May/June 2013 Shenanigans

Bonjour my friends! Today, May 28th, marks one full year of being a full-time musician. May 28th, 2012 was my last day at my old nine-to-five. And I’ve never looked back (well, okay I looked back ONCE to help that old company to the tune of a very high hourly fee. No regrets).

It’s so strange (and sometimes scary) to not have a reliable source of income every month. Weekly paychecks are a thing of the past and that is a crazy feeling. I have more than once found myself taking on way too much work (basically filling every empty spot on my calendar) because money (bad grammar intentional). Very recently I heard a message at my church that really helped my conviction to STOP doing that – taking a sabbath every week is in itself an act of worship. It proves trust in God to provide, even if you are not working. It says “I’m going to sit on my butt and rest because God is in control of my finances.”

It’s also been super cool to see how my musical career has developed. My main income source changes every month. One month I’m producing a zillion artists. The next I’m doing session work on a lot of different artists’ records. The next I’m playing camps and gigs galore. It keeps me on my toes. One thing is for sure – it’s never boring!

I’ve had the privilege of working with a bunch of kick butt artists this past year. It’s humbling to be surrounded by such talent. Here are some of the recent projects that have either just dropped or are ABOUT to be released:

Ryan Proudfoot – In one week (on June 4th, 2013) Ryan’s new full length album, titled “Treasure”, drops digitally on iTunes. It. Is. Ridiculous. In a good way, of course. The songs on this album are amazing and the production and recording quality came out awesome. I really think this album is going to go places. Proudfoot’s style is sort of singer/songwriter pop/funk, similar to Mat Kearney, Matt Wertz, Jimmy Needham and Dave Barnes. These songs are catchy as heck. Highly recommended!

Chad Overman – Chad and I have been working together for a good while. We started back at my home studio actually on a project that is very retro. 60s/70s pop kind of stuff. That project is still happening at some point, but we switched gears recently as Chad really felt called to put out a worship EP. One more session in early June and it should be completed. This guy is a heck of a songwriter and lyricist. One of the best I’ve ever had the honor of working with. Hear these songs once and they’ll be stuck in your head for days. And lyrically, though they’re easy to sing, the songs are very very deep. I’m super blessed to have been a part of this project and I can’t wait to share these three tracks with the world. Fans of Hillsong United, the Royal Royal and dare I say, Imagine Dragons will enjoy these three worship tunes. Keep your eyes peeled for the release of these tracks!

Andrew Reynosa – I actually used to give this guy guitar lessons back in the day. Fate brought us together again to cut his first single, “I Know (It’s Not Working Out)“. This is a very catchy tune. It has a sort of an intentional 90s rock vibe, in the vein of Third Eye Blind. Super excited about this tune and getting back in the studio soon with Andrew to continue work on his EP!

Colin Leonard – This 18-year-old singer/songwriter from Austin really impressed me prior to our first recording session. I heard a raw recording he did on his iPhone and it sounded fantastic. He is a gifted guitarist and has a voice that’s smooth as butter (yet sometimes has a pleasant grittiness to it). His single, “Lay Me Down Slow“, was released April 10th and jumped up to number 15 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter charts! For fans of Mumford and Sons, Needtobreathe, and The Lumineers.

Whitlee Casey hails from Troy, TX (near Temple) and is a gifted worship leader, vocalist, and songwriter. He came down last week to track his new single, “Father, You Are Good” and I will say very confidently that it is one of the best songs and recordings I’ve ever worked on. It drops July 2nd on iTunes and I’m SO excited for the world to hear it! It’s one of the catchiest songs ever and has “radio potential” written all over it.

Here are some other nifty projects coming down the pike in the slightly-more-distant future:

Armando Martinez is a Spanish/Flamenco guitarist. We have completed three songs off of his forthcoming instrumental EP and I’m really enjoying what we have so far. Very smooth and relaxing to listen to.

John David Martinez is a worship leader out at Community Bible Church (CBC). He is one of the nicest guys ever and we are in the middle of recording a single called “Send Me” (in the hopes of doing a 12 track full length in the near future). He is a great songwriter. And his story is amazing! (Cliff Notes version) JD had been writing tunes since the late 80s and would store his completed charts/lyric sheets in an old shoebox. The shoebox was lost for SEVERAL YEARS. It was rediscovered recently and he is going to record all of the “shoebox songs” on a project called “Songs from the Shoebox”. Can’t wait for this project to be done!

Renevus is a Christian indie rock band that writes fantastic and unique worship tunes. Tidbit for music nerds: one of their songs has an instrumental break in the 11/4 time signature. We are beginning a new single called “We Will Rise” this week. It’s 7+ minutes of atmosphere-y worship goodness. Soon after the single drops we will be embarking on a full 6-song project, about which I am SUPER excited. I respect these guys very much as songwriters, musicians and people. Pumped!

Lots of other stuff is in the works as well. My own EP is slated for release in August 2013 (and Chris Huffman of Casting Crowns fame will be playing bass on it). I have several big shows lined up along with various camps, new production and session work opportunities, and other audio-related gigs. I can’t wait to see what the next 12 months have in store for me. God has blessed me beyond anything I deserve and to Him be all the glory. Talk to you soon!

– Matt

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