Matt Jones

Matt Jones



Matt Jones is an Ypsilanti, Michigan based artist and multi-instrumentalist who has shared the stage with everyone from Margot and the Nuclear So & Sos to Emmylou Harris. Growing up in a gritty factory town in southeast Michigan, Jones developed a musical talent at a young age, shaped by his family's history. His grandparents once travelled as circus musicians and his ancestors played music on civil war front lines. Yet, the music that resonated with Jones most was ragtime, thus, his first instrument was not the guitar but the piano. Years later, he has managed to craft a unique and haunting genre all his own by using ragtime rhythm structures and seamlessly weaving instruments like accordion and pennywhistle into his captivating songs. Deftly honing in on forgotten histories, gleaning from destructive pasts, and steeped in melancholy - Jones is able to take songs that are as powerful and moving played solo or fully orchestrated (he typically varies between a trio with violin and cello, and a lush ten-piece ensemble), and present them with a power reminiscent of a gramophone recording from generations past.

‘The Black Path,’ Jones' debut solo album with producer Jim Roll (Chris Bathgate, Breathe Owl Breathe), is his own means of therapy as he reflects upon how his memories and experiences have shaped him. Jones stands with one foot in a history akin to the Smithsonian's Folkway tradition and with another outstretched in the modern, darkened, beating heart of today, while managing not to falter in the least bridging these gaping distances. On ‘The Black Path’, Jones struggles to deal with how memories have distorted his view of the past and therefore may threaten to distort his current reality.


Jugulars, Bones and Blisters

Written By: Matt Jones

all the holy men are dead, i'm certain

gone before their time and left me to mine

the lout who lies in waii for fossil friends

with recollections worse than mine.

repeating tones and jugulars, bones, and blisters

decaying teeth and lurid compromise

and all at once the memory dances

like a bandy legged, broken throated child

i slept through october waiting on a sapphire

fretting and feeding off a surplus of sighs

but one thing is sure, i'll forget about her

because love breathes softer than youthful addiction dies.

i don't throw many bones, but this one is too big to be buried

i know you wont understand unless i spell it out concise

you know ears are anvils and i'll pound them to scrap

but when the hammer is in your hands

your aim swings wide.

Waltzing With Lady Dawn

Written By: Matt Jones

bushels of bastards and cheats

sliding through doorways

they gloat so sweet and discreetly

bantering bores, you curse them while you kiss their feet

now you decide, its them or me.

i got here late and im sorry

i'll high step my pride while you sleep

topped the rise, and sank down into grainy sheets

he wants truth but he'll get stuck in my teeth

it's hard waltzing with lady dawn

and all nighters 9 months too long

hasty bed downs and boozed up let downs

all night hard sounds and lies.

One Cotton Shot Short

Written By: Matt Jones

spooning afternoons up for sale

weights and measures

for surly self contained sweet toothed boy

its past or pleasure

with shaking legs and heavy joints

soldered all my needle points

and i'm one cotton shot short.

candle caves and sons

tied in knots, burning branches

if forestry is your bane

swim in ponds, and take your chances

what i gave is what i'll get:

a mouth filled out with broken bets

and long lost family lines and sets

of china teeth and pirrouttes

so graceful in their lines...


Right To Arms EP (2005)

The Black Path (2009)

Tracks with radio airplay:
"Waltzing With Lady Dawn"
"Jugular, Bones, and Blisters"
"Marble Sleeves"