Tue, Jun 18, 2013.
I love having a network of pals across the country who tell me about great music they've heard of late. For instance, just last week a former Frederictonian sent me a quick note to tell me about Matt Epp, who's playing this week in the province. She'd just seen him in Alberta, and was raving about his live show. She's not alone. Epp's developed a great rep the past few years for his shows, often small acoustic outings where he wows you with his songs, folk with a soul twist. The Manitoba native writes really accessible, entertaining numbers, upbeat and heavy on the hooks and choruses.
On his new disc, Learning To Lose Control, Epp gets to broaden things out a bit, and make the songs a lot more poppy. While his vocals and stories still drive the songs, lots of sweet guitars now take over, and those fun melodies really blossom, everything kicking right along with the drums. The choruses become sing-along spots, open to harmonies and back-up vocals. The grand Serena Ryder shows up to co-sing When You Know, and the pair are a top team, both of them blessed with mellow mystery in their voices. Epp's surprisingly prolific with these high-quality songs as well, this being his seventh album since 2005, a pace way above most artists these days.
Epp's East Coast dates begin Wednesday night (June 19) in Fredericton, where he's playing the Cedar Tree Cafe. Friday night he's going to be in St. Andrews at the Red Herring, and Saturday it's the Tide And Boar in Moncton. Winnipeg indie-pop singer French Press (Chantel Emond) opens all these dates.
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Bob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).