Matthew D and Random Tuesday
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Matthew D and Random Tuesday

Kansas City, Missouri, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2004 | SELF

Kansas City, Missouri, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2004
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Matt Ward has had his mindset changed. Ward, the blues maestro who'll be performing at the Oasis Jan. 25th and 26th, said his perception changed after his Armed Forces Entertainment tour through Thule AB, Greenland.

"I didn't know a alot about the military," Ward said. "I just thought they where a bunch of serious people who were all about falling out and standing in formation and all that stuff". "Man, after playing for the Thule crew and getting to know them, having some drinks with them, I found out that they are some of the nicest people in the world," Ward said.

After returning to the States, he got on the phone with his agent. "I told them I'd play for the military anytime, anywhere," Ward said. "The next thing I know I've got tickets for Honduras".

Military Traditions. Ward even learned about some military traditions while freezing in Thule. "I loved the whole coin thing" "if you have your coin, and they don't then you get a free drink." However, Ward found out there's a downside to that old military tradition. "They got me back", Ward said "we where touring one of the facilities and they did a police exercise and they put us in handcuffs, removed everything from out pockets they gave us everything back, but I did not notice they kept my coin and in a minute they where all coining me... I did not have mine.

He eventually got his coin back, but only after he bought 15 or 16 drinks... "I was happy to do it, because by then, I was just loving playing for the troops'. You watch the news and you think the only ones at risk are the ones on the front line but after you're around them, you realize that that's not the case there all in danger's way and there doing it for me!" I hope in someway I am serving our military by playing music. Our military is just amazing and I like to think of this as me bringing them a kind of musical care package." As Soto Cano AB members did through the Random Tuesday care package, there's bound to be something for everyone.

"We play everything", he said . "We're going to play everything from Skynard to James Taylor to 3 doors down to Lincoln Park, plus we have some of our own material." However, there's only one place that he wants to be... "I can wait to get to Honduras. The only catch is, I know those guys, in Thule could get rowdy with us. I'm not convinced the gang in Honduras can do the same. It should be fun. We'll just have to see how crazy they can get," Ward said.

THE BAND

The three members of the second half of Random Tuesday, consist of show-stealing harmonica player Clay Goldstein, Bassist Eugene Smiley and drummer Chris Lee. Ward thinks highly of his troupe. "We all work together and make it a great show. This is the first set of guys I don't have to worry about off stage. there're just a bunch of good guys. There musical talent is out of this world as well."
- THE IGUANA


At an age where most boys are playing with Tonka trucks and Lincoln logs, musician Matthew D. Ward was finding his inspiration.

The Gateway recently had a chance to talk with Ward, and was impressed by his take on where his life is headed. Ward was on the road to perform with his band, Matthew D. and Random Tuesday, when the friendly, polite and ever-so-southern-sounding 22-year-old pulled over on the side of the road to chat.

"I started doing Elvis impersonations at the age of five, after seeing a movie called Elvis and Me based on a book by Priscilla Presley," Ward said of his early career. "I asked my mom who this Elvis guy was and she had a ton of memorabilia. So it started there. Performing for local retirement homes and hospitals was not the fame I had dreamed of, but it was a start!"

The majority of his musical training is self-taught: "I got started when I was around eight and taught myself up until about 17. It was about then I decided that I had better get a few lessons if I was going to make a living at this. So I started with a well-known guy, Fast Johnny Ricker, and when I started out, I had an $80 swap shop guitar. I would keep my parents up all night with my playing."

Ward may have had his start with Elvis' music, but from there he evolved into country, bluegrass, gospel and blues. "I really was overtaken with the feeling of the blues in the masters -- Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Robert Johnson -- this was the music for my soul!" he said. "It's what I felt. I knew I could not go on the Elvis bandwagon for too much longer. I knew I would have to do the 'Matt thing' if I was going to make it. I mean, think about it -- there has already been an Elvis Presley."

One could say the safest route to beginning a career would be to stick your toe in and see how it felt. That notion didn't last too long for young Ward. He began sneaking into blues clubs in Kansas City, first to listen, all the while thinking someday it would be him on stage. The first jam session he attended, he fell flat on his face.

"I guess that's why they call it the blues or paying dues," Ward said.

