MP3 Matt Stillwell - The Couch Sessions
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12 MP3 Songs
COUNTRY: Modern Country, COUNTRY: Bluegrass
Matt Stillwell is fast becoming one of Nashville's hit singer/songwriters. He just recieved his first major label cut, "Heroes and Men" on RCA recording artist Lynn Hutton. Through his live show he has built a strong following through out the southeast and is making a strong name for himself in major music markets like Nashville and Atlanta. Check out his website for upcoming shows. https://www.tradebit.com
I'm from Sylva in the mountains of North Carolina. Those mountains are full of music and it just gets into you without you knowing it. My dad listened to a lot of country music and I remember Conway Twitty and Johnny Horton as two of his favorites. We used to sing the Battle of New Orleans and The Yellow Rose of Texas all the time. My dad and his brothers ran a construction company that my granddad started. My mom taught school second grade for 28 years and kindergarten until last year. I pride myself in how hard I work and that's a direct result of watching my dad get up at four every morning and work until dark and my mom working, taking care of the house and getting three boys to school and ball practice every day.
I listened to everything, mainly pop/rock/rap until high school because that's what was cool and the only radio station around played pop. In 7th or 8th grade I remember Guns and Roses and the Fat Boys. As I got into high school, I really started getting into country. In the locker room during football season, we listened to a lot of Clint Black, Randy Travis and Garth. I got into college and still listened to country, but most of my teammates listened to Dr. Dre and Snoop Dog. I got into that, well really just danced at parties.
After college, I really got into the good country: Whitley, Waylon, Willie and Cash. Keith Whitley really influenced me vocally. I loved the coolness of the outlaw movement. My favorite way to listen to music is with just a guitar vocal. You strip the song of everything and if it's good it will have a bigger effect on me than with a full band. I have a couple of copies of Ryan Adam's live shows. He's playing with just a guitar or piano and I've learned a ton from those. I also frequent the Station Inn in Nashville and Ronnie Bowman is a huge influence vocally and as a songwriter.
I played baseball at Western Carolina University and had a lot of success - junior year I had agents telling me I was getting drafted, but it didn't happen. I did a whole lot of soul searching that summer. I ended up singing the national anthem before a couple of games and the musical dream that had been in the back of my mind started to move forward.
I was visiting a friend and we went to a church north east of Knoxville in Grainger Country. They wanted me to sing so I sang Amazing Grace and put a little more into the rendition. A guy in the congregation said I should think about recording. He owned a studio in Knoxville and I recorded five old hymns there. After I graduated, I traveled around the area singing at churches. Then I recorded a gospel album of ten original songs and traveled around western Carolina and eastern Tennessee singing and selling my cds. I got frustrated with the way the gospel stuff limited my songwriting - plus I was but wasn't going to be able to live the life. My life experiences were much more worldly than what I was able to express.
Starting out as a new artist is an education, in a word. It comes in everyday when you see that a record deal doesn't really mean a whole lot if you don't have a foundation. I've worked at my dad's company, sold real estate, worked at the ARC of Davidson county and stocked women's shoes at Profitt's department store. So I looked at this as a huge opportunity to really build on. I'm making a living doing what I love to do and that rocks. It will happen when it's suppose to happen. It's a roller coaster.
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