Matthew Reveles: A Glass of Whiskey and Some Sad-Bastard Music Are All He Needs

To see Matthew Reveles kicking back in his Tempe home, dressed in blue jeans, a T-shirt, and flip-flops, you might get the wrong idea. Reveles' long, black hair, flowing beard, and wire-rim specs seem to suggest he's in a neo-jam band on the order of Phish or maybe even drawing inspiration from a hippie-reggae outfit such as Michael Franti and Burning Spear.

The house is packed tight with a '60s-era Hammond organ and an array of 12- and 6-string acoustic guitars, the TV showing Ricardo Montalban having a bad day in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. But, talking with Reveles as he sips a tall whiskey and water on the rocks while sitting in an easy chair beneath a huge poster of Billie Holiday, the real picture emerges.

Matthew Reveles just may be the best singer-songwriter plying his trade in the Valley's increasingly strong traditional folk and country music scenes.

Although he played in a variety of local punk bands and even a synth-pop outfit, the 27-year-old Reveles knew from the time he was 3 years old what kind of music he wanted to sing.

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Sat., June 6, 2009