Matt O'Ree Band
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Matt O'Ree Band

Red Bank, New Jersey, United States

Red Bank, New Jersey, United States
Band Blues Rock


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



"Matt O'Ree review in Upstage Magazine"

“When you see Matt play live, you get the feeling that you've been let in on some wonderful secret that you just can't sit on. You want to share your secret with other like minded music lovers. You feel like you are watching someone outperform their paycheck and you want good things for him. "Saints and Sinners" is a rocker, as is "Marry You", but you can't miss the blues influence and quirky arrangements. "What You Got" and "Stay" also straddle the line between hard rock and blues, due mostly to Bob Pantella's drum beating.

The clear hit on this album though, is "Running Home". With its radio friendly guitar riffs, smart lyrics and smooth delivery, it stands out as the CD's signature track. The flirty hook is never out of arm's reach and returns each time a little better and more welcomed.

All and all, the CD is a can't miss. If you know anything about Matt O'Ree, you already know that much. The talent, the passion, the attention to detail is obvious. With "Shelf Life" you're getting into the head, heart and soul of a brilliant artist. Buy the album. Come see him play. One day, and it may be sooner than later, when he's no longer playing in your backyard, you'll wish that you did.“

Upstage Magazine, September 2005 - Upstage Magazine, September 2005

"Internation Press release from Savageworks International Regarding the New Discovery Channel Series 12/21/06"

Fans of The Pat Savage Band know by now that Pat & his band are the stars of Discovery Channel's upcoming biker reality series "A Bikers Lifestyle...The Savage Roads" airing in summer 2007.

Savageworks International, Pat's management company, did an international search for bands who submitted music for Pat's and our producers consideration for inclusion on the weekly series, the follow up soundtrack Cd, and a live concert appearance opening for Pat Savage on an episode. We received over 700 Cd's from all over the globe in this search.

From all the Cd's we received there was one artist that just jumped off the Cd player here at our Norwegian offices (I remember this day!) and that is an incredible guitarist Matt O'Ree.

We decided most unanimously that Matt deserves our very first "Rising Star" award and not only will Matt's amazing guitar playing and scorching tunes be featured on "A Bikers Lifestyle...The Savage Roads", and the Cd soundtrack compilation disc available after the first year, but we are considering having Matt opening for the Pat Savage Band on multiple motorcycle event and music festival international stages!

We want to congratulate Matt, his excellent band and producers and wish him a very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous 2007! Look out world here comes Matt O'Ree!

Brian Setterington
Savageworks International

Of all the guitar players I heard in 2006 in our search for music for my new TV reality series one stood way above the rest and that's New Jersey's Matt O'Ree. Completely blown away! He's a monster!

SONY Recording Artist Pat Savage
- Savageworks International

"Matt O'Ree in Music Inc. Magzine September 2006"

The biggest retailer in the music products industry didn't take a summer vacation. On June 8, 2006 Guitar Center hosted it's grand finals for it's 2006 Guitarmageddon King of the Blues competition at House of Blues Chicago. New Jersey's Matt O'Ree, 34 received the nation's best undiscovered blues artist crown.

- Music Inc Magazine

"Shelf Life Review in Music Street Journal October 2006"

By Lorraine Kay

Overall Review

Shelf Life is Matt O’Ree’s third album and just like the two previous ones is a great showcase for the award-winning guitarist. O’Ree’s guitar playing has won him many accolades including the 2006 Guitarmageddon "King of the Blues" 2006. And Shelf Life gives him lots of space to show what he can do. A versatile guitarist and vocalist, O’Ree plays out several moods and musical styles on this CD.

Featuring Matt O’Ree on guitars and vocals, Captain Hal B. Seizer on bass and Bob Pantella on drums and percussion, Shelf Life successfully marries rock ‘n’ roll with the blues well enough to equally hold the interest of fans of both genres. The big question is whether it is a blues album or a rock and roll album. It is impossible to answer that because it is truly both.

