MP3 Matt Angus Thing - Political Pop
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13 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Roots Rock ROCK: Americana
Political Pop Songs
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 the 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. In the meantime, Angus will tour across the country. Angus also is a co-founder of Jersey Jams Fund (https://www.tradebit.com), 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 in support of the Matt Angus Thing's debut release "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
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