The energy and excitement created when Matt Tutor performs with a band are electrifying and intoxicating, but when he performs by himself, brilliance and intimacy combine to create a performance that rivals any show you’ll ever see.
Matt began studying music at age 6, after already having been singing in children’s choirs since age 4. His study of music has continued ever since, all the way through a Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies, emphasis in Composition, from the New England Conservatory of Music. He began performing at a very young age, began playing professionally at age 14, and has spent the last 21 years playing in many places around the country. He’s played with everyone from Steve Cropper to the Doobie Brothers, Derek Trucks and Eric Gales to sitting in with Hootie and the Blowfish. With a studio resume several albums long, he had recorded with R.L. Burnside, Melvin Taylor, Dave LeMieux, and Kenny Wayne Shepard before ever beginning work on his solo debut album, simply titled, “Matt Tutor.”
His music covers any style you can imagine with lots of Memphis in everything he does. Even his ballads groove. Adding loops to the performance just took an already spectacular show, and made it even better. Instead of using the loops as a gimmick, or parlor trick, he uses them to create rhythm tracks to improvise over, or to create parts, sections, and harmony vocals for his very own impromptu rhythm section. His playing is wonderful and intense. His improvisations are melodic and virtuosic. And his music has the most delightful combination of the feeling of watching a true professional perform and the feeling that the entire show could come crashing down at any given moment.
And then, he opens his mouth. You can tell he’s from Memphis the second he starts singing. With Matt, there’s a passion and a truth conveyed in a wonderful voice, coated with the soulful rasp and lilt of the Rhythm and Blues legends who created the footsteps he’s followed his entire life. His power and aggressiveness can turn to tenderness and vulnerability in the turn of a phrase, and can take you from being exhilarated to captivated in just a moment.
A great singer, a wonderful player, and a phenomenal performer: three things tough to find in a single person. Matt Tutor has all of that, and it’s all tied together with an honesty and openness that gives you the feeling you’re sitting on his back porch, rocking back and forth, listening to long, tall tales, and drinking ice cold sweet tea. A true joy to experience.