Aside from his notable entry to the Kansas City circuit, Ward was able to sit in with such luminaries as Little Hatch and Cotton Candy. Ward later was asked to join Cotton's band, which, he said, was very special because she was one of the first blues artists he had seen perform and had quite an impact on his career choice.

Not long after, Ward made a decision -- he left Kansas City to pursue his dreams in Memphis. After visiting Beal Street several times for the International Blues Competition, Ward had fallen in love with Memphis.

"By the time I was 21, I had started getting a little bit of a name for myself and I went down there to go out on the road with Bobby Rush and Little Milton, who are both big name acts based from the south."

Ward got a call to join a country band, which brought him closer to his home of Kansas City. His time with the band was short-lived, though; Ward wasn't able to shake his love of the blues, and the country just wasn't cutting it for him.

"I really wanted to stay true to my blues/rock roots," he said.

Ward continued: "I got the call to join Doug Allen's Chicago Mob! This was the guy who really inspired me to just do it. I knew I always would, but I needed that swift kick in the pants ... He told me I was a lot like him when he was my age. We were sitting at Pizza Hut in North Dakota and he said, 'Matt, why don't you load your own trailer?' What he meant was it was time to start my own thing. He told me I was a good-looking kid who could sing and play and was marketable."

Ward returned to Kansas City and formed his own band.

"They're like family," he said. "I have played with the bass player, Mike Siebert, in many different bands. We are very close; he has known me since I started. He would be the one to ask for any road stories. The keyboard player is Mike's brother, Dan, and so he is also a part of that long- lasting bond. As for my drummer, he has been with me for some time now. He is the newest addition to the group and is an awesome powerhouse on those things. They all work really hard for me and go above and beyond."

The band has an album with a tentative release date in May. It will be available at shows, in music stores and online at www.geocities.com/mattdward/ (soon to be changed to http://www.mattdward.com).

"I get my inspiration from life, things that go on: injustices, happiness, sadness," Ward said. "Good song titles will pop in my head and I will go from there; sometimes a good hook will come first and I just let it happen.

Ward's biggest reward so far? His ability to support himself by working full time doing something he loves.

"I feel completely blessed," he said. "I don't know how long it will last, but I just take it one day at a time. I try to do my best at everything I do. It really pays off for me. If you work hard, show up on time, and have a good attitude, things start to happen. In 10 years I will be 32 years old. It's hard to say, but I hope I will be doing what I do best -- be out here meeting the fans and performing. A couple of gold records, to keep my walls warm, would be nice. In 20 years? I hope I don't end up like Elvis -- same thing as above, just married."

Matthew D. Ward and Random Tuesday will be bringing their music to Omaha this Friday and Saturday night at the Velvet Lounge, 76th and Cass Streets. The party will start about 9 p.m. and continue until the bar closes.
- Gateway Omaha NEB




At an age where most boys are playing with Tonka trucks and Lincoln logs, musician Matthew D. Ward was finding his inspiration.

The Gateway recently had a chance to talk with Ward, and was impressed by his take on where his life is headed. Ward was on the road to perform with his band, Matthew D. and Random Tuesday, when the friendly, polite and ever-so-southern-sounding 22-year-old pulled over on the side of the road to chat.

"I started doing Elvis impersonations at the age of five, after seeing a movie called Elvis and Me based on a book by Priscilla Presley," Ward said of his early career. "I asked my mom who this Elvis guy was and she had a ton of memorabilia. So it started there. Performing for local retirement homes and hospitals was not the fame I had dreamed of, but it was a start!"

The majority of his musical training is self-taught: "I got started when I was around eight and taught myself up until about 17. It was about then I decided that I had better get a few lessons if I was going to make a living at this. So I started with a well-known guy, Fast Johnny Ricker, and when I started out, I had an $80 swap shop guitar. I would keep my parents up all night with my playing."

Ward may have had his start with Elvis' music, but from there he evolved into country, bluegrass, gospel and blues. "I really was overtaken with the feeling of the blues in the masters -- Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Robert Johnson -- this was the music for my soul!" he said. "It's what I felt. I knew I could not go on the Elvis bandwagon for too much longer. I knew I would have to do the 'Matt thing' if I was going to make it. I mean, think about it -- there has already been an Elvis Presley."

