Matt Maeson, Delta Spirit, Myron Elkins
Triple A SummitFest
NEW ARTIST - We are excited to announce Matt Maeson as a headliner at the JBE Triple A SummitFest at the Fox Theatre on August 4th! We apologize that due to visa issues, Paolo Nutini will no longer be on the festival. If you would like a refund due to the artist change, refunds will be available until July 25th at point of purchase. Thank you for understanding.
Be sure to check out all JBE Triple A SummitFest shows!
Fox Theatre Stage
Night 1 - 8/3: Charley Crockett, Sam Fender, Nikki Lane
Night 2 - 8/4: Matt Maeson, Delta Spirit, Myron Elkins
JBE Free Outdoor Stage
Night 1 - 8/3: Illiterate Light, Ceramic Animal
Night 2 - 8/4: KT Tunstall, Allison Ponthier
Chart-topping, RIAA platinum certified singer-songwriter MATT MAESON has announced his anticipated sophomore studio album, NEVER HAD TO LEAVE. The 12-track LP (see full track listing below) will arrive on August 26th and is available for pre-order HERE. Maeson has also shared the nostalgic new album track, “A Memory Away,” available now via Neon Gold/Atlantic at all DSPs and streaming services. Listen HERE.
“A Memory Away” is preceded by recently released official single, “Blood Runs Red,” which has already garnered more than 2 million plays and is burning up the Alternative Radio airplay chart. Watch the official video HERE.
One of his generation’s most fearless singer/songwriters, Matt Maeson has endlessly proven the powerful impact of fully revealing his demons and damage. With the arrival of 2019’s Bank On A Funeral, the 29-year-old Virginia native made history as the first male solo artist to earn two #1 Alternative Radio hits from a debut album, thanks to the smash success of the unforgettably confessional singles “Hallucinogenics” and “Cringe” (both of which went platinum). Now boasting over a billion streams, including his collaboration with Lana Del Rey on a remix of “Hallucinogenics,” the Nashville-based musician returns with his sophomore album Never Had To Leave—a revelatory body of work that embodies a newfound hopefulness, yet reinforces the raw intensity and unapologetic truth-telling that have defined Maeson’s music from the very start.
“The reason I make music is I want my songs to help people feel justified in whatever they’re feeling, especially if they’re going through hard times,” says Maeson. “When I was 17 I started performing in prisons as part of my parents’ prison ministry, and I realized what music could do as far as helping people feel dignified and less alone. It was a way of bringing light into one of the darkest possible places, and right away I knew I wanted to do that for everyone. Keeping that in mind has always motivated me to write as honestly as possible, without filtering anything out.”
Mainly produced by his longtime collaborator James Flannigan (MARINA, Broods), Never Had To Leave came to life in a series of free-flowing, highly experimental sessions in Nashville, Los Angeles, and Maeson’s former homebase of Austin. For help in shaping the album’s chameleonic and combustible sound, Maeson enlisted musician-friends like drummer Rob Humphreys (Karen O, Jacob Banks) and guitarist Brennan Smiley of The Technicolors, ultimately arriving at a frenetic collision of rock-and-roll and folk and irresistibly gritty pop. “This is definitely the most eclectic project I’ve ever done, which I’m sure is a byproduct of how the last few years have been so touch-and-go and strange,” Maeson points out. (In keeping with the spirit of tight-knit collaboration, Maeson also commissioned the album’s gorgeously surreal cover art from Jay Young, a fast-rising abstract painter he first met in church as a teenager.)
In many ways a meditation on beginning anew after a long period of struggle and self-destruction, Never Had To Leave speaks to the triumph of hard-won clarity and resilience. “To me ‘Never Had To Leave’ felt like a salute to the end of the era that had started with Who Killed Matt Maeson,” he says, referring to the 2017 debut EP. “It’s about coming back to yourself, and it felt right to name the album something that has a real sense of hope and redemption to it.”
On the slow-building and soul-stirring “A Memory Away,” Never Had To Leave takes on a stunning tenderness as Maeson opens up about the infinite complexities and nuances of love (“Here’s to the failures/Tears that we’ve kept/Here’s to the chaos/Here’s to every fearful step”). “It’s about marriage and the ups and downs of it—the never-ending fight to stay connected and to keep growing together,” explains Maeson, who co-wrote “A Memory Away” with esteemed songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Ethan Gruska (Phoebe Bridgers, Manchester Orchestra).
