Q&A Scene: Track-by-Track: Matty T Wall

TRANSPACIFIC BLUES VOL. 1 – TRACK BY TRACK WITH MATTY T WALL

1. Boom Boom – featuring Dave Hole

“I’m a bit of a John Lee Hooker fan, as everyone is. The first time I saw John Lee Hooker was in the Blues Brothers movie playing outside Ray Charles’ music shop in Chicago. When I was a bit older, he had a comeback album that had guests like Santana, so I got to listen to more of him around that time. Then there’s artists like ZZ Top who always hark back to John Lee Hooker with that boogie style. Boom Boom is the classic and I wanted to do songs that were classics, or songs by people who were well-known for doing classics.

“The way that Dave Hole plays this is just timeless blues, played in a new way that sounds like it always should sound like that. It’s just perfect; a total, 100% blues vibe.” 

2. High Heel Sneakers – featuring Eric Gales

“We started playing this song a short while ago as a suggestion from Ric Whittle (drums). Elvis’ version is probably the best-known and I’ve listened to a lot of others, but my favourite is Jerry Lee Lewis’ version. I’ve always liked his stuff; it’s got an edgy attitude to it that I feel is a bit like how I play my music.   So I’m drawn to how he plays, and his High Heeled Sneakers is one of my favourites. It’s just got a cool vibe; it’s got the bluesy language of that era. We did it with a bit more of a funk groove, which really suits Eric because he has that groove and that funk when he plays.”  

3. Quicksand – featuring Kid Ramos

“Albert Collins is a huge influence on me; I don’t know if people can hear it in my playing, but he is a big influence; in how he plays, how he attacks the strings and his whole attitude on the guitar. Quicksand is from an album of his called Don’t Lose Your Cool (1983). He didn’t write Quicksand, it’s an old song written by a blueswoman named Maybelle Jackson. I just think the lyrics are pretty cool, they’re very funny. Blues has got to have that humour to it, well not always, but they’re good songs when they do.”

4. She’s Into Something – featuring Walter Trout

“She’s Into Something again kinda comes from Albert Collins, but Robert Cray made it his own and I’m a big fan of his. He did a collaboration with Albert Collins and Johnny Copeland called Showdown (1985). It was an album of blues jams and this song stood out because it sounded like a single. It was that good. I’ve always thought it was a damn good song. We’ve played it live and it smokes… people love it! So it was totally a good choice for the album.”

5. Stormy Monday

“I’ve been playing Stormy Monday for years, it’s one of my go-to slow blues jams. T-Bone Walker did it and there’s various versions of it, but the one that I love and listen to over and over again is by Eva Cassidy. It’s a stunning, beautiful version. It’s a soulful dynamic that really gets to me and was my inspiration. There’s a little bit of Stevie Ray in there, too, which is kind of cool. Sometimes that stuff comes out and you’ve got to let the guitar go where it wants to go.  And, it was all done in the first take! – no cuts baby!”

6. Born Under A Bad Sign – featuring Kirk Fletcher

“The first time I heard Born Under A Bad Sign was the one by Cream. I didn’t really like their version, until I heard the original by Albert King and that’s with his Stax band from Memphis. It’s funky-as – and we wanted to make it funky this time around, but we wanted to do something slightly different. What I’ve done was to turn it into a minor blues in the same manner as BB King’s The Thrill Is Gone. So it’s changed up and it just means that Kirk and I can play a little differently. You can hear shades of Mark Knopfler and David Gilmour coming through in that song and it’s kinda nice.”

7. Tore Down

“When I think Tore Down I think of Eric Clapton. He recorded this on his great ‘From The Cradle’ blues album (1994), but for this one I went back to the original Freddie King version with the real groove. Listening to the guitar in it sounds very much like a John-Mayall’s-Bluesbreakers-with-Eric-Clapton style touch.”    

8. Crossroads

“It’s a cornerstone for sure. As a young kid I listened to Cream playing it at the Royal Albert Hall, but at the same time there was a movie out with Ralph Macchio called Crossroads. He was a young kid who battled on the guitar with the devil who was played by Steve Vai. The final scene is very cool, and it sort of taught me about the story of Robert Johnson at the time… the combination of Clapton often talking about how he was influenced by Robert Johnson and also that movie brought it to life. I did a very different version because Cream were bold enough to do a very different version and whenever Eric Clapton plays it, he plays it a little differently. So I thought I’d do a slightly different version, so there’s a sort of New Orleans, funky, rocky, bluesy thing going on. It’s strange but cool at the same time. I like that.”

Grab TRANSPACIFIC BLUES VOL. 1 now!

About Mary Boukouvalas 1155 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.

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