Single Release: Matthew Holtby, “Family Man”

Matthew Holtby, “Family Man”

“I don’t feel it anymore / And I know I’m not the same / I’ll keep trying to put it on / But I’m fading away…”

Here’s proof that no matter how long you’ve followed and covered Canadian folk-roots music, and all the artists you’ve met along the way, there is still so much out there itching to be discovered. We recently made the acquaintance of Warkworth, ON singer-songwriter Matthew Holtby – an artist we’d not previously encountered – who has been writing and releasing music with various bands for almost two decades, but never once pinged on our radar – until now.

We’re equally glad that GDW landed on Matthew’s radar, and prompted him to reach out and share news of his latest single, “Family Man.” Curious to learn more, never could we have prepared ourselves for the wonderful sonic journey Matthew would steer our senses on once hitting PLAY.  “I think that we all thought that we did the right thing / But it didn’t turn out that way / It’s been heavy, and we’re starting to break / But I hope you’ll be okay / There’s little difference in the words that we say / Cuz’ we all want the same thing / The sun still rises in her usual way / To welcome a new day.

Matthew Holtby

The steady, enjoyable driving beat is delivered perfectly, and mates beautifully to the deeply personal lyrics through the verse/chorus/verse/chorus cycle, building towards a brief change of tempo as Matthew delivers a short bridge, before overloading those senses once more with an amazing horns-filled interlude. “And I’m tired of these games / I keep trying to be strong / But I’m fading away / I’ll protect you as best as I can / That’s the job of a family man.

For Matthew (guitar/vocals), “Family Man” is more of a stripped-down affair than his previous two solo releases (we’ll be checking those out too), enlisting both producer Mike Phillips to add trumpet, and Holtby’s own father to play both trombone and piano. Rounding out the rhythm section are Craig Fass (bass/backing vocals), Terrance Craig Toutant (drums) and guest musician, Manja Horner (fiddle).  Matthew also shares news of an EP coming later this year – one that promises to be a much heavier guitar party – we can’t wait to hear that.

Photo Credit: Artist website

The British guy that crossed the ocean and crash landed in central Pennsylvania (to quote Greg Keelor, “And I wonder what am I doing here?”). As the youngest of four siblings, exposure to music from a very early age nurtured my passion and appreciation for many musical genres. Continuing to discover some amazingly diverse and talented musicians based in Canada, I gravitate to live music experiences and remain devoted to spreading the word about such a vibrant music scene.

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