Playing Sunday at Ribfest 2012
Matt Stillwell’s move to Nashville was the ultimate eye-opener.
“I watched friends do showcases and hope someone would show up,” he says. “I watched them being promised record or publishing deals that might or might not happen. So I made the decision that what I needed to do was to eliminate the ‘no’s, and the way to do that was to go build a following.”
A man with a work ethic as big as his talent, Matt did just that, and in this age of American Idol and viral videos, he has built his following the old-fashioned way–one city, one club, one crowd at a time. Now, with the release of his new CD, Shine Deluxe, fans nationwide can experience the magic that Matt brings to bear every time he steps in front of a microphone.
Shine Deluxe showcases the qualities that have brought him to the threshold of national attention–the songwriter’s knack for finding the truth in any situation, the vocal chops to do justice to the joy and passion in each song, and the ability to take an audience on a roller-coaster of emotion and leave them better for the ride.
Matt is best known as a performer with a rowdy sense of fun, and that side of him is in full flower on the new CD. Its gem is “Shine,” an anthem to the joys of the Mason jar and the moonshine produced in places like Matt’s beloved western North Carolina. It’s a song in a league with some of modern country’s best sing-along anthems, and it is the perfect focal point. There is also “Whiskey Well,” about the process of turning heartache into a party, “Sweet Sun Angel,” is a feel-good summertime anthem that evokes images of carefree days in the sun with the one you love. and “Dirt Road Dancing,” celebrating the outlook that says the music should be loud, the drinks cold and the men and women single and rowdy.