Matthew de Heus debut release named “Town & Country” includes eight songs, seven originals and one cover for a good cause. de Heus has created a group of songs as homage to the music he grew up with, ranging from Brat Pack to Classic Country, Americana to Lounge and the ever present Pop. He plays rhythm guitar and his baritone vocals are reminiscent of Gordon Lightfoot meeting the talking blues of Ray Wylie Hubbard. His tongue in cheek manner and self-deprecating humor can be heard on most of his songs.
The opening song called “I Get By” is clearly self-descriptive; “I like short days and long nights/I kinda made a living off these pearly whites/I got the gift of gab and other stuff/Book smart, not street tough/You know, most time that’s still enough”. Love to hear the rare Clarinet crescendo by Gary Clavette.
de Heus covers Corrine Bailey Rae’s “Put Your Records On” and the proceeds of the sale from that single download go to the Bay Area Women’s Shelter in Bay County, Michigan. This song defines a “cover that doesn’t suck” for a great cause. Kudos!
“Getting’ Down” is the most classic country with barroom bravado attitude; “Me and my collection, we’re just making some hay/Come Monday morning we got nothing to say/Tonight is just a party, ‘nother night on the town/Just another opportunity for Getting Down” Oddly enough, I find myself rooting for the storyteller.
“Better Judgment” is a Lightfoot like self-examination; “Well the next line/Will be the hardest one I’ll write/It cuts so close to the bone/And holds my feet to the fire/And I realize, I tend to complicate these things/But if I had better judgment/I’d be better off today”. Who among us doesn’t agree with those sentiments? Andy Reed on lap steel gives a haunting duet.
A happy fiddle from Jon Potrykus really helps bring home another very catchy love song to ‘close the show’ called “Knot In My Rope” with a chorus; “You put a lump in my throat/You put a knot in my rope/You put the rhyme and the rhythm in this song that I wrote/I see your face reflected in every note/And this mirror says you look pretty fine”. This reviewer will be surprised if this song doesn’t get covered more than once. It’s already become my own happy earworm.
The guest musicians include Laurie Middlebrook Band & Donny Brown’s Scott Van Dell (Guitar), The Etceteras Dan Post (Guitar), The Last’s Rick Gelise (Guitar), Darin Scott (Guitar), Duality, Cornpone & Laurie Middlebrook Band’s Jon Potrykus (Fiddle), Verve Pipe’s Donny Brown (Drums), Sins In Stereo’s Ben Nolan (Sax) and Gary Clavette (Clarinet), Verve Pipe, American Underdog & The Legal Matters Andy Reed (Lap Steel). Together and solo they sound like a dream team of a studio band out of the Reed Recording Company in Bay City, Michigan.
de Heus told me; “Andy (Reed) and I played everything that wasn't listed in the credits. People talk about how Andy is developing his own little Wrecking Crew of guys who do great work in the studio. I just brought in a bunch of my friends, who happen to overlap with this crew. Andy is the lynch pin, though. We are so blessed to have him in our community.” Indeed, we are.
the “Town & Country” cover art called “Mr. Rooster” by artist Toni Johnson: www.tonij.com
Crystal clearly recorded, mixed and mastered by Andy Reed at Reed Recording Company, Bay City, Michigan: http://www.reedrecordingcompany.com/
Find “Town & Country” 2016 Self-Release: https://matthewdeheus.bandcamp.com/album/town-country
To support of Bay Area Woman’s Shelter via single Download of “Put Your Records On”: https://matthewdeheus.bandcamp.com/track/put-your-records-on
Find Matthew de Heus Music on Facebook:
- Trish Lewis - Music Reviewer, Producer and Host of “The Eclectic Chair” http://radiochair.com/
16th November, 2023