meets Jimmy Swaggart fronting Molly Hatchet after a weekend in Bangkok. Betty Got Saved bemoans the loss of a first-rate sexual adventuress, in graphic detail. Bound For Glory salutes that stitched-up-knife-wound optimism that I just dig the hell out of. Finally, This Truck Makes More Money After Midnight is an anthem for everyone who has ever found an honest lifestyle - how shall we say this - confining. Do yourself a big favor, trundle over to and meet this strange dude for yourself. Give his tunes a listen. Buy some stuff. And if you are ever trapped in Iowa, near a honky-tonk called Sweet Fanny's, roll on in and shake his hand for me between sets. But under no circumstances should you introduce him to your sister - - Jim Pipkin

"Brand New Faith EP - Review"

Following on from last year's rather fine "Small Town Burning", this EP from Mat D and the Profane Saints made a welcome arrival at Bluesbunny Towers. The storyteller again brings us more tales from the underbelly of life.

Redemption remains a strong theme in these songs. The characters are painted vividly in words and music and would fit nicely into a Jim Jarmusch movie, for example. "Betty Got Saved" gives us a potent illustration of the power of a woman to transcend both good and evil. "Bound for Glory" is a musical allegory for the loss of belief and hope that afflicts society today. Despair and emptiness fill the life of the protagonist of this song as he approaches his demise. "This Truck Makes More $$$ After Midnight" plays like Johnny Cash on speed and features some quality licks from new band member Kelli Johnson. One of the characteristics of the best song writing is the way that it creates images in your head as you listen. Mathew DeRiso (aka Mat D) has provided with 5 excellent examples of this art.

No surprises on this release therefore but the Bluesbunny thinks that once you get the taste for it you cannot get enough of this quality of music. Neatly performed and possessing a literacy and warmth of spirit missing from so much music these days, Mat D and the Profane Saints have done themselves proud again. Available by worldwide mail order from CD Baby. -

"Small Town Burning - Review"

The world needs storytellers. The world needs the kind of people that tell us about that strange, warped world that we live in. People like Johnny Cash, Lee Hazelwood, Tom Waits or even the subject of this review - Mat D. & the Profane Saints. This 10 track album is what you get when Americana meets up with its twisted cousin up a dark alley and lives to tell the tale.

They take us through a living, breathing set of stories that would make a soap opera proud. "Rambling Mary Jane Walker" introduces to the kind of low life characters that inhabit the shadows of every small town. "Bikini Bull Riding" is dedicated to upholding those important things in life namely bikini bull riding, cold beer and those damn, dirty girls. That song took us back to a time when Bluesbunny thought that was all there was on the road to happiness. Life teaches us more lessons as we go through it and that is also the case with this album. "My Soul to Blame" is a cautionary tale of what happens when a man meets the wrong woman at the wrong time. Jealousy, infidelity and murder - its all there. If you want redemption then take a listen to the gospel flavoured "You Shall be Free". Our favourite was the wryly moral "Drinking Gin and Sipping Tea". You have to hand it to this band. They take us on a walk through the wild side armed only with black humour and musical verve.

All the drama of life and love on one CD and just like a soap opera, once you get started you just get addicted to it. This was indeed the case here and the Bluesbunny immediately broke out the credit card and bought as much of the band's back catalogue as he could find. It is safe to say that we recommend that you do the same starting with this album. -


Self Titled / Mermaid EP (July 2006)
Small Town Burning LP (October 2006)
Brand New Faith EP (May 2007)
Gasoline Rattle (2007)
Merciful 66 (2008)
B-Movie Queen EP (2009)



Mat d. and the Profane Saints are an Insurgent Country/Roots Rock quartet from Northwestern Iowa. With a unique sound and approach. The Profane Saints have found critical acclaim and regional success following the release of their debut CD "Small Town Burning". Together the band has been turning heads in the Midwest and found exposure opening for such well known acts as Cowboy Mouth, Honeytribe, Carbon Leaf, The Neville Brothers, Bottle Rockets and rock n' roll legend Chuck Berry. The Profane Saints are set to release their second full length album titled "Dirt Town City Limits" on the trail of two award winning acoustic CDs 2007's"Gasoline Rattle" and 2008's "Merciful 66" - both named Folk Rising's album of the year two years in a row. If you're looking for Alternative Country merged with Roots Rock bringing an original mix of Badman Ballads, Hollers and songs about Hard Luck Living...this is YOUR band!