...communicating with honest and heart-felt lyrics
When Matt Andersen steps on stage, he brings a lifetime of music to every note he plays. His latest album, The Big Bottle of Joy, is all about hard-won celebration; a dozen songs infused with raw blues-rock, rollicking Americana, thoughtful folk, and ecstatic gospel. Andersen’s stage presence is informed by decades of cutting his teeth in dusty clubs, dim-lit bars, and grand theatres all over the world, delivering soulful performances that run the gamut from intimate to wall-shaking. In the studio, he’s always brought the same attention to detail and commitment to craft as he has to his live show, and the result - a multi-faceted and poignant body of work - has led him to amass over 28 million streams on Spotify and 26 million views on YouTube.

In addition to headlining major festivals, clubs and theatres throughout North America, Europe, and Australia, he has shared the stage and toured with Marcus King, Beth Hart, Marty Stuart, Greg Allman, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Randy Bachman, Serena Ryder, Tab Benoit, and more.

Andersen nabbed the 2013 and 2016 European Blues Awards for Best Solo/Acoustic Act, was the first ever Canadian to take home top honours in the solo category at the 2010 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, won the CIMA Road Gold award in 2015, and has won multiple Maple Blues Awards.

Special Guest

Old Man Luedecke

Easy Money picks up where Old Man Luedecke’s award winning, and most successful release to date, Domestic Eccentric (2015), leaves off: four years farther down the road, dreaming about his ship coming in, still a parent but now grappling with the newness of middle age, dad jokes, love for an abiding partner, the death of a parent, along with some calypso-feeling local Nova Scotia history thrown in for good measure. Composition and recording were both begun at the Banff Centre’s songwriter-in-residence program. It was there that Luedecke met the album’s producer Howard Bilerman of Montreal’s famed Hotel2Tango studio where the album was eventually recorded. The two hit it off when Luedecke composed “Easy Money” on the tracking floor on the first day of the program. Desperate for something worthy to use in his recording time, Luedecke channeled a traditional Christmas number he knew from a Harry Belafonte record and sang largely improvised verses into a winning tune that is sure to be a modern classic: Oh yes I need it, Oh yes I want it, I dream about easy, I dream about Easy money.” Don’t we all. The further nine new original compositions and two covers run a modern storytelling line from the fifties folk and calypso boom into the everyday of tangible middle life. Guest appearances by long-time collaborator and Grammy award-winning Tim O’Brien, Afie Jurvanen of Bahamas, and Fats Kaplin (Jack White, John Prine) add piquant accents to the impeccable playing of Luedecke and a crack Montreal studio band of Mike O’Brien, Joshua Toal and Jamie Thompson. The album begins with three upbeat incantations of what is surely the beginnings of a mid-life crisis (Dad Jokes? Wakeup Call, come on!) then moves to 2 songs musing about death; both inspired in part and in different ways, by the passing of Luedecke’s father, the passing of Leonard Cohen and current politics and the death of truth. There are two island-themed numbers that imagine a laid-back life in the local un-tropical paradise of the Canadian Maritimes. Then comes a country song with killer fiddling and harmony singing by Tim O’Brien, a dance number of frightful worry and then a cover of Nana Mouskouri’s French language cover of Bob Dylan’s topical apocalyptic plaint, “Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”. This is followed by a traditional sea shanty about a mermaid and a shipwreck. The album closer, “‘I Skipped a Stone”, is the most beautiful song about hoping your wife will pick up the phone. The song is made all the sweeter by the special appearance of Bahamas’ playing and singing, to close out Luedecke’s sixth full length studio album.

The only thing as good as the show? The drink you have after

GRAB A BITE, BEFORE OR AFTER

A few short steps from Midtown is One Twenty Three—our neighborly New American Tavern, serving hearty dishes with modern flare.