Matt Duke

"If everyone here is a child of God's, this world is a pitiless whore, and he's still playing favorites and behind on his child support." - Tidal Waves

For all of the times when the Similar Artists listings are completely wrong, there's a time when you find a Matt Duke. He is a Philadelphia based singer/songwriter who, in addition to having some of the most creative and thought provoking lyrics I have ever heard, is an amazing guitar player, and an extremely captivating stage performer. I first heard him as a recommendation for artists similar to Jason Mraz, and in just a few short years he became one of my all time favorite musicians. I wouldn't personally say that the two are similar artists, but there is most definitely room in my music collection for both of them. Though not extremely well known, he has a following of devoted fans and is able to do what he wants with his music, which is always good to see and hear from any artist. The themes and topics he explores in his songs are so different from much of what I hear from other artists, and it is such a breath of fresh air to have love songs be the rarities on his albums. While most of his recordings are fully produced, seeing him live on stage, just him and his guitar, is the absolute best he sounds. He has released some acoustic albums, including his collaboration project with Tony Lucca and Jay Nash: TFDI, and while I love a lot of his more produced album versions of songs, hearing the intensity he brings to his live, stripped down performances can't be matched anywhere else.

When I found out that he would be opening for the Pat McGee Band at the Rams Head in Annapolis, I bought tickets right away. While I didn't really know much about the headlining band, I didn't want to pass up on the opportunity to see Matt live. It turned out to be one of the best concerts I've ever been to and an unforgettable night (it ran for over 4 hours!). It was such an intimate setting, Matt Duke was even more amazing than I expected, I got to meet him, the Pat McGee Band was really good, and Tony Lucca was there too. Aside from Matt's set, the best part of the show was the encore which went on for over an hour and consisted of all of the guys singing the covers that inspired them in their music careers. Hearing Matt's cover of Peter Gabriel's "Red Rain" live from a few feet away was a definite highlight, especially being able to hear the pouring rain outside as the song progressed. It was so different from every other concert I've been to, but it was such a special night that I will never forget!

Along with being one of my very favorite singers, Matt Duke seems like a super cool guy, and he is amazing to his fans. He stays connected through social media and puts on a few livestream concerts each year so that everyone has a chance to see him perform. The livestreams are always very low key events where he plays new songs, old songs, requested covers, and even does some of his classic improv songs based on audience suggestions (seriously, some of the songs he comes up with in minutes are pretty brilliant and hilarious). His vlogs also never fail to make me laugh due to how goofy he always is - such a stark contrast to his often dark and depressing lyrical content (same with his audience banter and stories during concerts). I'm proud to say that I contributed to his Kickstarter efforts to help him self produce his "Singer/Songwriter" and "Phoenix" albums and look forward to many more in the years to come.

Favorites
Jen
Liz
Album
Winter Child, Singer/Songwriter
Winter Child, Kingdom Underground
Song
Tidal Waves, Less Egg More Nog, Oysters, I've Got Atrophy on the Brain, K, Anything Will Do
Tidal Waves, Less Egg More Nog, One Small Bird, Ash Like Snow, Black Box
Pictures (click to view larger)
Pat McGee Band with Matt Duke: Annapolis, MD (5/10/13)
TFDI Spring Tour 2017: Vienna, VA (4/09/17)