One could say the safest route to beginning a career would be to stick your toe in and see how it felt. That notion didn't last too long for young Ward. He began sneaking into blues clubs in Kansas City, first to listen, all the while thinking someday it would be him on stage. The first jam session he attended, he fell flat on his face.

"I guess that's why they call it the blues or paying dues," Ward said.

Aside from his notable entry to the Kansas City circuit, Ward was able to sit in with such luminaries as Little Hatch and Cotton Candy. Ward later was asked to join Cotton's band, which, he said, was very special because she was one of the first blues artists he had seen perform and had quite an impact on his career choice.

Not long after, Ward made a decision -- he left Kansas City to pursue his dreams in Memphis. After visiting Beal Street several times for the International Blues Competition, Ward had fallen in love with Memphis.

"By the time I was 21, I had started getting a little bit of a name for myself and I went down there to go out on the road with Bobby Rush and Little Milton, who are both big name acts based from the south."

Ward got a call to join a country band, which brought him closer to his home of Kansas City. His time with the band was short-lived, though; Ward wasn't able to shake his love of the blues, and the country just wasn't cutting it for him.

"I really wanted to stay true to my blues/rock roots," he said.

Ward continued: "I got the call to join Doug Allen's Chicago Mob! This was the guy who really inspired me to just do it. I knew I always would, but I needed that swift kick in the pants ... He told me I was a lot like him when he was my age. We were sitting at Pizza Hut in North Dakota and he said, 'Matt, why don't you load your own trailer?' What he meant was it was time to start my own thing. He told me I was a good-looking kid who could sing and play and was marketable."

Ward returned to Kansas City and formed his own band.

"They're like family," he said. "I have played with the bass player, Mike Siebert, in many different bands. We are very close; he has known me since I started. He would be the one to ask for any road stories. The keyboard player is Mike's brother, Dan, and so he is also a part of that long- lasting bond. As for my drummer, he has been with me for some time now. He is the newest addition to the group and is an awesome powerhouse on those things. They all work really hard for me and go above and beyond."

The band has an album with a tentative release date in May. It will be available at shows, in music stores and online at www.geocities.com/mattdward/ (soon to be changed to http://www.mattdward.com).

"I get my inspiration from life, things that go on: injustices, happiness, sadness," Ward said. "Good song titles will pop in my head and I will go from there; sometimes a good hook will come first and I just let it happen.

Ward's biggest reward so far? His ability to support himself by working full time doing something he loves.

"I feel completely blessed," he said. "I don't know how long it will last, but I just take it one day at a time. I try to do my best at everything I do. It really pays off for me. If you work hard, show up on time, and have a good attitude, things start to happen. In 10 years I will be 32 years old. It's hard to say, but I hope I will be doing what I do best -- be out here meeting the fans and performing. A couple of gold records, to keep my walls warm, would be nice. In 20 years? I hope I don't end up like Elvis -- same thing as above, just married."

Matthew D. Ward and Random Tuesday will be bringing their music to Omaha this Friday and Saturday night at the Velvet Lounge, 76th and Cass Streets. The party will start about 9 p.m. and continue until the bar closes.

_________________________________________________________________________

"The Blue News" April, 2001
Meet One of Kansas City’s Up and Coming Guitar Players Matt D Ward

By: Cindy Terwilliger (original interview for this article occurred in October of 2000)

Many of you may already know Matt Ward as the stylishly dressed guitar player and vocalist with Cotton Candy and So Many Men and for his regular participation in the KCBS’s monthly jam sessions. I first had the opportunity to meet Matt in January of 2000 on the bus trip to Memphis for the Blues Talent Competition. Matt is not a person you easily forget given his exuberance for life and his guiding philosophy to play guitar and sing from the heart.

Matt is an intensely spiritual person who is passionate about life, HIS MUSIC, the guitar and the blues. Matt is one of the most goal-oriented persons I know who is serious about making a career out of music and the blues. Matt is also an extremely gracious person who is thankful for the many opportunities he has had to share his talents with Kansas City.