When it was first released Shelf Life won four awards for O’Ree at the 2005 Asbury Music Awards, winning Best Release, Song Of The Year (for “Saints And Sinners”), Best Guitarist and Best Blues Band. After listening to it once it is easy to see why. O’Ree’s guitar playing is everything expected of an award winning guitarist, but his vocals are an even nicer surprise. Bold and gritty his vocals hang right in there along side some of the best in Southern rock like the Allman Brothers and the Vanzants.

Track by Track Review

Over: This is high-powered blues-rock with Matt out front on guitar and vocals. It makes you want to get up and dance.

Running Home: Slowing the tempo down just a bit, this is still Southern Rock in the tradition of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Easily commercial enough this one could be a hit on its own. There is even a touch of Paul Rodgers in the vocals on this one.

Marry You: There’s a great funky groove on this one. The big guitar on the intro is reminiscent of Leslie West.

Saints and Sinners: This one rocks. The drums are out front and kind of funky – almost a Bo Diddley beat but not so much that they overwhelm O’Ree’s gritty vocals.

Worth the Live: A slow blues groove ala “Fool for your Stockings,” this is definitely a down and dirty hip grinder.

What You Got: Picking up the tempo again, this one jumps out at you with a slight Hendrix groove going on.

Back Home: Here we get another old bluesy feeling with some interesting surprise twists.

Alibis: This is straight ahead rock and roll. A guitar-driven song, the drums are pretty out-front as well.

Think about That: Here’s another throw back to the Allman Brothers, especially on the guitar licks. This is another sexy dancing groove.

Good Thang: Oh watch out SRV! This one rocks but has definite Texas thing going on.

Another Man: Just another solid rock and roller, this drives hard but not too fast.

God Send: A nice ballad, this one slows down for the last dance. There are some nice bottle-neck slide licks going on in this one.

- Music Street Journal

"Matt O'Ree Stays True to the Blues- May 2008"

