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Matt York
Mine
Rock Ridge Music
www.matt-york.com


Singer-songwriter Matt York has a bluesy swagger reminiscent of Marc Broussard and the gospel-soul timbres of Ben Harper. York's latest release, Mine, from Rock Ridge Music is canopied in fluffy spreads of jazz horns, funky soul grooves, and folksy blues guitar aerials. His songs are made to be enjoyed in big, open areas like in parks and social gatherings where masses of people can come together and feel linked with the prodding of York's songs.

The reggae grooves of "Someday" are shingled in bluesy-toned organ strips played by Scott Galloway and a funky soul feathering in York's vocal melody with a guitar solo from Mike Todd that reaches up to the sky. The lounging beats of bassist Jaret Koop and drummer Ben Rollo in "Give Me Love" are nestled in spores of smooth soul camphor, and the sparse piano melody dusting across "Those Days" gives York's vocals an Alicia Keys-like glow. The finger-snapping beats of "Lucky Man" embroider York's bluesy swagger with a catchy phrasing as he sings, "In love with surprises, in love with shooting stars / We're passionate and grateful for the moments shared so far / Like sleeping on your back porch in the snow / I always feel like saying, but you already know that / Baby, I'm a lucky man."

The country-folk settings of "Hard Days" are bordered in gospel-swagged vocal choruses and mournful organ hues all coming together in unity. York kicks up the tempo in the title track with brisk vocal movements and toe tapping beats that prop up the dance vibe through the melody, while the a capella verses of "Death Came A Knockin'" have a porch-folk design made for sitting outside on the front stoop with friends. The delicate brushed strokes of the guitar strums moving across "It's All Fire" ring with a homey folk feel, which switches to a gospel-soul palette on "Now And Then," and dashes of sizzling jazz horns in "Tomorrow." The cuts of saxophone swells rolling across "Tomorrow" and "Let Me Go" give these tracks a jazz-soul flavoring that refurbishes jazz accents in pop music.

Matt York and his band have put together an album that is made to be played in big, open areas. The songs link people together and raise their consciousness as a whole. It's as if the United Nations was transformed into music form. Now if only the UN could do what Matt York's songs can do at a public gathering.

-Susan Frances

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