I always love to find to out how people became interested in the blues. Matt’s story is particularly interesting since it all began with Elvis. Matt was an Elvis impersonator from the time he was six years to when he was a freshman in high school. He even had the opportunity to appear on the Jerry Springer show as well as playing at Kemper Arena for a Blades game. His Elvis impersonator career began when he saw the movie “Elvis & Me” when he was six years old (for you Elvis fans - he prefers the “older” Elvis and his favorite Elvis’s songs are Hound Dog and Heartbreak Hotel)! As a teenager, Matt had already begun listening to the blues; old country and gospel to help him better understand Elvis’s music.

When Matt was in junior high school he was overweight at 330 lbs. and was picked on by his classmates. Around the age of 16, Matt knew that he wanted to conquer new ground and achieve his dream of playing blues music. By the time he was a senior at William Christman High School in Independence he had lost the weight, began guitar lessons from Fast Johnny Ricker and practicing for four hours a night all while graduating a year early. He had also began attending jam sessions around town at BB’s Lawnside BB’Q and the former Club Mardi Gras to listen to the blues bands perform. Matt’s favorite club was Club Mardi Gras since in his words “they have been doing blues forever and the fact that it was located in the 18th and Vine area.” Matt told me about the first time he saw Cotton at the Mardi Gras and heard her belt out “They Call me Cotton Candy”. He said he was “so whizzed out with this lady in charge”. He then heard Jason Welming laying out BB King blues riffs and he knew that that was what he wanted to do. Eventually, Matt started his own band called Matt Ward and the Shadows featuring Tim Braun which did a few gigs for which they never got paid. He also had the opportunity to play with T.J. Hooker son of the legendary Johnny Taylor.

Matt got his big break playing blues, as a founding member of Lester “Wizard” King’s Royal Court. Matt told me that he first saw Lester play at the Grand Emporium he was so impressed that he followed him into the bathroom so he could talk to him. He introduced himself to Lester as a guitar player and told him “I’m going to be a star some day and I would like to pay my dues in your band.” Lester eventually hired him and he played his very first gig with Lester at Mississippi Grace in November of 1999. Although Matt is no longer playing with Lester he holds Lester in high regard and considers him a great friend and an invaluable asset to his career in music.

In April of 2000 on his birthday, he received the honor to play with his favorite band Cotton Candy and So Many Men. He earned his nickname Matt “Kid Crash” Ward at one of his first rehearsals with Cotton when lost his balance and fell over and crashed onto her glass table. Of course being a guitar player he was only worried about his guitars and his hands. Matt is still playing with Cotton Candy and So Many Men and is also featured on Cotton’s new cd. He is also playing with Richard Townsend and the Gotto Band and has recently formed his own blues band called “Matthew D and the Bad News”. I asked Matt if he thought Cotton received enough respect for her musical contributions in Kansas City. He felt that Cotton along with other luminaries such as Lawrence Wright and King Alex have not received enough acclaim for their musical contributions and that they should be inducted as elder statesman at the Mutual Musician’s Foundation.

Kansas City musicians that have influenced him include Bill Dye, Little Hatch, KC Kelsey, Eugene Smiley, Lawrence Wright, Bill Dye, Koolaid, Spoon Wilson, D.C. Bellamy and John Paul Drum as well as the younger generation of Danielle Schnebelin, Brody Buster, Tim Braun, Evan Deese and Brandon Hudspeth of Cobalt Project. Matt’s national blues influences include Freddy King, Albert King, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Luther Allison, Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, Elmore James and Tampa Red. However, the biggest influence in his life has been his father. Although he is not a musician, “he is the greatest man I have ever known and If can be half the man he is I will truly have achieved the greatest victory of my life.”

Matt feels he owes his success with Blues today to God and Elvis and feels very blessed by all of the opportunities he has had. He wants every one to know he appreciates all of the help and encouragement. The most criticism he has received thus far is for being young and for not having paid his dues musically. I asked Matt what would he say to people who think is he arrogant or cocky. His response was to talk to him. He noted that when he was in high school he felt that people thought he was strange because of his weight, but that they might have had a different impression if they had taken the time to look behind the image and get to know him as a person.

