Matt Harlan – Tips & Compliments
So sometimes it only takes a few minutes of listening to an album to know that it’s special and really fits your taste! Well that’s what happened yesterday after listening to”Elizabethtown” the opening track of Matt Harlan‘s album Tips & Compliments, I knew this album was special and fit my tastes like that proverbial of old shoe! The vocals are great and and the songwriting’s even better and Warren Hood on fiddle, and Marty Muse (Robert Earl Keen) on pedal steel add the perfect accompaniment at the right time and Phoebe Hunt (Belleville Outfit) provides some quality vocals! The album was produced by Rich Brotherton of the Robert Earl Keen Band and he’s done a great job on this one. From Matt’s Website:
If there’s a performer today that embodies the oft-applied and rarely understood moniker of “songwriter” it’s Houston favorite, Matt Harlan. More than a “songwriter’s songwriter” Matt has gained recognition and respect from peers and critics alike for the landscapes and pointed statements he disguises as songs. Matt’s songwriting has been getting some recognition lately with awards from Billboard, the Snowbird Mountain Music Festival, American Songwriter magazine, Wildflower Arts and Music Festival, the Houston Fort Bend Songwriting Association and the Houston Press; He’s also been a finalist in the Mountain Stage New Song Festival and a regional finalist at the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk competition.
Like I said the songwriting for me is what really stands out on the album from the opening track “Elizabethtown” which tells the tale of his brother’s problems of drug use and running with the wrong crowd, “Skinny Trees of Mississippi” compares a car’s repair problems to love.
love is like a fast car on the highway,
breaking down on you all unaware,
sometimes you have to pull it to the shoulder,
gotta’ slow it down to make a few repairs
Other songs talk about growing up, staying and leaving a small town “Something New”.
Say my friends we’re bound to live a long long time
but what’s the sense in livin’, if you can’t come close to dyin’
I’d rather ball it all up in a pocket
then to spend another minute being scared of something new
“Walter” is a great song about his grandfather’s dog Here’s a video of “Walter”
and here is the obligatory bar song “You’re Just Drunk”
Right now the title track “Tips and Compliments” is playing and I think dam, I haven’t written anything about this great song but I can say that about “Warm November” where Phoebe adds some vocals or all the songs because ever song is a keeper which is just what this album is and I know it’s going to stay on the mp3 player for a long, long time!! So check it out, you won’t be disappointed!!