The Tisdales
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The Tisdales


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"The Tisdales at the Turf Club, Thursday October 9 A-List"

The Tisdales

Robert Longmore

Rich Mattson has a reputation. After playing in bands for more than 20 years, including most notably the Glenrustles and Ol' Yeller, he's known for his blue-collar approach to his music. If anything, he's earned the right to say, "Fuck it, I can play whatever the hell I want." Beholden to no genre or scene, the Iron Range rocker is back with the Tisdales. The band has more in common with '70s pop rock than the alt-country that Mattson's old bands were known for. But Mattson's songwriting chops are second to none, and his simple but majestic guitar solos are the stuff of Neil Young-garage-rock fantasies. His songs come with a layer of dirt already crusted in the space between notes--the way a bar band should sound. Joining Mattson in the Tisdales are former members of the Duluth psych-rock band the Hotel Coral Essex. With Patches and Gretchen, for whom the evening is a CD-release party, and Starfolk. - City Pages, Minneapolis

"Tisdales Debut Lives Up to Expectations"

Tisdales debut lives up to expectations

Believe it or not, the Tisdales debut is really, really ridiculously good.
I was a little worried, because the group set a dangerous precedent when it released the spotless “Faces” and “Brass Knuckles” single earlier this year.
But, rest assured, the remainder of “Baker’s Dozen” is every bit as — to plagiarize what I wrote back then — “all at once refreshing and timeless-sounding” as those tracks.
First, though, a quick biographical paragraph is probably in order: This “post old-school” local group stems from Tony Derrick (Giljunko/the Hotel Coral Essex) booking time up at Sparta Sound, the recording studio run by Rich Mattson (the Glenrustles/Ol’ Yeller). The two clicked, and, when the Hotel Coral Essex dissolved, the two Northland luminaries combined forces. They’re rounded out by Jason “Kokes” Kokal (one of Derrick’s Hotel Coral Essex bandmates) and Derek Rolando (the Six 9’s).
Stellar lineup intact, the songs flowed forward. And, despite the fact that the writing credits are split about 50/50 between Derrick and Mattson, “Baker’s Dozen” flows naturally between its bookends (the Byrds-meets-Heartbreakers “Petty Things” and the unlisted “Stihl B. Rokken”).
In addition to those two, Mattson strikes gold with the aforementioned “Brass Knuckles” and, like a beast off a lesser-known Neil Young masterpiece, “Isn’t It Good?” And Derrick fares just as well, with “Faces,” “We’re the Ones” and “Find It in Me” all but eclipsing his back catalog’s highlights.
All in all, a strong case for the Tisdales being your new favorite band. Nine thumbs up. - Duluth Budgeteer 12/12/08

"Tisdales live at First Ave. (show review)"

The Tisdales are Rich Mattson (vocals/guitars), Tony Derrick (vocals/guitars), Jason Kokal (bass) who was stationed front and center at this show, and Derek Rolando (drums), who sits low behind his kit, and appeared to sit even lower due to the Belfast Cowboys kit being set up on a riser behind him.
If I were to say The Tisdales “tore it up,” would you hold that tired musical phrase against me and revoke my music writer’s license? I hope not, because that’s what they did, and those in attendance will assure you it’s the proper terminology to use here. The Duluth-based band channeled the rock gods, their music sometimes heavy, guitar solos inspired by something on the other side of the veil. In short, it was what a rock show should be and included plenty of material from their new disc, songs varying in style from the shimmery pop of Big Star to the punk of The Ramones to songs that could almost be Cookie Monster rock infused with the down home Minnesota friendliness of the Iron Range.
Highlights of the set included the call and response style “Two Armies,” the ‘60s jangle rock “Faces,” the hefty “Like a Horse” that inspired leg kicks by some audience members (videos of those 3 songs are available in the blog), “Manifold Eyes” (which had its Cookie Monster moments) and “Universal Mother.” All songs except “Manifold Eyes” appear on their new album. “I guess you could say we’re from west St. Louis County,” Mattson said introducing the band mid-set. Full of passion, power and killer hooks, this was one of the finest opening sets by any band I have seen in some time.
Fittingly, recorded music by Neil Young played before and after the set. I’ve kind of always though of Mattson as Minnesota’s own version Neil Young in terms of appearance (classic sideburns), the longevity of his creative contributions (well over 20 years now), and musical diversity.

by: David de Young -

"Bakers Dozen"

Great rock records are a phenomenon. Oh, a lot of good records feature similar ingredients: intelligent song writing, smoking guitars, whiskey-drawl vocals, thick blooded heartbeats from the bass and drums, and good ol’ fashion sing-along choruses about getting out of town on the next ship leavin’ port. But a great rock record has all those things plus a little hard-to-define magic. And I worked at a record store long enough (too long, maybe) to know that when you’re bewitched by a great record, it’s your obligation to proclaim it. So allow me to announce The Tisdales and their debut Baker’s Dozen. A new record has found its way into the coveted rotation.