eleased their masterpiece
“Exile on
Main Street.” The
riff that launched a
million air-guitarists
was heard for the first
time in “Smoke on the Water.” And Robin
Trower quit Procol Harum – the guitarist’s
first step toward solo stardom.
That last milestone went unnoticed by
Matt O’Ree, who was born the same year in
If Trower has a spiritual descendant,
it is singer/guitarist O’Ree, whose sound
seems to have cribbed the best from Trower
and his cohorts in “superblues” – Jimi
Hendrix, Johnny Winter, Rory Gallagher
– and combined them in a cosmic blender
with a dash of Jersey bar-band ’tude.
“Matt is somebody who has sort of fused
the ages,” says harmonica player “Big
Nancy” Swarbrick, another light of the
Central Jersey music scene.
“He captures the essence of the ’70s and
puts his own spin on it, turning it into
something completely new, something completely
Matt O’Ree.”
Guitarist Billy Hector, also a familiar
face on area stages, tips his trademark cap
to O’Ree.
“I congratulate him,” says Hector.
“I knew him when. I remember when he
played me his tapes in the early ’90s. That
was a long time ago. I don’t even know if
he was 20 years old yet. He was good then.
Everybody knew he was coming up.”
Guitarist Chuck Lambert, another scene veteran, calls O’Ree
“a true bluesman.”
“His expression of the blues
is not about posturing or ‘wannabe,’
’’ Lambert says. “We’ve shared
some good times onstage and in the
‘green room.’ He’s a kindred spirit.”
This is a special time for O’Ree.
On Saturday, he will mark the release
of “Matt O’Ree Live,” a nine-song DVD/
CD collection, at the newly reopened
Downtown Cafe in Red Bank, 10 years
“to the month” after O’Ree launched his
debut CD, “88 Miles,” at the same venue.
The DVD was filmed at the Starland Ballroom
in Sayreville with Lance Taylor on
bass and Bob Pantella on drums.
“I always wanted to make a live record,
because I’ve always felt that some
of our music comes across better live
than it does on an actual studio recording,”
O’Ree says.
It was O’Ree’s friend Michael Pomarico
– an Emmy winner who works
for ABC Television – who suggested, and
ultimately produced, the DVD. O’Ree was
filmed performing with and without an
“That way, we had alternate takes of
every song and multiple camera angles,”
the guitarist says. “I think it really portrays
what we do live, where we’re at as a
band, pretty accurately.”
O’Ree, 36, grew up in Holmdel, where
he still resides.
“Obviously, most of my gigs in high
school were either coffeehouses or, like, a
rock show that the school would put on,”
the guitarist recalls.
The Red Bank-based Matt O’Ree Band
(formerly known as the Blues Hounds)
was formed in 1994. Current members
are O’Ree, Eric Safka on keyboards (a
new edition), Taylor on bass and Lew
Rosengrant on drums.
In 2006, O’Ree won the “Guitarmageddon
King of the Blues” national guitar
competition named for blues legend B.B.
King, who was in attendance at the finals
held at the House of Blues in Chicago.
“It was one of those moments when,
after all those years of slugging it out, I
felt like I finally got someplace,” O’Ree
says. “It was just a great moment. Like,
‘Wow, I finally accomplished something.’
Getting to meet B.B. King was fantastic.”
The honor has its reverberations.
O’Ree – who owns 30 guitars – has an
endorsement from Gibson guitars, makers
of the Les Paul model, O’Ree’s guitar
of choice.
The Matt O’Ree Band plays six or
seven gigs a month, more in the summer.
Favorite venues include the Starland
Ballroom and the Downtown Cafe, as
well as The Stone Pony in Asbury Park,
Leggett’s Sand Bar in Manasquan and
Magee’s West Side Tavern in Point Pleasant.
O’Ree is booked to headline the 22nd
annual Red Bank Jazz and Blues Festival
on May 30; the festival will run though
June 1.
But as much as O’Ree loves the Shore
circuit, he longs to break out. (On Saturday,
O’Ree is to return from a week of
gigging in Chile.)
“Our current goal is to be out on tour
in different states, obviously,” he says.
“If you just keep playing the same
area over and over again, eventually
it’s going to get burned out. You have to
leave, really.”
Matt O’Ree will headline the 22nd annual Red Bank Jazz and Blues Festival on May 30, 2008. - Asbury Park Press

"Matt O'Ree Band Review - July 2008"

New Jersey has always spawned major talent, both in music, film and just about any other category you can think of.

Focusing more on the music business, some of the industry’s most riveting
superstars have been birthed in the Garden State. Most people can recall its two
most popular artists, Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi.

One who is truly blazing his own trail to memorable stardom is musician Matt O’Ree, New Jersey’s own blues-rock king, who hails from Holmdel.

O’Ree, who fronts his own band, The Matt O’Ree Band, which consists of three other bandmates -- drummer Lew Rosengrant, bassist Lance Taylor and keyboard king Eric Safka, first released his debut album 88 Miles in 1998. Following this highly successful debut effort, the band released Chalk It Up (2001), Shelf Life(2006), and now their newest album, a live concert both in CD and DVD format,
recorded and videotaped during a recent performance at Sayreville’s Starland Ballroom.

“People are always saying, ‘You’re from New Jersey and you play blues?’” says O’Ree. who has been playing guitar since he was nine years of age. “There’s blues everywhere. Look at the state of the country. Paying these gas prices, everybody’s got the blues.”

O’Ree jokes, but in all seriousness he is a blues rocker in its purest form.

“88 Miles was really the first CD for me where I had the chance to sing and write my own music. I had been on a couple of other records for other people before that. It was really my first attempt at doing the blues thing and the three-piece band.
It’s probably sold the best out of all my CDs.”

Released shortly after the new millennium, Chalk It Up carries on what made88 Miles so well respected in the blues genre, while featuring improved song writing and vocals, says O’Ree. “Every CD I put out I try to make it better than the last one. You’re always trying to outdo yourself. The most fun thing about making a record is pushing to make it better.”

