Matt Hill
Gig Seeker Pro

Matt Hill

Greensboro, North Carolina, United States | INDIE

Greensboro, North Carolina, United States | INDIE
Band Blues Rock

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

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

Music

Press


Matt Hill is as dynamic a performer as you will find anywhere. Like the stories of Long John Hunter swinging from the rafters, Nappy Brown or Howlin' Wolf playing harp while slithering on the floor like a reptile, Matt is not afraid to pull out all the stops to give his audience a good show. In fact, he thrives on it. What might, at times appear to be reckless abandon is tempered by his well-honed skills. If there is one thing that Matt is serious about, it is his music and he approaches it with a heartfelt love and reverence. He may be young in years but Matt Hill is an old soul. This young man does not imitate the music he has come to love; he has immersed himself in it to the point where Matt Hill, in essence, is the blues. This collection, primarily Hill's originals, with some well-chosen covers thrown in for good measure showcase the work of a man who can only be defined as a seasoned bluesman with everything he needs to rise to the top of the heap. This is the real deal, not some floundering wannabe blues musician with his feet planted deep in the heaviest rock and roll (not that I have any problems with rock & roll…I cut my teeth on the stuff and it was the medium through which I found my true love.) Backed by many of the finest players in the business, Matt has the freedom to pull out all stops, knowing that this is one tight band that will do their jobs with the utmost proficiency. A band's front man can only be as good as those backing him. In this case, the possibilities are endless. To say that this is good is an understatement. Give it a good listen. You'll like what you hear.
- Billtown Blues Association


The one time I saw Matt Hill - playing with Bob Margolin at the Next Page Café in Weymouth about a year ago, he was, in fact, “on the floor” for a good part of the time. Spinning and rolling around, while playing and singing. It got so wild my view was completely blocked by the adoring crowd.
It was quite the show, and I remember thinking to myself that this young man’s antics reminded me of the late Nappy Brown.
Well, it turns out this talented guitarist, who also plays bass and lap steel on his breakout disc, was greatly influenced by Brown, and got to play with Nappy, and Carey Bell, Hubert Sumlin and Pinetop Perkins while touring with Margolin’s band.
Hill, who lives in North Carolina, absorbed a lot from those guys. That’s evidenced on the album, which is a fantastic set of straight blues (for once!) and a few Chuck Berry-esque rockin’ blues.
The 14-track disc, produced by Margolin and Dave Gross, has 10 originals. Every single one of them is worth playing over and over. I can only imagine how these improve when seeing them performed live, when Hill’s supercharged energy gets going.
Hill started playing guitar at age 12. Early on, he was into CCR, and the surf music of Dick Dale. Later, he met drummer Chuck Cotton, who plays with Margolin, and the two formed a band that competed in the 2005 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Later he played with Max Drake, and with The BuzzKillz in Greensboro, N.C.
Cotton, Gross, and Margolin, make appearances on this disc. So do Tad Walters and Dennis Gruenling (harp,) Matt Walsh (guitar, vocals,) Clark Stern (piano,) Barry Harrison (drums,) Rob Chaseman and Doug Sasfai (sax,) and Scot Hornick, bass.
One of the best songs on the disk is “I Tried to Love a Crazy Woman,” a Muddy Waters-like number with a heavy beat behind Margolin’s always super guitar. Hill’s vocals shine on “Red Boots” a shuffle; and “30 Years Old,” (a song in which he claims he won’t reach that age. Let’s hope it’s just bravado or jest.)
Hill’s guitar is a hot as he is on “I’m Gonna Hit that Highway.”
“Stolen Bride Blues” is a deep, Delta-style number about, you got it, swiping another man’s brand new wife. There’s some growling and moaning, too.
Hill’s versatility is made clear in “Gasoline” which has a Mississippi hill country beat.
Margolin makes another appearance in a hilarious song about the travails of modern life, called “Why the F*uck (Do You Think I Cuss.)
The record ends pointedly with the acoustic “Poor Circle” a sad ode to the recession: “Twenty men on a street corner sweatin’/only one has got a job. In the poor circle you gotta steel, you gotta cheat, you gotta rob./Crime runs free day and night.
But really, how can you not love a guy who thanks his late grandmother under the album credits, and then dedicates it in memory of “Nannie, Papa, and Nappy Brown.”
- Boston Blues


