The Matt Angus Thing

The Matt Angus Thing


A hard working, independent roots rock band from Clinton, NJ.


Take the roots of The Band, the energy of The Allman Brothers, mix in a bit of Johnny Cash for integrity’s sake, sprinkle in the soul of The Staple Singers, and you’ve got the Matt Angus Thing, a dynamite rock ‘n’ roll act that makes fans the old-fashioned way. They earn them.

Led by a respected scene maker within New Jersey’s prolific music community, Matt Angus Thing has been slugging it out on the road for two years, building a grass-roots following of loyal fans from the hallowed rock halls of Boston to the fertile American music ground of New Orleans. All along the way, M.A.T.’s rich roots rock has worked like wind to a sail.

With a full-length debut just completed, Matt Angus – also bassist Randy Artiglere, guitarist Chris Hedges and drummers Tom Nelson and Dave Becker, all of whom rate among the most sought-after players in the New Jersey music scene – will continue to tour frequently while expanding its fan base.

“The bottom line is that you have to have fans,” says Angus, whose Clinton, N.J.-based Atomic Productions and Black Potatoe Records not only have served as a springboard for Matt Angus Thing and the frontman’s previous unit, an improvisational folk-rock combo simply called Angus, but also several other independent acts. Black Potatoe has released more than a dozen CDs and its motto always has been “support your independents.”

Besides his own label, Angus also is responsible for the Black Potatoe Festival, an annual indie-friendly gathering of bands along the scenic South Branch of the Raritan River in the scenester’s quaint hometown of Clinton, N.J. The festival has tripled in growth during its first six years, presenting such legendary acts as Levon Helm of The Band, Jorma Kaukonen of Hot Tuna and Jefferson Airplane, Dickey Betts of The Allman Brothers Band and Buckwheat Zydeco. The festival will return next summer. Angus also is a co-founder of Jersey Jams Fund (, a United Way music education program for New Jersey children that has raised more than $32,000 for music scholarship and mentorship and the promotion of them.

Frequently appearing with an exuberant horn section and soulful backing singers, including members of the Harlem Gospel Choir, M.A.T. can pare down to a kickin’ four-piece with Angus on a black acoustic guitar, much like his hero, Johnny Cash. As timelessly friendly as it is immediately familiar, Angus’ Americana music also is like Cash in that it frequently takes a stand. Among the accomplished songwriter’s best works are the anti-tobacco anthem, “Why Can’t I?”, and the hysterical, country-gospel dis of “President’s Son” about a spoiled, privileged George W. Bush. But then there’s also the R&B-charged “That Night,” which has gotten many a dance floor moving.

“That’s what we set out to do,” Angus says, “move people, whether it be emotionally, physically or intellectually. “But at the end of the day, it’s rock ‘n’ roll, so you shouldn’t think too much about it,” he adds with a wink. “I just love music,” Angus says. “I just want people to hear good music.”

For the time being, Angus will concentrate on touring and preparing the release of M.A.T.’s forthcoming debut, “Political Pop,” a mix of fun, energetic roots rock and message songs that look inspiringly at how corrupted and ineffective national and world leadership has created a storm of trouble that needs to be remedied immediately.


President's Son

Written By: Matthew Angus

President’s son

Well, Texas is cool and Texas is hot and I can’t think of a better spot
I’ve grown up there since the age of two.
I think I’m gonna make Texas my life have some Texas kids with my Texas wife,
Become Governor of Texas, that’s what I’ll do.

Now I don’t have to work hard, I don’t have to care, cause no matter what I do
I’m gonna make it there. My pa will always finish what I’d begun
And I didn’t work hard, I could just chase tail, cause my pa said son you can always go to Yale, that’s just one of those things about being a Congressman’s Son.

Well Vietnam it came and went and my pa said “No” he was sure hell bent
That I would never see the Asian sky.
So he put me in the guard where I got stoned and my friends all left while I stayed home
And they looked at me a wondered why.

I said, “Life’s not fair, you know that’s true and if you were me and I were you
I wouldn’t go, I surely run
They said, “Run you can and run you did, in the Texas air force is where you hid”
I said, “ That’s one of those things about being a congressman’s son”

Well I can do cocaine and drink and drive and party until I’m barely alive
Just as long as I find Jesus in the end
Cause the past is the past, unless convenient for me, and then I’ll use it to make the people see, I’ll use that past to make the people my friend.

And after failing in business a couple of time and realizing I had done too many lines
It was time to find Jesus or I’d be done
So I said,”Pa why don’t we make Texas mine” He said,” Governor of Texas, That’ll be fine” and it can happen now…that I’m a President’s Son.

No forget what you know that I’ve never earned a thing, cause President of the United States has a nice ring and I can make it there, if I tow the company line
I knew it’d be easy, I knew I had won when they put me up against another politician’s son who’s past was almost as undeserving as mine.

So I’ll spend the surplus, my friends get rich quick and we’ll get a VP who’s aptly named “DICK!”…. Let’s start a war and have some fun
I’ll destroy the UN and put us to shame and in all that time I’ll never take any blame
It’s the blessed thing about being A President’s Son.


1. Political Pop - Matt Angus Thing (Spring 2004) Features Levon Helm on the track "Understand", The Harlem Gospel Choir on "Understand" and "Stand" and Bernie Worrell on "Jenin"

2. Jersey Jams, Jersey Cares Vol. #1

3. @ Atomic Volume 3

4. Face The Day - Angus, Produced by John Ginty

5. Outstanding in Their Field - Angus, Produced by Carter Humphrey

6. Mama Says - Christine Martucci, Produced by Matt, with Randy, Chris, Tom, Walt Bibinger & Kim Williams

Set List

Available acoustic, as a four-piece and as an 11-piece.

Acoustic - 1 to 3 45-minute sets

Four piece - (up to...and anything in between)
1 - 2-hour 30-minute set
2 - 1-hour 15minute sets
3 - 1-hour sets

11-piece - (up to...and anything in between)
1 - 2-hour 30-minute set
2 - 1-hour 15minute sets
3 - 1-hour sets


1. Brings You Down
2. Right Beside You
3. Caught on to You
4. Stand
5. Sweet
6. If
7. What you're Hearin'
8. Jenin
9. All Right
10. Face the Day
11. Why Can't I?
12. Wake Up
13. You Want
14. Still With Me.
15. That Night
16. Hide
17. Coming Home
18. Everything
19. Whatever's Left
20. Save Me

Covers (4piece)

1. Folsom Prison - Johnny Cash
2. Southbound - The Allman Brothers
3. The Weight - The Band
4. Fade Away - Buddy Holly
5. Lovelight - Bobby Blue Bland
6. Messin with the Kid - Junior Wells