Matthew E. White is a big man with a big sound. Sunday night at the Opera House was to be my last event of VIVID in 2013, but it would prove to be as enjoyable as all the others that I attended. Unfortunately the venue would be lucky to be two thirds full, but for those lucky to be there they would be treated to a special night of music. White is from Richmond, Virginia and last year he released his debut album, "Big Inner", on his own record label in Spacebomb Records. Earlier this year the album was given a wider release on Domino Records. It's a release that straddles many genres with jazz, rock and swing being at the top of the list. It's a great listen.
Mr White played a set that featured all but one song from his debut album. His band went every step of the way and included a great horn section featuring tenor sax, trumpet and trombone. He threw in a couple of covers for good measure too. A Neil Young one that rocked and a Randy Newman number that was melodically beautiful. My favourite though was the epic "Big Love" which climbed and climbed before fully exploding. The best though was saved for last. Before he played "Gone Away" he summoned Megafaun man Phil Cook to the stage. Cook and White were both here for the Sounds of the South performances. It was a great delight to hear Cook offer his vocals again. Then before the closing song "Brazos" White managed to bring forward the other performers from Sounds of the South. They formed a choir, ably led by Cook, and helped out in the vocal department of a stirring and epic rendition of "Brazos". It was a great way to not only end the night but also the festival.
Will You Love Me
One Of These Days
Are You Ready For The Country? (Neil Young cover)
Ain't That What Love Is
Sail Away (Randy Newman cover)