“Honest Man” is the latest album from Canadian R&B and Blues singer songwriter Matt Andersen. Although Matt Andersen has several major Blues Awards to his name to date, it is always to me a disservice to artists that the music industry likes to label them in such specific genres, as this album shows a far more diverse talent than these specific musical genres.
Over these 10 tracks of “Honest Man”, we explore music with Matt and a cast of players including Andy Bassford (Toots and the Maytals, Burning Spear, Natalie Merchant), Benji Bouton (Ibibio Sound Machine), Josh David Barret (The Wailers, Lauryn Hill), and Lenny Underwood (Mary J. Blige, Amy Winehouse) that is often written around something as simple as a drum beat, and that layering of vocals and music gives us an album that is both commentary and personal.
The title track “Honest Man” inspired by a U.S. political cartoon has Andersen thinking about how his country has changed, but not for the better.
Given the diverse range of talent contributing to this album (including Commissioner Gordon), it is no surprise to find some familiar elements here mixed in with the new. This is an album of an artist clearly letting us see where he has come from musically while at the same time showing us a new and individual direction.
Matt Andersen has one of those classic soul sounding voices, and that is probably most evident on the Otis Redding sounding “Last Surrender”…classic 1960s soul sounds made with the classic building blocks of so many Stax and Atlantic sounds of that era. “I’m Giving In” is another example of that classic soul voice and sound.
There is far more to this album though than retro Soul, R & B and Blues sounds though. “Honest Man” has that feel of an album that is going to be played by anyone who buys it for a long time to come.
Matt Andersen is touring the UK in 2017 (coming to Edinburgh in May). For more details on the album and the tour visit http://www.stubbyfingers.ca/
I’m Giving In
Let’s Get Back
All The Way
Who Are You Listening To?
•One Good Song
Review by Tom King