Matt Boyer, Henderson
Thursday, Dec. 27, 8:30 p.m., 21+
Matt Boyer, a charismatic Colorado resident with Indiana roots, came about his wispy singer/songwriter shtick by way of — believe it or not — a little band named Van Halen.
"I grew up listening to hard rock and metal," Boyer says. "I really loved guitar music. Van Halen — not Van Hagar — is the reason I starting playing guitar." The proof of this head-bangin' history is in his stage show, which is never short of swagger or spirit.
Boyer, who plays a delicate, literate brand of folk-inspired indie rock, saw his Eddie V. obsession abate when he rediscovered his affinity with Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello, two artists he'd enjoyed before he became besmirched with ’80s arena-metal. From there Boyer went on to find inspiration from other artists in his soon-to-be-chosen genre: Kris Kristofferson, Paul Westerberg and Cat Stevens to name a few. All of these musicians, not unlike Boyer, craft a style of poetic roots music that’s calculated to stand the test of time.
"My music sounds like a combination of American and British folk [mixed with] classic country and ’70s-era singer/songwriters," Boyer explains. He barefacedly describes his still-developing sound as melancholy and grey.
"My family moved to Indiana from Detroit when I was 4. I lived in a mostly rural town north of Indianapolis until my early 20s, when I moved to Europe," Boyer says about his Indiana roots. He eventually moved back to Indiana, before hitting the road as a touring member of Mark Kozelek's Sun Kil Moon in support of the band's now-classic Americana debut “Ghosts of the Great Highway.”
Boyer oddly misses the dominantly-grey Indiana skies since moving to sunny Denver, Colo., three years ago following his time with Sun Kil Moon. "The hardest thing about living in Colorado as far as music is concerned is the sunshine," Boyer said. "I've always had a propensity to write sad songs. Being from the Midwest, I miss the extended periods of rain and grey winters! It made it easy to stay inside and write. I think my serotonin level is too high out here."
Though thus far Boyer's only officially documented solo work is his excellent 2004 EP “Sukuinage,” he has remained busy through the years and plans to release his debut full-length sometime in 2008.
Boyer will flesh out his sound for the Birdy’s show with the help of drummer Dusty Privette and lap steel honcho Dave Devine, a player Boyer describes as "one of the most versatile and talented musicians I've ever met."
The following night will see the former Hoosier hooking up with some of his old red-and-white friends at The Upper Room for a set of covers. "[That set] won’t be similar to what I normally do; we're just out to have fun," Boyer says.