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Anything But Time

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Album Review

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it" might sound like faint praise for a musician, but in U.K. guitarist Matt Schofield's case, it's a compliment. Also, some things have changed since his last studio release two years ago. He recorded this one in New Orleans with veteran producer John Porter and brought in ex-Robert Cray drummer Kevin Hayes. Still, his alternately breezy/stinging blues flecked with a swinging jazz groove stays the same. Big Easy mainstay Jon Cleary — who also made the trek from the U.K. to New Orleans, where he now resides — contributes to a few tracks, but otherwise it's business as usual with Schofield tearing into fluid, biting guitar lines and wrapping far-better-than-average originals around his emotional yet boyish voice. He brings the ballad side of Jimi Hendrix — think "Little Wing," "Angel," and "May This be Love" — to his own "Dreaming of You," and writes a terrific slow burner in the seven-minute "Where Do I Have to Stand." He's a compelling guitarist, as is shown in the gradual intensity he brings to the two leads in that song which build to a fiery climax, but it's his imaginatively arranged, sharply written songs and distinctive vocals that put him so far ahead of the pack of fellow contemporary singing guitar slingers. Albert King's "Wrapped Up in Love" gets a wonderfully funky workout, helped immensely by Hayes' backbeat, and Steve Winwood's "At Times We Do Forget," an obscure track salvaged from Winwood's under-the-radar 2008 release Nine Lives, is Schofield's first stab at covering a relatively current tune. Deep-fried New Orleans funk seeps into "One Look (And I'm Hooked)," which finds the singer/guitarist digging into a rare baritone vocal to push the song into dark, swampy territory. It's given extra heft by longtime cohort Johnny Henderson's organ, and keyboard-bass work that is so much a part of Schofield's sound. Porter adds spacious and crisp audio that jumps out of the speakers, making even musty shuffles such as "Don't Know What I'd Do" connect with a freshness and snappy energy rarely captured in the studio. Only the stereotypical slow blues of "See Me Through," a perfectly fine "Stormy Monday"-influenced grinder, seems to be added just to establish Schofield as an old-school-influenced bluesman, something he can pull off perfectly well, but which doesn't utilize the songwriting strengths that make the rest of this superb album so rewarding.

Customer Reviews

Destined to be another classic

Matt Schofield gets better and better. Went to see him play most of the tracks live just before the album was released and got a signed copy at the gig.
I've hardly listened to anything else since, the album is that good.
I'd have to agree with Guitar and Bass magazine's summary -"Astonishing"
Buy it and you won't be dissapointed.

Matt , how about a singer for the band ?

There is fine playing a' plenty throughout this album and the guitar tones are wonderful .. mostly Strat ( Suhr Fletcher / Landau p'ups , I believe ) .. Tele rhythm on Shipwrecked ?
I'm sure all of this would make a great night out in a small club with some friends and a drink or two but ....
my advice to Matt would be
1 . Get a good singer in asap
2. Share the writing with someone and move away from this cliched blues esque material that frankly often sounds plain ridiculous .. the lyrics are just dire most of the time ( face/ embrace .... breakfast in bed / aching head etc ... am I getting old ? I cant listen to this any more .

Back to the positives .. Matt plays really well ; the guitar tones are wonderful .. nothing startlingly original here but a very good synthesis of his obvious influences .. and its fun to listen to him get going .
Anyone who enjoys this genre should really listen to Jack Pearson who , to my ears , is the very toppermost of this style ... Jack is also a phenomenal all rounder to be fair .... he goes well beyond blues ... try his Do Whats Right .. you will not regret it .
I'd like to hear Matt in a good band .
Eric should invite him to the next Crossroads perhaps .. go on Eric .. lets have some more home grown .
Keep going Matt ...

great guitarist

not every song is strong. but it's all about the guitar. and he's a great, great guitarist.


Born: August, 1977 in Manchester, England

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '00s

The leader of the Matt Schofield trio (obviously) and a well traveled and talented blues guitarist, Matt Schofield was born in Manchester, England on August 21, 1977. Spurred into the world of the blues guitar by legends such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King, and Albert Collins, Schofield took his curiosity to London after graduating college, and started to jam with various musicians in the scene. Catching the ear of one Dana Gillespie -- after a successful stint as part of the Lee Sankey Group --...
Full bio
Anything But Time, Matt Schofield
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  • £7.90
  • Genres: Blues, Music, Rock
  • Released: 06 June 2011

Customer Ratings