Holy Trinity Church, Near Guildford.
Please note this show is at Holy Trinity Church, Guildford:
Holy Trinity and St Mary's Parish Office
5 Trinity Churchyard
Guildford GU1 3RR
This event is for 18 and over - No refunds will be issued for under 18s.
Putting my world on the line
Turning one leaf at a time
Never knowing what I'll find
A man. A guitar. And a song.
It sounds simple, doesn’t it? And it is.
Scott Matthews’ new record, The Great Untold, is a career-defining masterpiece. The
sixth studio album by the Ivor Novello Award-winning singer-songwriter is the one that
many have craved: it is a masterclass in honesty, instinct and reflection.
A largely acoustic recording, Matthews’ sublime new record features sparse production.
Recorded at home and in acoustically resonant rural churches, instrumentation has
been jettisoned. His ten-song cycle is the sound of a man comfortable in his own skin,
putting his neck on the line with a collection of otherworldly songs.
The ghosts of Paul Simon, Tim Buckley, Nick Drake and John Martyn loom large on a
collection that ranks alongside work by some of the world’s great singer-songwriters. On
his sixth record, Matthews has created songs that are breathtaking in their beauty and
audacious in their simplicity.
The absence of drums, bass, cello and flute on The Great Untold, however, should not
infer that it lacks depth. Far from it. The richness in Matthews’ new work comes from
subtle playing and mellifluous melodies. He has improved again. He has become a
master of his craft; a man who can play like Bert Jansch, sing like an angel and write
songs that Joni Mitchell might admire.
In many ways, The Great Untold is the start of a new era for Matthews. Since his debut
album, Passing Stranger, in 2006, the Wolverhampton-born star of bluesy acoustica has
refined his craft. Writing deft and sensitive songs during a trajectory that begin with the
ethereal ‘Elusive’, The Great Untold marks a new beginning.
The first great arc of his career was completed with his Home duology; a stunning pair of
records that reflected on his journey thus far. The Great Untold is the sound of a man
moving on. Matthews is recently married, soon-to-experience fatherhood and has new
hopes and fears, new stories to tell. “After Home Part 2 was finished, I was looking to
move forward by marrying harmony with my experiences since the last record. The plan
to write an acoustic record has always been there. And finally the time is right to do
Matthews has tested himself as a songwriter. The absence of a band means he is
vulnerable and exposed. But, in many ways, it was ever thus. He started as a soloist and
is ready to fly alone. It opens new possibilities, a different type of challenge. “It takes me
out of my comfort zone and has made me test myself. I’ve pared it down to guitar and
vocals. At the beginning, there was nobody else. It’s time to surprise myself. It’s time to
go back to my own world. I’ve gone full circle.”
Lyrically, The Great Untold is a work with poetic intent. “It’s a collection of songs that
lots of people will relate to. It’s a real mood-shift of a record. The songs always start
from a personal angle, but listeners will hear them in different ways. When I’m writing,
I’m almost hearing voices from The Masters and thinking: ‘Would they approve?’”
The point is to make a connection. “I want to move somebody with the power of moods
and music. It’s very powerful stuff.”
It is in the right hands. And that’s an apposite description for The Great Untold. It is a
record written by a man at the peak of his powers, by a musician able to channel great
beauty in songs that reveal the most human of truths.
Putting my world on the line