Matthew Wolcott
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Matthew Wolcott

Dallas, TX | Established. Jan 01, 2017 | SELF

Dallas, TX | SELF
Established on Jan, 2017
Band Folk Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Matthew Wolcott - Western Lights"

Texas artist Matthew Wolcott proves, in his debut release Western Lights, that there is always room for another talented, sensitive songwriter. The five songs here allow Wolcott to paint melancholy pictures with sound. His piano playing perfectly accompanies his rich voice, which reminds this writer of Jackson Browne’s.

The title song “Western Lights” sets the mood of sadness laced with a bit of hope, while “Olde Towne Blues” is full of nostalgia for a beloved place that just seen better days. “Dixie’s Waltz” continues the theme of nostalgia and regret and Wolcott throws in an unexpected bit of trumpet among the piano and strings..

“Who Are You Tonight?” seems to me to be one of the two most heartfelt of the five songs, with its haunting refrain, “Where there’s smoke, there’s an alibi.” The second most heartfelt song is my favorite track, the beautiful acoustic “Lost in the Roses.” Wolcott’s plaintive harmonica joins his voice and piano to create a true poetic masterpiece.

These songs introduce us to Wolcott’s skill as a musician and songwriter and certainly leave us wanting to hear more. Listen to his one when your mood is mellow. - Making a Scene

"E.P. Review & Popdose Exclusive Video Premiere, Matthew Wolcott, 'Western Lights.'"

From the moment Matthew Wolcott begins to sing “Western Lights”, the title track of his debut 5-track E.P., you know this Dallas-based singer songwriter has delivered an exceptional premiere. A lightly country-fied feel, perfectly constructed pop and at moments, I can hear inflections of Peter Holsapple’s vocal delivery, which is (of course) very familiar and easily welcomed. So to give you double the pleasure of hearing the title cut, Popdose is proud to give you the exclusive viewing of the video for “Western Lights”. And the visual is completely right for the feel of this simply terrific song.

It also doesn’t hurt that amongst the players who delivered a stellar performance with Mr. Wolcott includes Roger Joseph Manning, Jr., once of Jellyfish and Victor Indrizzo on drums, who has been the thunder behind Redd Kross and Samiam, amongst others. The production is crisp, clear and full (the warmth of those acoustic guitars!) and each song has that certain something that makes this such a joy to listen to. Even though “Olde Towne Blues” is rooted in melancholia and memory, there’s something uplifting in the melody, especially on the Hammond solo, which is as soulful as one could ask; the same can be said about “Dixie’s Waltz” with its horn solo and build-up of strings and sweeping slide guitar runs. “Who Are You Tonight” is delicate and sweet and takes about a minute and a half before the band kicks in and when they do, it’s a beautiful mixture of band, strings and a sharp, spot-on guitar solo surrounded by cellos and violins. Heartbreaking in its loveliness. Closing out the set, “Lost In The Roses” is completely stripped down with guitar, voice and harmonica; the lyrics are incredibly sad and yet the tune offsets the emotion in a perfect balance.

Five songs, in this case, are not enough. Matthew Wolcott, I’m certain, has a plethora of songs that will make something this good look “okay” later on. But for now, this is really quite stunning. Seek this one out. And to whet your appetites, watch the video/listen to “Western Lights”.


"Singled Out: Matthew Wolcott's Western Lights"

Dallas-based singer-songwriter Matthew Wolcott released his new debut EP "Western Lights" today (Dec 2) and to celebrate we asked him to tell us the story behind the title song. Here is the story:

Like many of my songs, the initial inspiration for "Western Lights" derives from personal experience, but the story is deliberately universal. I wrote it quickly by my standards, over a weekend after returning home from a wintery Las Vegas road trip that could not conclude fast enough. While the song is obviously about something coming to an end, it's not so much a downhearted take on endings as much as having the resolve for closure and a hopeful eye toward the future. The verses supply some context, but the overall message is encapsulated in two lines:

When those bright
Western lights
Fade from that December sky
And paradise is out of sight

That grand terrain
Will not let my spirit sway
And this mighty engine is
Screaming home tonight

My first instinct for the arrangement for "Western Lights" was that it should not follow a standard verse/chorus/bridge format, but instead be a driving song that built to an ending. This alone makes it stand out from other songs I've written, and it took some trial and error to sell myself on the idea. I recorded quite a few demos that ranged from a pared-down piano-swinger to a fuzzed-out garage-rocker. But with the final demo, I landed somewhere very close to where I started. From a mood standpoint, it's a contemporary attempt at the vastness and momentum of Jackson Browne's "Running on Empty" while maintaining the intimate energy of Fleetwood Mac's "Gypsy."

