Matt Beckler
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Matt Beckler

Band Folk Singer/Songwriter

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"Local music guide for 2009"

Although he technically is a singer and a songwriter, Chicago-native Matt Beckler doesn’t want to be lumped in with the rest of the singer/songwriter crowd. And rightfully so—Beckler’s sound is full of soul and his rich voice, likely to give you goose bumps during his live performance. Siegrist mentioned that Beckler stands out in the Columbus crowd as “a little bit of an outsider, outside of the hipster scene … Matt’s a suburban kid who does his own thing.”

Beckler’s recent LP release, “Standing Like the Immigrant,” is a mix of alt-country rock and Elliot Smith’s calm folk rock. You’ll hear a mix of keys, guitar, tambourine and drums that have a slight electronic edge at times. Through it all, Beckler’s voice drives the songs with insightful lyrics that get your mind thinking.

-Dana Stewart - Metromix Columbus


Discography

Drown-1999 EP

Self-titled-2001 EP

For Lovers, For Fools-2003 EP

Songs for-To Have Your Company-2006EP

Standing Like The Immigrant-(2008)

Photos

Bio

On a warm spring Sunday afternoon in Manchester, England, an interview took place. Recording artist Thad Cockrell (Yep Rock Records) was taking a break before the next show on his European tour. When asked by the interviewer, Barry Jones, to name an unsung, new artist who influenced him, Thad replied, "Matt Beckler, the guy that's playing with me right now, he's really phenomenal. I don't know how he's not known the world over...".

for Americana.UK

Singer-songwriter Matt Beckler grew up on the outskirts of Chicago, the son of a 60's rock n' roller whose band opened for the Ides of March, Madura, and Rufus and Chaka Chan. His father's father was the bandleader of a Chicago based Big Band. Parental infusions of underground bands like Mason Proffitt, Aorta, and H.P. Lovecraft as well as more mainstream mainstays like the Beach Boys and Beatles made early impressions on an already gifted soul.

Tapped by Gotee Records (a division of EMI) while still in college, Matt made the move to Nashville to sign with them for his first EP, "Drown". The title track featured soon after in a Quincy Jones indie film, "The Smokers". A genre defying, prolific songwriter and lyricist, Matt also signed on as a songwriter for Nashville's largest independent publisher, Tom Collins Publishing, adding more than 100 songs to thier catalogue, joining thier roster of distinguished and respected writers. The sale of Tom Collins Publishing ended Matt's contract with them, just as artistic and directional differences brought an amicable parting of ways between Matt and Gotee.

Relocating from Nashville to Columbus, Ohio, Matt explored the local scene, performing at art houses, benefits, tribute shows (for Elliot Smith, Jeff Buckley, etc.), and other local venues. On his own, Matt's ever evolving style seamlessly blended new sounds with old in two self-produced EP's. New songs, "From the Summer" and "So We'll Drive", were snapped up by TV producers, airing them in episodes of ABC's "Alias" and "Life As We Know It", The WB's "Felicity", "Smallville", and "One Tree Hill", as well as "America's Next Top Model", "Higher Ground", and "The Black Sash". Even MTV sampled a few choice cuts of Matt's work here and there.

The fall and winter of 2003/04 saw the pairing of Matt's diverse style juxtaposed against the comedic stunts of Tenacious D's Kyle Gass and his band 'Trainwreck' on their 17 city US tour. While crowds came out ready to yee haw at the antics of the headliners, they were wowed and appreciative of the unexpected opening act. Matt's captivating stage presence, strong vocals, and use of many instruments - guitars, keys, harmonica's, chimes, flutes, etc. - equalled his tour de force songwriting. His purely poetic lyrics and beautiful harmonies engaged audiences as the tour hit such legendary clubs as New York's Bowery Ballroom, Stubbs in Austin, Texas, Double Door and Martyrs in Matt's hometown, Chicago, and Tipitina's in New Orleans.

As the Trainwreck tour slowed to a halt, Matt accepted an invitation to play guitar and sing back-up for Yep Rock's Thad Cockrell, an alt/country singer-songwriter, on Thad's spring 2004 European tour. The departure from playing his own shows to playing Thad's music was an easy transition for Matt and he found the experience pleasant and memorable. "It was refreshing to lay aside my songs for a time and work within the context of someone else's ideas and expectations. Thad's music is great, but completely unlike my own, so it stretched me, made me look at things a bit differently. Plus we're great friends, so that almost always makes for great chemistry."

What did Matt find most enjoyable? "Playing live for Bob Harris's show on the BBC was definately the highlight of the tour. Thad and I had our two acoustic guitars and our voices - real stripped down - it felt great."

Matt is currently working on a full length album entitled, "To Have Your Company" as well as shooting his first video for a song titled, "Blues 45".


-by Storm Steiger with Matt Beckler