The last time I heard from Matt Jameson was 2010 when he sent me his 5 song EP South Shore Girls... which I thoroughly enjoyed. So there should not be any reason why my experience would be different a few years down the road right? As it turns out I am glad to say that once again I have enjoyed the music of this talented artist.
The new EP Dirt Stomp Romeos has a title that is indicative of the music. There is a definitive country twang and flair to some of the tracks. The last release was more pop oriented and I guess it was time to take a different turn in the musical road and fortunately for Jameson it was the right one. The theme of the entire EP is about love and loss and the complexities that entail that subject. This is one the most common and accepted themes in the land of musical interpretations, it’s something everyone understands. The trick is how to get it all across fresh and new in every track.
The only musicians on the album were Matt Jameson, Philip A. Jimenez and Nicki Kunzinger on backup vocals. Jameson played all acoustic and electric rhythm guitars and provided all vocals. The great sound of the recording is attributed to using vintage equipment including pedal steel, banjo, lead guitars, Hammond Organ through a real Leslie cabinet, Hammond B3, congas, moog synthesizer, piano, Wurlitzer keyboard, harmonica, soprano guitar, hand claps and for most of the electric guitars a Harmony Meteor was used, the exact same model guitar that Keith Richards used on the early Rolling Stones records. Then to complete the ensemble an old Gemini amplifier produced all of those great sounds for the guitar. The drums were recorded on a great old kit with a snare that sounds full as can be which had loosely tuned and well-worn heads, the secret to the great “fat” sound. So there are the ingredients for a fantastic overall sound. More and more you see musicians going back to using vintage equipment and issuing vinyl copies of their releases. I personally love the fact that this is happening and hope it continues before we all turn into digitized freaks of nature in the human form!
“Something Better” kicks off the EP with flowing vocals and exceptional instrumentation to accentuate all of Matt’s vocalizations. The emotions and complications of relationships as such come at you full force and sinks in real deep. Mission accomplished. This is one track that features Jameson at his very best vocally, accompanied by rolling and rocking music that helps to push along every word with maximum impact. Then again along the same lines, “The Glory of Love” kicks in and you get to hear the country side of Jameson backed by some lonesome guitar lines and organ (thank you Hammond and Wurlitzer) placed in all the right spots. All the seriousness of the previous tracks gets some humorous relief with the aptly titled “You’re Someone Else’s Nightmare Now.” Although the title is funny the track is more to the point and less light hearted as the title indicates. Again the organ plays a big role to mesh well with the ebb and flow of the superb guitar playing. “Say It Again” is another rock-pop gem that Matt excels at and it turns into one of the best tracks on the album. To close things out he returns to the country influenced atmospheres with the heavy organ and perfectly placed guitar breaks, pedal steel and some banjo to close the deal. That is as country as it gets folks.
Being an indie artist is a tough road and Matt Jameson has been going in the right direction right from the start, in fact other artist attempting to accomplish the same thing should use this man’s formula as a template for success.
Dirt Stomp Romeos is a rich musical affair that spotlights the fine singer/songwriter/musician that Matt Jameson is and all of the excellent musical talent comes flowing forth like a raging river of emotions. Every track offers variety, lyrics that are understandable and that make sense, and above all a production that is at another level than the last release. All you can ask for is improvement from where you were before and that happens from start to finish on this EP.
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Founder MuzikReviews.com
September 12, 2012