I love the instrumentation in the track. Drummer Victor Indrizzo and bassist Sean Hurley laid down as solid a foundation as there is. We took care not to let the acoustic guitars get buried in the mix, and when the song picks up, they provide a nice compliment to Victor and Sean's energy. The recurring piano line takes some prominence, but it's really Roger Manning's layered keyboard work and David Levita's arpeggiated guitar lines that help to create the song's wide, scenic feel. The driving synth part in the second verse evokes the pop sensibilities of Don Henley's early 80's solo work, and I think it serves the song well.

Being a solo artist affords a unique opportunity to seek out the right personnel for a project. I knew that Joe Chiccarelli would understand where I wanted to go and how to get there, and I was thrilled that he jumped on board to produce and engineer this EP. The recording sessions were an absolute pleasure, and while I was not sure whether they would yield a single, I was cautiously optimistic about "Western Lights." - antiMusic

"Matthew Wolcott to Release Debut EP"

Singer-songwriter Matthew Wolcott is taking the road less traveled, stepping out from a successful law career in favor of his first love, music. The Dallas native, who began playing piano at an early age and performed with his fair share of bands, is releasing his first EP of original songs called WESTERN LIGHTS on December 2.

For his recording debut, Wolcott worked with producer Joe Chiccarelli, whose credits include Alanis Morissette, Jason Mraz, the White Stripes and Boy & Bear among many others, recording live at Sunset Sound Recorders in Los Angeles. Fleshing out Wolcott's rich vocals and turns on guitar, harmonica and trumpet were a host of local studio players, including Roger Joseph Manning Jr. on keyboards, David Levita on guitar, Sean Hurley on bass, Victor Indrizzo on drums and LA artist Patrick Park on backup vocals. Texas artist Haylee Ryan created the painting that graces the cover of the EP.

WESTERN LIGHTS offers what Wolcott calls "a well-curated sampling of literate, late-night reflections spun into relatable tales of nostalgia, melancholy, heartbreak and hope." The title track, "Western Lights," is being serviced to AAA radio and a music video for the song is in the works.

Matthew Wolcott grew up in suburban Dallas listening to his father's collection of '60s and '70s vinyl that included the requisite Beatles, Beach Boys and early Chicago. His father told him about once seeing Chicago in concert in a venue that was so hot that trombonist James Pankow sweated through his clothes and played the final song shirtless. Although young Matthew had been playing piano since the age of six, that image inspired him to take up trumpet as well.

Throughout junior high and high school, Matthew played trumpet and learned music theory in the school band. Getting a MIDI keyboard led to composing his own songs and eventually taking up guitar to play them on. Matthew attended LSU on an academic scholarship, studying mechanical engineering and computer science as a path into the aerospace field. But music always called out to him, as he continued songwriting and spent several years on and off the Dallas live music scene in various bands, although his passion would only parallel both law school and a law career.

"Music then became an inward-facing pursuit," explains Wolcott. "I finally returned to writing and playing music behind closed doors, trying to unearth the sound and style that were truly my own. Being completely away from the music scene for a couple of years helped me to reach a point at which I was finally comfortable in my own skin as a songwriter."

The result of this clarity is WESTERN LIGHTS, Wolcott's debut release, comprising five original songs, most of them written during late nights at the piano. "When I write, I generally take at least partly from personal experience and try to turn that into a relatable story," he says. "The common thread among these songs is that they are, generally speaking, sad, reflective stories, lined with a tinge of hope."

Wolcott's Americana-infused vocals are beautifully lifted by infectious melodies and inspired instrumentation. Producer Joe Chiccarelli says that "the tracks reflect Matthew's singular artistic vision."

The title cut, "Western Lights," features a driving melody punctuated by a pounding rhythm section and Henley-esque synths, while the unexpected trumpet hook in "Dixie's Waltz" gives way to warm, funereal strings and piano musings.

