Matt the Electrician & Southpaw Jones
February 26, 2011
Anderson Fair presents Matt the Electrician & Southpaw Jones.
"Handyman by day and hilarious singer-songwriter by night, Matt the Electrician is plugged into one hot socket." - The Performing Songwriter
"Southpaw Jones' songs are at once political, personal, serious, hilarious, lucid, and muddled...goes straight for the story, for the message, for the emotion" - Clay Steakley, Performing Songwriter magazine
Mussed hair and work clothes be damned, Matt (the electrician) Sever (pictured above) has been known to schlep directly to gigs disheveled from his real-life day-job: keeping people wired and lit. Yet the moniker is more than just a humorous takeoff on life's realities.
Born Matt the Electrician on a frosty San Francisco morn, Matt and his family soon moved to Oregon in search of culture, nice weather and vineyards. Once there, Matt spent much of his youth obsessed with Woody Guthrie, The Hollies and the soundtrack to Godspell. The Electrician's were A musical, yet thrifty family, so they found a swell garage-sale trumpet to encourage this musical interest.
The Electrician's moved back to California in the early eighties; and while the trumpet was eventually discarded, the expensive private lessons were not a complete waste, as it was here that Matt met and fell in love with the guitar.
Unfortunately, because of the elder Electrician's spiraling oragami habit, money was not only extremely tight but intricately folded and beautifully hung all around the Electrician household, so Matt was limited to the only three chords his parents could afford. His dad assured him this was plenty, that kids in China only get one or two.
And strangely, it all worked out. Matt headed to Austin, a serious music town, with aspirations of becoming a serious musician.
Mission accomplished. After years of a steadily-built, devoted fan base, some would say that Sever's unassuming baby-faced slacker image and "nice guy" blue-collar charm belie a very complex and intoxicating energy that is equal parts gritty neo-folk, frenetic boyish pulse, and tangled life experience - all held cohesive by his deft guitar skills and liquid vocals reminiscent of a young Paul Simon wrapped around a Tom Waits heart. Some wouldn't be able to say that. Some would rather type it. Others might yodel.
Matt released his first CD, "Baseball Song", in 1998. "Home" in 2000, "Made For Working" in 2003 and “Long Way Home” in 2004.
The new CD, “One Thing Right”, was recorded in Austin at The Aerie Studios; co-produced by Jud Newcomb, Mark Addison and Matt, and is slated for release in early 2007. It is currently being shopped to labels.
Sever lives and works with his family in Austin, TX.
Southpaw Jones (pictured below) treads lightly on the thin ice of irreverent honesty. Being left-handed, he naturally turns his guitar upside-down to play more comfortably. Being a creative little brother, he naturally turns the world upside-down to make his audience uncomfortable. Southpaw has resided in Houston, Nashville, and Los Angeles, and he now calls Austin home, performing each Wednesday at Café Mundi and reaching out to find those open-minded folks who thirst for singable melodies and one-of-a-kind lyrics.
Critics say he has “that most amazing ability to be hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time,” and his songs are “at once political, personal, serious, hilarious, lucid, and muddled.” Author Spike Gillespie calls him “the left-handed Elvis Costello and the best songwriter in the land.” Southpaw calls himself “Slim” and sleeps in the fetal position.
Southpaw has had the honor of opening shows for Dan Bern, Terri Hendrix, Matt the Electrician, and Shake Russell, performing in legendary venues like Austin’s Cactus Café and Nashville’s Bluebird Café. (For the record, rumors of Southpaw’s café addiction are unsubstantiated and hurtful.) To mark two years of war in Iraq, Southpaw joined Eliza Gilkeson, Slaid Cleaves, James McMurtry, and Bill Passalacqua at a peace rally in downtown Austin. He has performed with 5 instruments in 17 states during the past 10 years, but who’s counting?