Matty James

A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of listening to “Last One to Die” by Matty James. Then recently we got “The Road to No Town”, the latest offering from this Irish troubadour. No describing himself as Rogue Folk, a superb niche if you ask me, you can see that he has stayed true to his roots, and produced another great album where each track tells a story, as well as being foot tapping catchy. Yet with an ounce of darkness, and pub fight bravado that gives it a great edge, as the stories of love, life, and rebellion carry you way with infectious tunes.

The first three tracks set you up for what is to come. The opening, title track, lays it all bare, and you cannot help feel it might be a bit autobiographical – it certainly sets up the rogue-folk vibe for the album. Followed by “Sticks & Stones” this one has more sing-a-long vibe each time the chorus kicks in. Blending acoustic and electric guitars together beautifully, while the beat keeps your foot tapping. While “Heavy Heart” is a more down to earth track about emotions.

“Oh My Darlin” is a short track, about falling in and out of love. Blending that acoustic sound with some rock-n-roll guitar work, and yet another infectious rhythm.

For this listener the strongest track on the album comes in the form of “Gun Powder”, which on the surface seems to be a pirate inspired themed song, but I have sneaking suspicion might actually be a love song. IT is a catchy number with some great fiddle work, as Mattys rich vocal rings out with “Gun Powder”.

Slowing things up, we have the more laid back “Money & the Devil”, about the struggles of getting finances. The saxophone gives it an interesting vibe compared to the other tracks on the album. While “Hold On” continues this vibe, with the harmonica taking over from the saxophone – in the scheme of things a gentler track that helps you unwind. Well it would, if dissatisfied didn’t hit you like a bus – a bouncy track that is no doubt going to be crowd pleaser.

Closing off the album is the melancholic “Cut with Dust” that gently works its way into your subconscious. As the fiddle weaves out its melody as Matty laments his time.

Matty James

I thoroughly enjoyed this album. It was equal parts uplifting, reflective, and just plain foot tapping fun! If anything, what music should be? Matty has managed to keep the folkish style, but includes many modern aspects to his work, keeping it fresh. I have still yet to see Matty live, but I am sure in the right venue it is a great evening of stories, and good music.

Track Listing
The Road to No Town
Sticks & Stones
Heavy Heart
Oh My Darlin’
Win or Lose
Money & the Devil
Hold On
Cut With Dust


Words by Jon.

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