Matt is a life-long student of folk music and has become a walking encyclopedia of artists, songs, performance styles and the influence that folk music has had on freedom, civil rights and union benefits for hard-working Americans.
Matt was awarded "Best Overall Folk Performer" by the Detroit Music Awards for the year 2000, and his long list of credits include the prestigious Ann Arbor Folk Festival, the Detroit 300 celebration, The Ark, the Spirit of the Woods Festival, the New Jersey Folk Weekend, Louisville’s Kentucky Music Weekend, the Swannanoa Gathering in North Carolina, the Fox Valley Folk Festival, and hundreds of school and community presentations throughout the Great Lakes Region. He has shared the stage with some of our greatest performers, including Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Arlo Guthrie, Shawn Colvin, Christine Lavin, Peter Yarrow, and Richard Thompson.
I am pleased to report that I have seen each of those (above listed) artists in concert and I know Matt ranks among the best folk artists that America has produced. Not to brag, I even had the opportunity to share the stage (along with several other men) with Christine Lavin, singing "New-Age Sensitive Man".
Although Matt has been a singer for many years, he discovered an ability to write music in his 40's that he really did not know he possessed. Today he is a member of the "Yellow Room Gang", a collection of professional song writers/performers based in Michigan and known across the USA. These artists
meet on a regular basis to review and critique new songs - a method to hone their craft and improve their ability to write memorable songs.
If you are interested, do a web search on "Yellow Room Gang" to find out more about them.
Matt served as Producer/Announcer at WKSU FolkAlley.com at Kent State University for four years. Matt is now back in Michigan and deeply involved in the community singing movement. Matt spent some time with Pete Seeger, interviewed him for his radio show, and absorbed some of Pete's philosophy about folk music. Most music can become folk music. It just needs to pass the test of time. Matt explains that folk music is the music that we know; the music we can sing. It's the songs that have been shared, passed along from one generation to another. Lots of songs have been written. Millions of songs have been performed, purchased and listened to. Not all of them are well remembered.
Some folk songs start as work songs in fields or prisons; some were protests at rallies or themes for movements. It could be a pop song, or a blues tune; maybe a country song; perhaps a song from a play or an anthem, but when Matt starts to play the song in a high school gym or in a city civic center and most in the audience know it - well, that's a folk song.
If you want to know more about community singing, here is a link: