It’s not uncommon these days for artists to get their start on social media. Creating content does not require a label pushing your single to radio stations. You don’t need a full-blown production studio or a big-name producer. You need passion for your craft, confidence to put yourself out there, and talent to get noticed. Larkin Poe and Laura Cox are a couple of YouTubers that come to mind that hit the trifecta. They are now releasing quality records and touring the globe. Matthew Scott is known for his @MatthewScottmusic YouTube channel with 191,000 subscribers and 28 million views across his 183 videos and short clips. However, his notoriety predominately resides in the universe of guitar nerds for his work restoring vintage guitars found in various conditions of decay. He also has content for guitar setup and tone tips, reviews of amps and other equipment, and guitar shorts. Scott’s social media presence goes beyond YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. He has a Reverb profile ‘Matthew Scott’s Vintage Gear’ and a Patreon for creating Blues & Rock Guitar lessons. However, it is his guitar playing on these clips that has had people taking notice.
Mirrors is Scott’s debut in the world of album releases. Released October 13th, Mirrors is anything but a spontaneous venture into the curating side of all those guitars. He has been on this journey for years honing his craft performing for live audiences and in studio for social media content. To record the album, Scott, and band members Glendon Floyd (guitar), Austin Pollard (drums), and Michael Rose (bass) traveled to Arlyn Studios in Austin, Texas. Jacob Sciba (Gary Clark Jr, Government Mule) managed the in-studio live recordings for the ten tracks. Howie Weinberg (Nirvana, Prince) oversaw the mixing. The album also features appearances by Lewis Stephens on organ (Freddie King) and Lauren Cervantes and Angela Miller (The Black Pumas) as background vocalists.
The title track “Mirrors” has had live and studio videos on his YouTube channel for four years with rave reviews (comments). A common thread among his followers is along the lines of “always knew you could play, but those vocals!” or more simply “Wow! Matt you can sing!”. Sing he does with a Black Crowes / Gregg Allman southern rock style. It may take several listens to get through the incredible guitar work track after track to even pay attention to the vocals, much less the lyrics, which are also thoughtful and heartfelt.
The album opens with “Whisper” which is an oxymoron given its heavy jams and beats with a sound reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks”. “Where You Been” is another YouTube carryover where the official music video came out a year ago. Showcasing Matt’s guitar chops, its tastefully placed acoustic solo, and backup vocals, this song has had fans drooling for this release. “Rest Them Old Bones” is an inspiring song about perseverance ‘I can’t surrender with so much left to say’. “Are We All the Same” with its hard driving fuzzy guitar and drum blasts surface the frustration of what’s wrong in today’s world, ‘another piece in the hands of a kid’, ‘another kiss on silicone lips’.
“Reflection” may be my favorite and the only instrumental on the album. It’s another that made a YouTube appearance years ago with Matthew stating “This is a definite nod to some heroes of mine” on the post. Matthew didn’t share those heroes’ names on the post, but an auditory guess might include the initials SRV. Sandwiched between “Are We All the Same” and “Reflection”, “Amy” is another attention getter with its slower melodic appeal to a distant ex-love ‘tell me are you lost or are you crazy’. An acoustic ballad with electric highlights, “Way of the World” closes the album way too early.
Below, I’ll list can’t miss tracks and projected big hit per the protocols of writing this review. Honestly, listen to it all. Put it on repeat. Add it to your music app playlists. The album is now available on streaming outlets, check it out. Your life will be fuller for it. Matthew Scott has channeled all his experience and passion into ten exceptional tracks that will whisk you back in time and conjure personal reflections (wasn’t that the instrumental?). These songs can stand apart in any playlist and together form a very good album.
The Review: 8/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Where You Been
– Rest Them Old Bones
– Way of the World
The Big Hit
– Where You Been