?Greensboro, NC's Matt Hill is one of the most talked-about young bluesmen on the scene today, mainly due to the high intensity of his live shows.  His stage antics often have him exhorting his audiences from atop tables, chairs, or bars, and even finds him playing his guitar on his back, on the floor.  So, that, then, is the quite-appropriate title of his debut CD for Vizztone Records, "On The Floor."  ??This young man brings the primal nature of blues, rockabilly, and rock'n'roll back to the forefront, as he and his Danelectro guitar burn thru a smokin' set of fourteen cuts, consisting mostly of originals with a few cool covers.  Produced by Dave Gross and Bob Margolin in their respective homes, young Hill held absolutely nothing back in recording this set.??Check out his prophecy in "30 Years Old," where he proclaims "I won't live to see it," because of his various demons and a hard reputation to live up to.  "Gasoline" burns with the fire and fury of the North Mississippi hill country, while the instrumental  "Griddle Bread Boogie" brings to mind the heyday of pickers such as Joe Maphis, Jimmy Bryant, and Speedy West.  "Red Boots" is the tale of a lover who knows just what to wear to rev Matt's engine, while "Poor Circle" is a place where, for the underprivileged, "time stands still."  ??We had two favorites, too.  Matt channels his inner Chuck Berry to rock out the tale of "Hellz Bellz," while fellow North Carolinians Matt Walsh and Bob Margolin join Matt to voice their displeasure for a maladjusted, gadget-driven society entitled "Why The F**K (Do You Think I Cuss)."  Yes, it's hilarious, and, no, it's a Program Director's nightmare because it's not edited, so, thin-skinned listeners beware!??Matt Hill conjures up visions of a young Howlin' Wolf, Nappy Brown, and, yes, even Elvis and Jerry Lee early in their careers, with the raw, unbridled passion and boundless energy in his performances.  "On The Floor" is a set that's sho-nuff "keepin' the faith!" - Nashville Blues Society


George Thorogood by way of Jerry Lee Lewis and the old blues masters, Matt Hill also catches Chuck Berry on the upside while wheeling 'round in a cherry-red hot rod to jet on down to the corner dance hall for a bit of in-the-dust heel kickin'. Don't be surprised to see Brian Setzer pull up alongside and cut a wicked grin, hollering' for a race for pink slips. On the Floor, ladeez 'n gents, is a return to the 50s in blooz and rave-up barn rock, sassy and J.D. from the git-go. This CD is from a time when life was a bit rougher, more redneck, less hopeful, and not very pretty. In case ya needed to know, Bob Margolin, whose golden and Fugs-ish Why the Fuck (Do You Think I Cuss) Hill covers, approves, and that's a pretty good goddam nod, Bertram.
The hardtack Hill is a brash motherfucker who goes the limit, taking the Presley times more to Jerry Lee (Clark Stern acts up like a fiend on the piano in Hellz Bellz) / James Brown / Little Richard showmanship live, much of which can be intuited here. On the Floor is blues indeed, but sweaty and reeking of animal lusts, thank God. On the other hand, Poor Circle (especially the second version, the acoustic one, cut 14) shows how true to the foundations he can be, companioning T.S. McPhee as a gent who knows whence his inspirations issued and isn't loathe to pay loving tribute. With just guitar and riven voice, he nails the listener to the floorboards.
And the guy plays a 100% authentic axe, Jeremiah, cranking out chords and leads like a back alley teacher learnin' the youngsters a thang 'r two (and Hill is himself an intense looking sprout), slathering the classroom with mud, dust, tar, and a sizzling summer's sun, the essence of the stank of blues. Griddle Bread Boogie yields a solid unalloyed look at that side of the fence, every cut harboring its soul and crust. Thus, o ye of the whiskey bottle and switchblade night, get ready for a bout with the swamp and Tennessee Williams in On the Floor, 'cause the rambunctious Mr. Hill embodies a Brando-ish Streetcar musical personna and will not be denied……y'all. - FAME


Matt Hill's debut is a powerful collection of blues-rock named in honor of his legendary stage antics. Hill plays guitar on his back, stage dives into the crowd, rips off his clothes, and jumps onto the tables closest to the stage. With Hill acting like the bastard child of Jerry Lee Lewis and Nappy Brown, his uncontained shows have made him a legend around his hometown of Greensboro, NC. This album will introduce the rest of the country to this blazing, over the top artist. He's obviously listened to a lot of early rock, R&B, and Chicago blues, and while the music of his heroes may still be evident in his music, he's got an outrageous style all his own. The album's 14 cuts include 11 Hill originals, given in-yer-face performances marked by Hill's guitar prowess, soulful gritty vocals that belie his youth, and a dark sense of humor that makes them crackle. "I Tried to Love a Crazy Woman" brings Muddy Waters to mind with its snarling vocal, ominous Delta-meets-Chicago groove, and a searing guitar solo of tortured bent notes. Hill shows off his slide work on "Children (That Ain't Mine)," another country-style tune that hints at madness and murder. Rockers include the album opener, "Time Is Up," which features Hill's stinging solos and a nasty harp solo from Tad Walters; "Griddle Bread Boogie," a swinging instrumental that gives Hill a chance to show of his lap steel guitar prowess; and "30 Years Old," an exuberant ode to self-destruction that insouciantly declaims "I won't see 30 years old/I can't slow down now/I got a reputation to uphold." He's just as good at delivering the covers he put on the album. AC/DC's "Hellz Bellz" gets remade as a Chuck Berry rocker while Johnny "Guitar" Watson's "I'm Gonna Hit That Highway" retains its traditional feel with Dave Gross supplying ripping piano arpeggios and Hill's brief solo carving out its own unique space. Still, in years to come, people will probably remember this album for introducing Hill and Bob Margolin's "Why the F*ck (Do You Think I Cuss)," which could well become Hill's signature tune. The song is perfect for his bad-boy persona, another Berry-esque bit of country-flavored '50s rock that's peppered with so much profanity it becomes comical. Hill's screaming vocals and a thick twang-heavy bass solo make it the album's standout track.
- All Music Guide