Matt would like to record his own cd in the future, which would feature his original music as well as give music lessons since he feels that music is a gift that must be passed on. In the long term his ultimate goal and real dream is to play with a national blues-touring act. Someday he would like to play with a gospel band. The good news is that for right now Matt is planning on staying in Kansas City. So go and meet Matt at the KCBS April jam session with Cotton Candy and So Many Men or check out his website at mattdward.com
- Blues News


Discography

My Machine (EP) Cotton Candy and so Many Men 1999
Born Into The Blues (Single) Matt Ward Demo 2001
Notes From The Edge (Album) Matthew D and Random Tuesday 2007

Photos

Bio

You don't need an old record to recapture the spirit
of great music. You can hear the reverberations of
the past, and the sound of the future in one group...
Matthew D and Random Tuesday.

Blues is a state of mind. Despite a blues emphasis
wrapped in a pop package, their set of music makes
it transparently clear just how grounded these tunes
are in rock, country, jazz, hip-hop and gospel. This
musical eclecticism is the canvas that allows Matt's
musical soul come up for air. Matt's abilities as a
composer, guitarist, singer, producer and band
leader span a broad spectrum indeed, but the
foothold of Mathew D and Random Tuesday is still
fully ensconced with their unique stamp on the
blues.

Their all original debut album,
NOTES FROM THE EDGE, produced, recorded and
written by Matt is a passion filled, radio friendly,
no holds barred production. From the beginning
hook of the first track, Ain't Man Enough, to the
heart felt, country inspired Here Come Those Tears,
to the jazz flavored, Shadows Of Love, to the
final track, there is something here for every one.
This group is young, energetic, and on the verge of
a break though. With the release of this platter it
will likely be followed by more reviews comparing
the singer/songwriter to "John Mayer with the soul
of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Songs and stories of love,
loss and whatever strikes him at the moment.
Always compelling, confounding, creative.
Unparalleled, unforgettable, inappropriate,
impossible. brilliant. Its where the music hits the road.

On any given weekend you will find Mathew D and
Random Tuesday somewhere around the Midwest
entertaining their dedicated following. One niters
have been the university that Matt has learned to
perform. He is a master in working the room. His
antics on stage mimic his animated personality off
stage. This may be the drawing card but what holds
the crowd is his soul searching voice and searing
guitar. With a flamboyant style his flow of explosive,
blistering guitar, is unpredictable and fresh no
matter the venue or crowd. Every note an urgent
cry and every phrase a statement; it is genuine,
from the soul. Soul is something that can't be faked.
You either have it or you don't. Furthermore, the
audience can tell when someone is playing from
their heart. They can't help but feel it and give back
that same inspiration. That is the apex of music. It
cuts deeper. Its lines run so deep, they penetrate
the essence of the man. It is personal and individual
and at the same time universal. Anyone who listens
to MD's words understands his message. That
perhaps is the real meaning of soul, a connection.

Touring the Midwest has kept Matt busy. Playing club
dates at: Knuckleheads, The Grand Emporium,
BB's Lawnside, in Kansas City, The Val Air Ballroom
& the Blues on Grand, in Iowa. McKenna's in Omaha,
B.B. Jazz and Soups in St. Louis, The Roadhouse
in Wichita, the New Daisy Theater and the Gibson
Lounge in Memphis.

He has also played Kansas City's prestigious events,
the Blues and Jazz Festival, The Spirit Festival and
The Blues Breakfast Dance where he opened for
Bobby Bland.

He has also performed with: Anna Popovich,
Deborah Coleman, Chick Willis, Jimmy Lee Robinson,
Kenny Wayne Shepard, Little Milton, Russell Jackson
and Goverment Mule.

In 2006 they began touring the world with
Armed Forces Entertainment, bringing the best of
America to the much deserving troops in Thule
Greenland, Puerto Rico, Getmo, Cuba, Germany,
Belgium, and the Netherlands.

Matt takes his art and business very seriously.
He is his own fiercest critic when it comes to
songwriting and performance. Matt is constantly
trying to push the boundaries. He draws from life
to provide the freshest modern blues today. He has
immersed himself in creating his own brand of blues
as varied as the young man himself. I think that is
what this record comes down to, a young man
hungry for success willing to do what it takes and
impatient to get it on.

Steven Goforth
freelance writer

Band Members