Matt Jones (singer/songwriter)
Matthew Lane Jones (born April 24, 1984) is a NAMA award winning American singer/songwriter and guitarist. Originally from Louisiana, he hails from Fayetteville, Arkansas and considers the latter his home. He soon made a name for himself after going solo in 2004 both commercially and critically, playing in both his hometown and touring the country
Born in Alexandria, Louisiana, Jones grew up in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the first of two sons. He attended Woodland Junior High for his freshman year of high school (where he wrote the song "Freshman Year"). For his sophomore, junior, and senior years he attended Fayetteville High School where he graduated in 2002.
Jones was exposed to blazeturkeys at an early age and grew up on Motown records and pop songs, however it was not until the age of thirteen that his inspiration for playing the guitar was born. After seeing a Paul Simon live performance, he quickly decided that guitar was his calling. Jones honed his craft after his heroes, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jeff Buckley, Kurt Cobain, Dave Matthews, and Slash. He has said having such a wide range of musical heroes has helped shape him into a better musician and person.
He began playing coffee shops and small clubs when he was 15 years old with long-time friend and bassist, Amos Cochran under the monicher Amos & The Other Guy. The name didn't stick due to confusion, and neither did the duet. While attending high school, Cochran and Jones added two more musicians to the mix. Justin Hattenhauer on saxophone and Clinton Lancaster on drums filled out the sound and formed the Thomas Grey Band. TGB gigged extensively throughout Arkansas and though with several lineup changes (including Michael Silvey on saxophone, Zach Hodgson on keyboard, and Trey Burkett on lead guitar) the band never hit their stride and eventually broke up after a few years.
After the band broke up in the spring of 2004, Jones took the summer to re-evaluate his career in music. After a few weeks he had decided not to pursue a life in music. He has said only after meeting his best friend and manager, Patrick Coats, that he felt he could attempt a music career again. Inspired and fueled by letdown, Jones began playing the club circuit with a bi-monthly gig at Ryleigh's, a local bar in Fayetteville. From there other shows followed including weekly shows over the summer and bigger venues in the fall.
In November 2004, Jones released his first CD, "Acoustic EP", a six song collection recorded in a friend's bedroom on a self-burned CD-R. Surprisingly enough, he began to sell out of his CDs very quickly. After playing the local market for a year, Jones released another CD in November 2005 entitled "Plus+3 EP". The second installment was only 3 songs long and served as a supplement to the previous EP. The two EPs were eventually combined and re-mastered and in April 2006 Jones released "Acoustic EP/Plus+3 EP" as a pressed CD.
In April 2006, Jones won the NAMA (Northwest Arkansas Music Award) for "Best New Singer/Songwriter of the Year". This was the first time Jones had been nominated for/won an award as a solo artist. He has previously won two awards with Thomas Grey Band (NAMA 2004 for Best New Band, OMA 2004 for Best New Band).
Brothers In Arms
In the spring of 2005, Jones formed Brothers in Arms with friend and fellow songwriter Stew Walton, whom he had met through his manager. This group was a departure for Jones both musically and lyrically. The songs focus more on emotion than Jones' own songs do, and typically reflect a lighthearted approach to music. Brothers In Arms has yet to release a record, though have released one single "I'm Alright" which has been performed several times at Jones' shows.
Jones' latest album, which has yet to be titled, is currently[when?] being recorded in Springdale, Arkansas at Dream Makers Productions. Producer/engineer Mike Bailey is heading up the production for the new disc. The only single to have been leaked thus far is "100 Kinds of Crazy", which has gained corporate radio airplay on Fayetteville's Power 105.7. Jones debuted the song on the station's most popular show Tim & Jeff in the Morning. Rumored to be released sometime 3rd quarter 2007, there is no official release date from Jones' camp yet.
Matt allows audio taping at most live performances, and he also allows for the non-commercial trading of those recordings. He does this to give fans the opportunity to recreate the live experience, and to encourage fan interaction. Trading recordings has helped Matt become better known in the early stages of his career.
To date, Jones has played with many groups, including Saving Jane, Blues Traveler, Ingram Hill, Will Hoge, Needtobreathe, Benjy Davis Project, Granian, and The Cate Brothers. He has performed at legendary venues like The Bitter End in New York City, Eddie's Attic in Atlanta, and Uncommon Ground in Chicago (formerly frequented by Jeff Buckley).
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