I first met Matt Hill at a Gina Sicilia show almost four years ago. He was howlin' when he'd lace into a solo. He'd stamp his feet. He was the perfect foil to his low-key fellow guitar slinger Dave Gross. Matt Hill is a North Carolina country boy from the word go. He can tell you about corn whiskey, bars, and good music. He's been playing those North Carolina bars since he was eighteen, lighting them on fire wherever he goes. Not literally of course, but if you gave him some gasoline...  On the Floor is the perfect title of this record. The album cover is also the perfect depiction of Matt mid-scream. He's a balls out performer with no limitations. He's also an old soul when it comes to music. He collects old rock n roll records, and definitely knows his blues. On his debut, Hill is perfectly encapsulated for a little under an hour's worth of a worthy Debut Record of the Year nomination.?Where have the crazy performers like Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Nappy Brown, Chuck Berry, Guitar Slim, and Howlin' Wolf gone? We don't have many like that anymore, especially in the blues. Matt Hill is that and more, conjuring thoughts of a blues baby of The Killer himself. With a killer backing band of North Carolina legend Chuck Cotton, the aforementioned Gross, fellow North Carolinian guitar slinger Matt Walsh, Dennis Gruenling, and current N.C. resident Bob Margolin; Hill is raucous, raunchy, loud, and awesome from start to finish. The energy of the record never lets up, even in the slow blues numbers. Plus, who curses on records anymore? Matt Hill does. He tosses up a gem with Margolin on "Why the Fuck Do You Think I Cuss?" Hill also creates the greatest mash-up of all time when he does AC/DC's "Hells Bells" a'la Jerry Lee Lewis/Carl Perkins. It's great! That one went instantly to my mp3 player. "Red Boots" is a modern-day raunch of Tommy Tucker's "Hi-Heel Sneakers." Penning 9 of the 14 tracks, Hill isn't short on material either.?If you ever get a chance to catch Hill with his band the Buzzkillz on the East Coast, you won't be disappointed. In fact, your head will pound the next day, your hands and feet will hurt, and you'll have a hangover even if you don't drink. Producers Dave Gross and Bob Margolin essentially captured the essence that is the character/performer/entertainer/singer/guitar slinger that is Matt Hill. This semi-new star to the blues world is burning brightly and rolling and hollaring in a town near you. Don't miss him!
- Juke Joint Soul