He adds, “Shelf Life was more of a turn to rock-blues than the blues-rock that came before. I think the songwriting is even better on that one.”
In addition to opening up for well-known recording acts as Kansas, Government

Mule, Buddy Guy and Robby Krieger, among others, one of the more praiseworthy
experiences for O’Ree came when he took home the award for “King of the Blues” at 2006’s Guitarmageddon, presented to him by none other than the legendary
blues king himself, BB King, and new phenom John Mayer.

“That was certainly one of the most amazing moments of my career up to that point,” O’Ree exclaims. “I didn’t even expect to win. Just to win something like that…it was an honor. Meeting BB and John was amazing.”

Years of devotion to one’s craft, plus God-given talent synergize for the very few like Matt O’Ree, and such recognition as the one bestowed upon him at Guitarmaggedon is likely just the beginning. Yet O’Ree is so grounded, it’s safe to say he will never let ego get in his way, but will continue to explore music for music’s sake. “I just felt like after all of this hard work of practicing and practicing,
I finally got something out of it,” he says of his award.

With so much raw musical talent and creativity being presented
to their fans over the past decade, one might question where the band will go from here. One must only look to Matt O’Ree himself for the answer.

“We’re dipping into that jam band style of playing, while still having the blues songs. I have a few songs that I wrote during
the course of Guitarmageddon. We’re going to try to write as many songs as we possibly can, 20 to 25 songs. Then we’re going to pick out the direction we want to go in.”

“The date is still up in the air. We’re shooting to have it out by the end of the year. I’m thinking
it’s going to be more of the 70’s vibe.
Think the Allman Brothers era.”

If the Allman Brothers are any indication of where they’re heading,
the Matt O’Ree Band might eventually
cap off the New Jersey talent triumvirate
alongside Springsteen and Bon Jovi in the near future. There is
no doubt that Matt O’Ree is destined
to make an enduring contribution to music for decades to come.

For more information on The
Matt O’Ree Band, visit HYPERLINK
"" - BarFly Magazine

"Review of Matt O'Ree's CD Shelf Life- Guitar World March 2006"

"New Jersey Matt ORee is quickly carving out a name for himself as 2006's new guitar hero."

His latest CD "Shelf Life" garnered four awards at the 2005 Asbury Music Awards, which honors the finest talent on the New Jersey Shore scene - Best Release, Song Of The Year (for Saints And Sinners), Best Guitarist and Best Blues Band. Shelf Life will sit comfortably in a record collection filled with the down n dirty music of ZZ Top and the adventurous jam band sounds of Govt Mule. Running Home," "God Send" and "Worth The Live," are three of the albums 13 tracks where ORee takes his love of the blues and uses it as a foundation for an innovative and revolutionary sound while paying tribute to the greats who came before him. -Guitar World Magazine March 2006

- Guitar World Magazine

"Chorus and Verse Review"

"Matt's sound feels like Rock and Roll met the Blues at some smokey bar and they went home to make beautiful music together."
"'Shelf Life' represents the perfect balance, a musical Yin-Yang; blues and rock, shuffle and soul, saint and sinner, traditional and timeless."
"Six-time Asbury Music Award winner Matt O'Ree's latest CD 'Shelf Life' sounds like rock, feels like blues and combines the two into a soulful mix that creates something special."

-Matt Mrowicki, Publisher, Chorus and Verse

- Chorus and Verse

"Guitar World Review/Interview - February 2006"

This Jersey axman has been gaining momentum since his 1997 debut, 88 Miles. O'Ree's playing has won him consecutive top guitarist honors at the Asbury, NJ, Music Awards, as well as spots opening for Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy and Govt' Mule.

O'Ree Robin Trower - Meets -Billy Gibbons style is showcased on his latest CD, "Shelf Life".

