By Niki D’Andrea
About a month ago, I posted a blog asking Phoenix artists to send me their CDs for review. This week, I review the latest disc from Valley singer/songwriter Matthew Reveles, whom I first saw perform back in 2002 at a “Battle of the Bands” at ASU West. He’s come a long way.
If you're a local artist and would like to send me your CD for review, please mail it to: Niki D'Andrea (Attn: YAFI) c/o Phoenix New Times 1201 E. Jefferson Street Phoenix, AZ 85034
Matthew Reveles We’ll Meet Halfway (Independent Freedom Tribe)
Reveles reveres the ’60s, and his affinity for retro harmonies and stripped-down traditional folk is apparent on every track here, even if the album does open with the bluesy instrumental “Give It a Try.” The following track, “Danny Boy,” is back porch folk, right down to the country gee-tar picking and hand claps. Similarly, “Oh My Lord” sounds very Bob Dylan-meets-Ryan Adams (in an alley for a drunken jam tribute to Townes Van Zandt). Other songs, like “The New One for Reals” and “Maybe Sometimes,” resemble dreamy Beatles tunes, laden with overdubbed vocal harmonies. Except for rare moments like the whimsical pop ditty “That Girl” (which includes quirky horns, a kazoo, and the lyric “She’s got a PhD in LuV”), Reveles’ songs invoke images of melancholy Americana -- dusty back country roads, hippies hopping trains, and forlorn folks sippin’ whiskey on rickety plankwood porches. In fact, much of Reveles’ harmonic troubador twang seems to draw inspiration from a bottle, as he sings in the song “Late Night Lullabies”: “Never mind these constant cries/They’re just drunken, late night lullabies.”