"Olde Towne Blues" is a nostalgic song that attempts to revive the good memories that we'll always associate with certain places or people, even if they've since seen hard times. Explains Matthew: "My dad grew up in Slidell, Louisiana, near a part of town called (you guessed it) Olde Towne. I drew some inspiration for the song from early Tom Waits, one of my favorite songwriters. He often name-checks people or places that are implicitly meaningful to the storyteller, but not necessarily to the listener. I tried to employ that here because I believe that many people have an 'Olde Towne' of their own--a place with which they will always associate good memories and that the very mention of unlocks that nostalgia."

Rounding out the EP are "Who Are You Tonight" with its sad refrain "where there is smoke, there's an alibi....." and finally the pared-down acoustic "Lost in the Roses" with its plaintive harmonica. Throughout WESTERN LIGHTS, Wolcott demonstrates how carefully-crafted sonics can tell the story as effectively as the words themselves. - Grateful Web


Western Lights EP - 2016

Track Listing:

1.       Western Lights

2.      Olde Towne Blues

3.      Dixie’s Waltz

4.      Who Are You Tonight

5.      Lost in the Roses
(In-Studio Acoustic)


Produced & Engineered
by Joe Chiccarelli

Except “Lost in the Roses”
Engineered by Andrew Lappin

Recorded at Sunset Sound
Recorders, Los Angeles, CA

Mixed by Ken Sluiter and
Andrew Lappin

Mastered by Gavin Lurssen
at Lurssen Mastering, Los Angeles, CA


Matthew Wolcott – Primary
Artist, Composer, Vocals, Guitar, Trumpet, Harmonica

Roger Joseph Manning Jr. –
Keyboards, String Arrangements

David Levita – Guitar

Sean Hurley – Bass

Victor Indrizzo – Drums

Steve Aho – String

Patrick Park – Vocals


Cover Painting by Haylee

Insert Photography by
Matthew Wolcott

Back Cover Photography by
Victor Indrizzo

Design by Lisa Rasley and
Matthew Wolcott


All Songs Written by
Matthew Steven Wolcott (BMI)

All Songs © 2016 Crownsprout Music
Publishing (BMI)

© & ℗
2016 Crownsprout Productions LLC, P.O. Box 4189, Dallas, TX 75208



One of the most notable things about Matthew Wolcott’s debut release is that it does not sound like a debut at all. Western Lights is underpinned by a maturity befitting a seasoned artist long-settled into his own skin—a comfortable self-awareness that the Dallas-based singer-songwriter delivers with remarkable credibility. Maybe it is no surprise that music has held an anchoring presence in his life for more than three decades, although he only recently stepped out of a successful law career to pursue it in earnest.


Wolcott took up piano at age six, around the time he discovered his father’s collection of ‘60s and ‘70s vinyl that included the requisite Beatles, Beach Boys, and early Chicago. In middle school he became a trumpet player and studied music theory. He began listening more discerningly to the Beatles and other artists of the 60’s and 70’s, dissecting the music and developing an appreciation for style. By age fifteen he was composing instrumental songs.

Wolcott attended LSU on an academic scholarship, studying mechanical engineering and computer science as a path into the aerospace field. But music always called out to him, and after college he continued songwriting and spent over ten years on and off the Dallas live music scene, although his passion would only parallel both law school and a law career. Eventually, music again became an inward-facing pursuit, as he returned to writing and playing music behind closed doors, trying to unearth his unique sound and style.


The result is Western Lights, an uncluttered installment of literate, late-night reflections spun into relatable stories of nostalgia, melancholy, heartbreak, and hope. But the EP is more than a collection of eloquent musings by an introspective artist. As producer Joe Chiccarelli puts it, “the recording sessions for the EP were all about capturing a feeling and telling a story.” Wolcott's rich, Americana-infused vocals are beautifully lifted by infectious melodies and inspired instrumentation, presenting a broad yet surprisingly cohesive soundscape across the EP's five tracks. From Henley-esque synths that subtly propel the driving title track, to a delightfully-unexpected trumpet hook that gives way to warm, funereal strings in the anthemic "Dixie's Waltz," the Western Lights EP demonstrates how carefully-crafted sonics truly can tell a story as effectively as the words themselves.

Band Members