Erik J. Matthews
Christiaan Van Wyk was hired for drums. He and I shared a common area for teaching and over a handful of years I am lucky enough to know him as an encouraging friend and musical support base. His professionalism is well beyond his years while his calibre and talent behind the kit exceeds most people I have met with any instrument.
Brittany Metz has been a part of my musical venture for several years. I brought her in for a handful of reasons. She is well rehearsed with the piano arrangements of my songs which are only topped by her beautiful singing voice. Personally, I have yet to meet anyone that possesses the vocal control on a mic the way she does. As a guitar player herself, I have been able to bounce ideas and chord progressions her way to find that right key and structure while her harmonies add a great dynamic to my voice.
Bill Fulton was the most seasoned of the musicians with years of touring and musical wisdom. A technically wonderful bass player, his "Bb Flats" recording studio located in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia was the centre for all of us to come together. Bill and I have worked side by side in the studio and on stage in past years and his vocabulary for songs, (including several of mine) made him the obvious choice. When he gave me the thumbs up to this project, I had my group.
A few months later and the tracks were done. The next step in hearing my songs with full arrangements had taken flight and come to fruition.
"Earlier in the year, I made some decisions to shake things up a bit for myself. I contemplated relocating, travelling, recording an album, potential touring and teaching. This didn't even scratch the wall of thoughts that keep me up at night. I came to the same conclusion that my songs sing to me. I ponder and I search and no matter the divided line, my heart leads me to chase the sounds that are in my head. It's romantic at times and heartbreakingly lonely in lower moments.
I continued teaching guitar, bass and ukulele, played gigs and did session work, hosted jams and began changing the lines on the road, looking east from the salty waters. And I hit the studio, obsessively creating with the fire of a steam train. With the trust in a small selection of musician friends, the attempt was made to capture the emotions and the efforts of melodies and beats."
"And then I shelved the project and its release. Concurrently with these recording sessions, I was cutting demos in Studio G1 on my acoustic guitar. Brittany Metz again accompanied me on this side project, using her voice to fill the sounds on several tracks. I wanted to feature Brittany's voice in several songs to add diversity and to hear the content from a different narrative. Sometimes a different vocal will offer a completely different dynamic to a song.
As summer began, I felt the need to hit the road and opted to take my trusted acoustic guitar. I simplified my songs back to a basic formula, one guitar and one voice, living in my van for awhile, going across the country and letting the songs do the talking for me. I have always appreciated songs that are able to be played entirely through after being reduced to their core value...an acoustic instrument. Names like Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen, John Mayer, Eagles, Gordon Lightfoot, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, Carole King, Jim Croce and John Mellencamp have mastered this concept for me and it's artists like them that I aspire to follow throughout my journey.
So if you see me down this road, let the music captivate you and as I sing these songs, I can only hope the words and music help bring out the best in me and in others."