& The Crafstmen
Matt Patershuk’s music has a rare quality that allows his songs to go deeply in and weave into the fabric of the experiences of everyone who hears them. Matt’s a guy who writes songs that are so good, so worn down and lived in that the first time you hear one of them, you get the feeling that you already know it, that it got you through some hard times, and that you’ve lived with it for all of your life. Each word he sings is as real and true as the ground we’re standing on and as welcome as spring wind over the prairie. Even if the La Glace, Alberta resident hasn’t been on Saturday Night Live or played at the Grand Ole Opry yet, Matt Patershuk’s third album, ‘Same As I Ever Have Been’ is more than good enough to change all of that.
In many ways, Matt Patershuk’s music is a study in contrasts. As rough and loose as his songs may sound on first listen, it’s obvious that a lot of thought has gone into every lyric and riff he shares. Matt’s not an ivory tower thinker or dilettante; the demands imposed by the land and horses of his rural property, and his day job as a bridge builder assure that he’s never too far away from the concerns of the everyday world. Like a young John Prine, who used to write songs in his head while delivering the mail, observing the human condition one letter slot at a time, you get the feeling that every body of water waiting for a crossing to span it, finds its way into his songs. Because how many contractors do you know who write lines like “physicists say folks don’t go away/that all things continue to be/that all of you floats about in the blue, you’re just less orderly” as he does in ‘Memory And The First Law Of Thermodynamics’, a heartbreaking song that recalls his sister Clare who lost her life when she was hit by a drunk driver a few years ago? So, as much as the people of rural Alberta are entitled to the good and safe bridges that Matt helps build, in a perfect world, we’d let him lay down his hard hat and blueprints to pick up his notebook and guitar, the real tools of his trade, to travel the world and make it a better place through his music.
Indeed, one of the things that distinguishes Matt’s work from that of any number of other roots artist is how he carefully avoids well-worn and cliché topics, and if the themes of land, work and love lost sound familiar, his perspective is highly individual. Patershuk’s songs often catch people at the brink, hovering on the cusp of a tough decision. As a songwriter, he is a master at sensitively finding a new angle from which to express the hard times we all go through.
The Upstairs Lounge is a licensed restaurant and bar, doors open at 6 pm for dinner service, the concert starts at 7:30 pm. Please note this is a listening venue.