Matt Hill is a new kid on the block, but he has some experienced friends! In his sleeve notes to the CD Bob Margolin explains that Matt has been featured on his shows and got a terrific response from the audiences. Bob has been so impressed with young Matt that he recorded most of this CD at his own studio in North Carolina. Chuck Cotton plays drums on all the tracks, producer Margolin contributes guitar and vocals on two tracks, Tad Walters harmonica on two tracks, Clark Stern piano on two tracks.
In addition, fellow Vizztone guitarist Dave Gross supplied his band for four tracks which were recorded at Dave’s studio in New Jersey. Here the drums are handled by Barry Harrison, with Scott Hornick on bass and Dave Gross on guitar.
Nine of the 14 tracks on offer were written by Matt himself, one by Bob Margolin, the remainder being four covers from a variety of sources. The material ranges from full band productions to more acoustic material, some of which reminds one of John Lee Hooker.
The CD starts in great style with an upbeat shuffle “Time Is Up”. The tune is a good introduction to Matt’s music with his clear voice and dynamic presence. Both this and the second track benefit from terrific rock’n’roll piano from Clark Stern and “Hellz Bellz” (yes, the AC/DC tune!) comes across like vintage Jerry Lee Lewis!
“Poor Circle” is a cornerstone song on the CD as it appears twice, in electric and acoustic versions. This is a song about Matt’s hometown and it paints a depressing picture of rural poverty. “Griddle Bread Boogie” is a lot more fun and is exactly what the title suggests, a boogie instrumental with lots of slide guitar. “I Tried To Love A Crazy Woman” is a slower tune which features Bob Margolin and Matt Hill trading licks. “30 Years Old” is pure rockabilly and may be autobiographical although if it is Matt has packed a lot of living into a short space of time!
“Stolen Bride Blues” is a solo piece about taking another man’s wife, apparently while she was still in her wedding dress! Matt’s character seems to accept that he is a bad lot: “I know I’ve done a bad thing, you shouldn’t steal another man’s bride: well, I’ve already bought my ticket down the hill, now I’m just here for the ride”. “Gasoline” is another JLH style boogie, with Chuck Cotton’s drums driving the riff along. The song depicts another slice of life on the poor side of the tracks, with just $2.00 to buy gas. “Why The F**k Do You Think I Cuss?” is Bob Margolin’s song, expressing frustration at some irritating things in his life – computers, cell phones, etc. Driven along by some nice rock n’ roll guitar from both men, this is a fun tune, though the chorus will probably prevent it appearing on radio!
That leaves the four tracks recorded in NJ with Dave Gross. These are bigger band productions and sound a little more ‘produced’ than the Margolin tracks. “Red Boots” is a Matt Hill original, an upbeat shuffle about a chance encounter with a young lady wearing the footwear of the title. The other original is “Children (That Ain’t Mine)”, another song about the hard life that some endure.
The two covers are “When I Get Drunk” by Eddie Burns, with guest Dennis Gruenling underpinning the song on harp. Horns provide a lovely blanket of sound to Johnny Guitar Watson’s “I’m Gonna Hit That Highway” and I assume that the excellent guitar solo is Matt’s. Both these covers are standout tracks on an impressive debut CD.
Bob Margolin’s sleeve notes suggest that Matt may well have what it takes to stand out from the crowd and I understand that he will be playing with Bob on the January LRBC cruise, so that should offer further opportunities to this young man who seems to have a bright future. - Blues Blast Magazine


Discography

On The Floor 2010 (Vizztone / Deep Fryed)

Photos

Bio

Matt Hill lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, but he was born a little east of there, in the land of pigmeat and tall tobacco. He didn't like music as a child, because his parents listened to Michael Bolton and Beach Music. (The Shag/Lindy Hop wasn't his scene, even though it came from Jimmy Reed.) Mostly the young Mr. Hill was more into adventure movies than music, more Indiana Jones than Illinois Jacquette.

At the age of about 8 or 9, Matt's Uncle Pat turned him onto Creedence Clearwater Revival. Ironically Matt wound up looking like he could have been Jon Fogerty's bastard child. He began turning to the oldies station and started listening to Blues, 50's Rock 'n' Roll, Otis Redding and Stax, while his parents were listening to Soft Rock.

Matt started playing guitar when he was 12, and thanks again to Uncle Pat, picked up some Creedence, Dick Dale, and early Surf Music. "Walk Don't Run" was his first song. Matt soon started digging deeper into Blues and Rock 'n' Roll, beginning to mix it all together into his own thing. While his high school buddies were listening to Korn and Limp Bizkit, Matt started going to blues jams, where he met drummer Chuck Cotton. He knew Chuck had played with (Muddy Waters Band alumnus) Bob Margolin, and he'd been wanting to see him for a while. Matt started a blues band with Chuck, and they won the local competition that would send them to the 2005 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. And competing in Memphis would have been a great experience, if it hadn't been for the food poisoning...

Back in Greensboro, Matt started playing with a couple different bands, playing with local blues icon Max Drake and the Buzzkillz, and sitting in with Bob Margolin. Soon Matt was joining Bob Margolin on tour, playing with the likes of Blues heroes Carey Bell, Hubert Sumlin, Pinetop Perkins, and Nappy Brown. He was also touring with Gina Sicilia, and playing locally with kindred spirit Matt Walsh.

Somewhere along the line, Matt developed a totally uninhibited, ferociously raving stage presence that harkens back to the heydays of Howlin' Wolf, Jerry Lee Lewis and Nappy Brown. Matt explains, "I've been obsessed with Jerry Lee since I was a kid, and when I saw Nappy Brown crawlin' around, taking his clothes off, well I thought, this is for me! There's a million guitar players can whup my ass, a shitload of singers that can outsing me... there's so many people doing this you gotta do something different so they'll remember you. Crawlin' around, jumpin' around like a madman... you're gonna freak some people out, scare some people off, but they'll remember you!!! You gotta piss off somebody to do something right!! I mean, you gotta do something to get them interested... people nowadays would rather be watching Bret Michaels date 15 strippers all night, so you gotta do something different."