Matt White, Zox

Birdy’s Bar and Grill

Monday, Feb. 11, 8:30 p.m., $10, 21+

Growing up, Matt White learned to play classical music on a piano. But when he found his dorm room at University of Wisconsin-Madison was too small for a piano (as most dorm rooms are), the New Jersey native taught himself to play an instrument that would fit into his place: a guitar.

After college, White moved to New York to pursue his singing career. His first “venue” was the Union Square subway station. “I played there to practice,” White says, “and to get used to playing in front of people.”

And since he didn’t have a license to perform in public places, White was constantly at odds with the police, who often ordered him to take his talents elsewhere. So Matt did — all the way to Geffen Records.

White’s debut CD, “Best Days,” is an 11-track collection of pop-flavored original material that would be right at home on both Top 40 and college radio. Several of White’s songs have been featured on television shows, including “One Tree Hill” and “Men in Trees,” and on the films “She’s The Man” and “Shrek the Third.”

 

While White admits that it’s not possible these days to create the “pure energy and emotion” in the studio like his music hero Bruce Springsteen did with his early recordings, Matt says he makes up for it when he performs his music on stage. And based on his schedule, he will be doing that for much of the foreseeable future: “I’ve gotta strike while the iron is hot.”

 

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