Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Matt Creer

Needless to say if a band or artist has a dog they go right to the top of Ralph's blog diary, so it's no surprise today's feature is on singer songwriter Matt Creer who shares his life on the Isle Of Man with retired rescue dog Lala.

He's just released a new album callled The Leeward Tide which was released last Monday and Ralph's already played a track on his Radio KC Sunday Show.

The Leeward Tide, Matt CreerMatt Creer is a classically trained musician living and working on the Isle Of Man and it's the inspiration drawn from the island's coastline and landscape that have fuelled his latest songwriting for this immaculate ten track album.

It's no surprise that it has hit No 17 in the iTunes singer/songwriter category and has already seen no small amount of critlical acclaim with the reviewing fraternity. Ralph had a quick chat with him...

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Ralph: Is Lala a recued rescue dog?

Matt: Not a rescued rescue dog - I trained her up from a pup for 2 years and worked her for a further 7 years as a volunteer Mountain Rescue Dog Handler. She's a little old to work the hills now, so she's now a full time pet. Real name is Lola, but everyone calls her Lala.

Ralph: What are your influences, both classical and poular?

Matt: Classical influences are based mostly on having been an Orchestral Trumpet player in a previous life, so I love the Romantic and 20th Century masters (Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Stravinsky) and the Baroque masters (Bach, Handel etc).

Contemporary songwriting influences include Neil Finn, James Taylor, Paul Simon, Nickel Creek, Glen Phillips, Garrison Starr (so not that contemporary! Ha!) 

Ralph: There's an early 70's songwriting feel to the album, do you feel you have an 'old soul'?

Matt: Old soul? Yeah I guess I am. I grew up listening to my folks playing people like James Taylor and Carol King on vinyl so I suppose the old singer songwriter values filtered into my brain. I'm crazy about vocal harmonies. 

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Ralph: Bacon Butty Or Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Egg on toast?

Matt: Bacon Butty! Every time.

Ralph: There's a wistful feel to the album, like Shout Me Down so how introspective is it?

Matt: Shout me down is a hugely introspective song, as it's about suffering from chronic tinnitus (which I do), but there's a good mix on the record, some songs are true stories (Your Dancing Shoes for example) and others are inspired by friends or stories or things that have happened to me or people I know. I lost a close friend to cancer during the making of the record (Katherine Crowe: She's singing backing vocals on Islands) so there's a couple of songs directly about that. 

With thanks to Gary Weightman of  vanninphotos.com

Ralph: The press pics also have a wistful feel, what makes you smile?

Matt: Making music with friends makes me smile, my kids make me smile (most of the time!) walking in the hills makes me smile - as does the beauty of the Isle of Man generally. A good single malt whisky does too! 

Ralph: Any plans to tour the mainland soon?

Matt: I'm planning to be in England later in the year for some solo shows and house concerts, once I've done a bit more promo for the album.

Ralph: You've previously had some interesting collabs, anything else in the offing soon?

Matt:  I'm in the early stages on some co-writing which is very exciting, but I'll say more at the mo. Other than that I've recently started gigging with my awesome band, after several years of playing solo acoustic, so I'm excited to develop our set and work out arrangements for all the songs on the album. 

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