Matt Andersen: “Coal Miner’s Blues”

by: Tyler Robertson

Matt Andersen is a New Brunswick singer-songwriter, well known not only to Canadian blues scenes,
but acclaimed at festivals and showcases throughout the US. Signed to Busted Flat Records; acclaimed
independent label operating out of Kitchener (yes, Kitchener), Andersen shares good company with folk
and roots musicians from our own backyard. Coal Miner’s Blues is his latest undertaking; channeling the
sounds of Chicago and Memphis with energetic keyboard laden jams and soulful down-tempo ballads
playing a narrative of the working class life on the east coast. It’s nice to hear the subject matter on this
album coming through from someone other than an Irish influenced folk band. Throughout Coal Miner’s
Blues, Andersen’s acoustic guitar tone is big and deep; evidenced from the first chords on opening
track “Don’t Wanna Give In”, which reminds of Exile on Main Street save for the main vocals – the guitar
work is immediately eclipsed by Andersen’s massive voice, drawing attention in its depth and credibility.
He sounds like a blues man. Listen to the chorus in “She Comes Down” and try not to think of James
Carr. The addition of Amy Helms backing up Andersen on choruses is perfect compliment. Frequent lead
electric punches the rhythm throughout the album with a warm, overdriven tone with enough dirt to
keep it sounding legit. After looking at pictures of the guy’s hands, his website www.stubbyfingers.ca is
particularly apt/hilarious.
While there doesn’t seem to be anything strikingly ground-breaking about Andersen’s approach, there’s
more than enough going on throughout Coal Miner’s Blues to keep casual or committed blues fans
interested.

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