The thirteen tracks on Baker’s Dozen were recorded at the Tisdales’ home studio (a small renovated church) in Sparta, best described as a ghost town located on the Iron Range in Northern Minnesota. The songs “Faces” and “Isn’t It Good?” wind through the boarded up windows of Sparta’s vacant miner homes like REM’s Murmur did through rural Georgia. One can easily picture any last call at dive bars from Duluth to the Canadian border upon hearing and chug-a-lugging to the Neil Young-ish anthem “Like a Horse.” And “We’re the Ones” rightly justifies the satisfaction of surviving in the rock and roll underground as much as bands like X and the Replacements lived it.

Baker’s Dozen could have easily struck its bright chord in 1990, 1983, 1973, 1967… In some ways, the four flannel-clad quiet guys that make up The Tisdales might have felt more comfortable back in those great rock years when bands put their hearts and heads on the line as real tape rolled during recording sessions.

It’s almost 2009, and way too many groups record soulless, art school, flop-around tunes on whatever fancy computer download is featured in the back of TapeOp magazine. Well, damn it, here’s to The Tisdales and a timeless little piece of rock and roll magic, Baker’s Dozen.
---Mark Lindquist, Transistor Magazine Nov. 2008

- Transistor Magazine

"Ol' Yeller (Rich Mattson) review"

AMERICANA UK REVIEW: Ol’ Yeller “Good Luck” (SMA 2006) Rootsy American rock and roll. Do you like your rock a little rootsy? A little loud, plenty of guitars, but keeping the melodies and still being able to hear the vocals? Are Stewboss ok, but really you yearn for something with a bit
more guts? The come down to the dog pound, because Ol’ Yeller is just the thing for you.
Actually named after the main man Rich Mattson (an old guy who yells) Ol’ Yeller are the bastard sons of the Long Ryders and Creedence Clearwater Revival and their songs are short (12 in 37 minutes), sharp and to the point. Right on that point are tracks like “Diapers” (way better
than it’s title), a lament for lost innocence and potential, presented as a brutal and raw singalong. Further back are the likes of “Country Hilt”, and way, way back you’ll find “Be A New Man”, wherein Mattson chronicles, a la Randy Newman, his intent to start over (tomorrow). Mattson and
co harmonise beautifully throughout, the guitar solos are crisp and never outstay their welcome.
What’s not to like?
Date review added: Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Reviewer: Jeremy Searle - Americana UK

"Ol' Yeller in RIFT"

RIFT Magazine Issue #16
Ol' Yeller - Good Luck
by Nick Leet
Rich, Rich, Rich, where do you get all those wonderful songs?
Rich Mattson has been pumping out quality songs for longer than anyone can remember and Ol' Yeller's new album "Good Luck" is no exception. The album kicks off with the catchy "Jean Jacket Weather." If you haven't heard this track yet, you don't have to worry, because I'm sure
The Current will get you caught up in it as soon as possible. "You Can Laugh" follows and it's more of the meat and potatoes rock and roll this band is so good at delivering. On "Country Hilt,"Mattson talks about all the things he doesn't need weighing him down, like plasma TVs and SUVs.
Sounds like the time Rich has experienced since going up north hasn't hampered his songwriting, but, in fact, inspired him.
Twin Cities bands should take note, because this is how rock and roll should be done. There really isn't a bad track on this record and the way Mattson writes 'em, the next record will rock just as much. - RIFT Magazine

"Ol' Yeller in CITY PAGES"

City Pages (Minneapolis) CD REVIEW:

Ol' Yeller
SMA Records
Understanding Minnesota rock 'n' roll means wrapping your brain around the possibility that our finest singer could be found, on a Fourth of July weekend, in an Iron Range bar one block from the largest hockey stick in the world, covering Modern English's "I Melt with You." Rich Mattson isn't modern or English enough to deny a plastered mob its nostalgia. Nostalgia is one of his great subjects, after all, along with dreams of returning northward for good, chasing fireflies and raising chickens far from the reach of corporate capitalism. He's so unpretentious that when his great band the Glenrustles broke up, he lifted a new name out of a goofball pun on classic canine lit (Ol' Yeller as in "old guy who yells") and now does the same with the group's fourth album, Sounder (as in "emitter of sounds"). The guy's allegiance to the rural and the working class is so natural, he makes Fogerty look like a poseur.
But Mattson's gentle voice isn't easy to write for, and he knows it. With more character than Stipe, less texture than Westerberg, his singing is transcendent among harmonies, as on the lush jangle of "Nightstand," an ode to believing in bands. The song sounds like Wilco's best Woody Guthrie rewrite. "I don't understand what you're talking about/But I know that the feeling is right," Mattson croons, and you realize he's reading your mind.
Elsewhere, the craftsman in him avoids sacrificing the merely likable to worry about astonishing anyone. When his voice hits that perfect Blue Öyster Cult register, below which guitar lines can safely churn, it's a pleasant place to visit. He's rocking harder now, with a couple of cuts slipping in under the two-and-a-half-minute mark (the punky "13th Grade" and "Reward"--bonus nostalgia and anti-capitalism, respectively). Drummer Keely Lane, always the Big Ben of thwack , comes to the fore of Mattson's production this time. But the highlights are quiet departures, like the strummy country of "Drawing Blanks," a blues for the inarticulate, which sounds like Valet's take on the Auteurs. More modern, more English, in other words: Can synthesizers be far behind?

Peter S. Scholtes VOL 25 #1239 . PUBLISHED 9/1/04 - CITY PAGES

"Old O.Y. review from NYC"

New York Press
Music: Crispin Sartwell

Farm Report

Ol' Yeller is a hell of a band, and Ol' Yeller (SMA; P.O. Box 583183, Minneapolis, MN 55458) is a hell of an album. If they're an alt-country act then they're the best alt-country act I've heard in a while. Finding a groove somewhere between the Violent Femmes and the Byrds (see: I spelled it right!) they have a variety of modes, from a loping Dead-type pace to extremely focused alternative rock. They play beautifully, and despite the fact that one of the songs is called "You Can't Sing!" they sing beautifully too.

I can see a couple of these songs as actual rock radio hits, especially the varied-but-coherent "Haven't Tried Much". In fact, if this band doesn't make it big, I'm gonna kick some motherfucking honky record company radio programming executive fat fucked-up ass.

7/19/01-Vol.14, Iss. 17 - New York Press


THE TISDALES - Bakers Dozen (CD, 2008)
THE TISDALES - Single: "Faces" b/w "Brass Knuckles" (100 copies made, promo only)
HOTEL CORAL ESSEX: Glisten (EP - 2007)
OL' YELLER: s/t (2001), Nuzzle (2002), Penance (2003), Sounder (2004), Good Luck (2006)
RICH MATTSON: s/t (2007), etc..



OL' YELLER had a pretty good run. The group Rich Mattson started in 2000 called it quits on July 26, 2008 after a farewell show in their hometown of Minneapolis. Reason being, well, life got in the way. Mattson, a die-hard musician performing in 3 separate groups, also a well-known producer/studio owner, had a rough time getting his Ol' Yeller bandmates in to rehearse and/or record new material since moving 200 miles north to Sparta MN. 200 miles is a long distance for a band to hold itself together. Add to that new babies, and carpentry businesses, and a rock and roll dream is doomed..for most.
In the spring of 2007 Mattson recorded a 9-song cd for Hotel Coral Essex, a band fronted by his old friends from (Duluth's favorite rock and/or roll band) Giljunko; Tony Derrick and Pat Nelson. The songs, written mostly by Derrick, were heralded by Mattson as some of the best music to ever come through his new Sparta Sound studio. A year later, as the Hotel Coral Essex was falling apart, Derrick returned to the studio to record some new demos. He brought along HCE bassist Jason Kokal. Rich was invited to play on the sessions. The three of them crafted away at more amazing tunes. Mattson himself had been demoing new songs on his own, playing all the instruments himself, facetiously calling the project "Rich Mattson and the Tisdales"; Tisdale being the wine of choice, a cheap wine that is somewhat hard to find on the Iron Range. During a break at one of these Tony Derrick sessions, Mattson suggested that perhaps the two of them should "join forces", keep the solid Jason "Kokes" Kokal on the bass and find the best available drummer.
After auditioning somewhere around 5 drummers, they brought in the young Derek Rolando, of Eveleth MN. Derek also drums with the Six 9's, a cover band that dabbles in original music and recorded at Sparta Sound. When Mattson gave him a cd of 16 songs on a Thursday and the four of them got together the following Sunday, Rolando "outplayed them all." The Tisdales were born.