Monday, 28 March 2011

The evening's artist - Matt Stevens

So, after randomly perusing (yeah I said perusing), Twitter a little while ago, I stumbled across an artist called Matt Stevens. This isn't so rare. I often find myself stumbling into new artists, being that I write a music blog; but there was something quite different this time and here's why:

The man is a fantastic, and I really do mean fantastic, guitarist. He has managed to capture a unique sound, drawing similarities across a variety of influences, from King Crimson to Nick Drake, but at no point mirroring anything too closely. I believe 'Acoustic Guitar UK' hit the nail on the head when they called him "A one man guitar orchestra".

His songs are epic, mood altering pieces, which can only be described as acoustic prog. Using (for the most part) an acoustic guitar and a loop 
pedal, he crafts the most amazingly intricate and detailed songs, based around some of the less orthodox musical structures and progressions.

Although all of his musical talents are impressive, and that they certainly are, there is another reason why he's such an interesting artist. Matt Stevens once said: 'Obscurity is the enemy, not piracy', and this seems to be the central philosophy that he works by. Here is a musician who has fully embraced the digital revolution and all the benefits that come with it.

Realising the potential value of being able to communicate to a worldwide audience, he utilises Social Networks (with 33,000 tweets and nearly 6,000 followers), plays live gigs online, does podcasts, as well as writing and contributing to a number of other publications and organisations. In doing all this he c
onstantly keeps his fans up to date with his activities, and has formed a solid community of like-minded musicians and music enthusiasts around him. Concluding that the music industry is in a state of flux, and knowing that he must change with it; his albums are available on a pay-what-you-feel-is-fair basis. The man is a 'poster child for the digital revolution'; and any band wanting to take advantage of the technology the 21st century has to offer could learn a lot from the Matt Stevens blueprint.

Check out his album 'Ghost' here (you can even listen before you buy).

                              Matt doing what he does: shredding his guitar, with loop pedal underfoot. 


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