10 Guitarists You've Never Heard Of - Matthew Good

author: Backup Guitar date: 07/22/2004 category: artists' discussions
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Formerly of the Matthew Good Band, Matthew Good is one of the most popular rock acts to come out of Canada - which is probably why you've never heard of this guy. Born in Coquitlam, British Colombia in 1971, his band's rise to fame came with their first full length, independantly released CD "Last Of The Ghetto Astronauts". Since then, he has won many Juno Awards (for Canadian music) and released some of the most controversial songs and videos from a Canadian artist. Political messages definitely dominate his musical style. He is an avid supporter of human rights, and while his recent solo work has political underthemes, the quality of the songs are never compromised. He does plenty of charity work, and has even written letters to members of parliament regarding many current issues. His earlier musical work is the most hard-rocking. The band's second album, Underdogs, contains plenty of great tunes that lean more to the rock side of his sound - check out Everything Is Automatic or Indestructible to understand what I'm saying. The interesting thing behind this album is that it was recorded with $100, 000 US of the bands own money, because Matt didn't like the record label. This shows obvious dedication to both fans and his own musical career. As the records go on, however (Beautiful Midnight, The Audio Of Being) the songs get slower and slower. His career has really morphed itself into a slower, acoustic-oriented alternative style of music, which is still dripping with artistic merit and genius. His latest album (a solo project released 2 years after the band broke up) exemplifies this, but there are still a few songs that break the slow barrier). Matt has been very elusive about what gear he uses - I've even emailed him personally about this, and haven't gotten a response, and many guitar gear sites don't even list him. However, the Gibson website does have the old Matthew Good Band listed as an artist, and there Matt and his old partner in crime tell Gibson about the gear they use - at the time, an Explorer was the main guitar, and a Les Paul, interestingly wasn't used at all. As seen in recent pictures, Matt now favours ES-335's, and has been seen with a Fender Telecaster. In the music video for Weapon, both himself and the backup band use Fender and Vox amps. On the Avalanche tour, his lead guitar player used a Fender Stratocaster, and his bassist was using a Fender Precision Bass. He uses Gibson acoustics. Matt has just released another album, White Light Rock And Roll Review, which came out June 15. You can hear songs from the album at matthewgood.org, and click on content/music. The album goes back to his rock and roll roots - with some sarcastic political commentary, such as on North American For Life. Two songs have a country lilt to them, being Empty Road, and a hidden track, Hopeless. It's shorter than the other albums, but is definitely another great piece of work from Matt. It's a perfect blend between feel-good guitar-driven rock, and slow, eerie songs, such as Blue Skies Over Bad Lands, where Matt plucked an upright piano's strings by hand to produce a fantastic, layered effect over the guitar. All in all, it's a fantastic album, and shows Matt's ability to change and develop his sound over time.
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