Talk Box:
Quote Matt O'Ree - "I wanted to make a record beyond what I have done in the past; new sounds, heavier tones, more production. "Shelf Life" is more rock blues then blues rock, and it soul-fried to the max."
- Guitar World Magazine


Live in Denver, CO- 2013
Matt O'Ree Live - 2008
Shelf Life - 2005
Chalk It Up - 2002
88 Miles - 1998

For samples, please visit

All 5 LP's have recieved national/international, internet and satellite radio airplay.



Matt O'Ree has been cranking out the blues-rock since he was an early teen. With all the trappings of a genuine guitar hero, he plays with fire in his fingers and blues in his soul. At age 13, he sunk his roots in the blues - Albert King, Howlin' Wolf, to Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. After establishing a good foundation, at age 15, Matt played in various bands, honing his skills through time and pure dedication.

Matt went on to study as a music major in college as well as start his own teachings with guitar students. While working as an intern at a recording studio, he began collaborating with various musicians trying to bring his idea to life. It was at this stage in his career that he found the right blend of people to create the band.

In 1997, Matt began writing and recording material that evolved into his debut CD, 88 Miles. It was released in 1998 and gained national reviews and airplay, pushing the band to a higher level which included opening shows for national recording artists like Foreigner, Kansas, Buddy Guy, Leslie West and Mountain, Blues Traveler, The Outlaws, Gov't Mule, Robin Trower, Blue Oyster Cult, Johnny Winter, Dickie Betts, Gretchen Wilson, The Screamin Cheetah Wheelies, Bernard Allison, Chris Duarte, Indigenous, Robby Kreiger, Bill Perry, Walter Trout, Labambas Big Band, and Smokin' Joe Kubek.

The completion of his second CD, Chalk It Up, was the breaking point of blending blues and rock together to form a unique sound of his own. This was released in June 2001 and also received rave reviews with regional and national press recognition and airplay.

In March 2005, Matt released his third studio album titled Shelf Life It was featured in an issue of "Guitar World Magazine" appearing alongside numerous rock legends including Audioslave, Aerosmith, Jimi Hendrix, and The Deftones - that claims that "New Jersey's Matt O'Ree is quickly carving out a name for himself as 2006's new guitar hero." Shelf Life also won four Asbury Park Music Awards for: Best Blues Band, Best Guitarist, Best Local Release, Best Song of the Year - "Saints & Sinners"

Then on June 8, 2006, Matt became the Winner of Guitarmageddon “King of the Blues” guitar contest hosted by BB King and John Mayer through Guitar Center and Guitar World Magazine. Matt beat out over 4000 guitar players in that competition to win him the grand prize, multiple guitars and an endorsement from Gibson guitars, shopping sprees with Guitar Center and a car from Scion. This major accomplishment really propelled his career and the momentum for the future of the band.

2008 began a major change in not only the sound, but in the writing direction too. NJ native Hammond B3 player Eric Safka joined after years of discussing the idea with Matt. “We both knew it could work, but for various prior commitments, we didn’t get it together till now…coming from 13 years as a three piece band, this change was the largest by far and the most important…most say Eric was the missing link”. Not long after Eric joining, long time friend Scott Bennert joined on Bass coming from a top-notch working shore band. Scott quickly became the glue that really rooted the sound of the band. The last piece of the puzzle didn’t come until another year of hard struggles when finally John Hummel joined on Drums. Our producer Jon Leidersdorff introduced Matt to John’s talent and once heard, it was like a bolt of lightning. He was the sound of all sounds, a real diamond. Since then, every show has become more spectacular than the next. For the band, it was finally the right situation all around.

With the new line up complete, they have been working hard over the last two years on the next studio album with producer Jon Leidersdorff at Lakehouse Music in Asbury Park, NJ. They have been fortunate enough to land many special guest stars to contribute to their new release including Steve Cropper, John Popper, Bernie Worrell, and Hubert Sumlin. A new DVD release is also in the works of show filmed during the summer of 2012 in Asbury Park and they have just released a new live CD titled “Live in Denver, CO” that was recorded while on tour in during the late spring of 2012 so pick up your copy today!