Although much of Never Had To Leave finds Maeson boldly embracing the present, some songs reflect on certain formative moments in his past. Meanwhile, the album’s galvanizing lead single “Blood Runs Red” brings Maeson’s ultra vivid storytelling to a dizzying recollection of the darker side of life on the road (“A the sun comes up shining down on the 10/I did too much living and I’m dying again/I guess I lost my head at the Holiday Inn”). “I wrote ‘Blood Runs Red’ after I’d finished about three years of off-and-on touring,” he says. “When you’re playing shows for thousands of people every night and getting that massive amount of validation, it’s easy to lose yourself and suppress whatever issues you’re dealing with. One of the ways I reacted to that was drinking every night until I could fall asleep, and then when I got home all the problems I’d been avoiding just came rushing back.”
For Maeson, the making of ‘Never Had To Leave’ fulfills the restless creativity that’s relentlessly fueled his musical output. To that end, his past work includes such left-of-center projects as USERx—the 2021 self-titled EP from his genre-blurring collaboration with hometown friend/producer Rozwell, which featured such diverse guests as Pusha T, Masego, West Banks, and Manchester Orchestra. As he reveals, the process of creating Never Had To Leave reaffirmed the need to work at his own pace and follow his instincts without compromise. “This record taught me to take as long as I need to make the album I want, instead of pushing out something because of outside pressure,” he says. “I’ve never been someone to try and force the inspiration; I think you’ve got to go out and experience life to find something to write about. So for the most part, I just wait for the song to start writing itself, and hold onto the hope that it’ll keep happening that way for the rest of my life.”
Thanks to that utter lack of calculation, Maeson’s songwriting has continually provided an essential outlet for artist and audience alike. “Music has always been a way for me to express the things I can’t say out loud to people or don’t even know how to put into words yet,” he says. “But the main reason why I’m trying to do this as authentically as possible goes back to wanting to help other people feel understood. It’s still so crazy to me that just by playing an A minor chord then a D and F, without any lyrics behind it, you can immediately make someone feel something—it’s like some kind of superpower, and I don’t think I’ll ever take that lightly.”
We collect observations of the world around us much like souvenirs. We treasure and hang on to them as memories of where we’ve been. Keenly tuning into life in all of its glory, Delta Spirit alchemize these honest and heartfelt observations into songs. The acclaimed California band—Matthew Logan Vasquez [vocals], Kelly Winrich [multi-instrumentalist, vocals], Will McLaren [guitar], Jon Jameson [bass], and Brandon Young [drums]—ponder big questions through poignant plainspoken lyrics uplifted by moments of sweeping rock ‘n’ roll and flourishes of immersive synth-craft. The group’s sixth full-length album, One Is One [New West Records], documents the most important moments they’ve lived and key lessons they’ve gathered along the way.
“One Is One essentially says, ‘What is life all about? Here are some observations’,” Matt muses. “The songs are epic in this respect. Over everything I’ve learned, I know to be peaceful is a choice. It’s not always easy, but it is possible. We are capable of growth, compassion, and empathy; we just have to reach out and activate our better angels. I do that by writing songs. I think that’s what the album is about.”
Delta Spirit have naturally inched towards making such a statement. Since forming in 2005, they’ve captivated audiences with favorites such as Ode To Sunshine , History From Below , Delta Spirit , and Into The Wide . Not to mention, they’ve graced the stages of marquee festivals such as Coachella and Lollapalooza and television shows, including Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!, Jools Holland, and Austin City Limits. Meanwhile, the group reached critical mass via syncs on shows like Friday Night Lights. Following a six-year break, the collective returned with What Is There in 2020. Beyond tallying nearly 20 million streams, it arrived to widespread critical acclaim from Billboard, Consequence of Sound, Flood, MXDWN, and Spin. American Songwriter attested, “Vazquez and his bandmates may have indeed made their masterpiece,” while Classic Rock Magazine in the UK hailed it as “beautiful and haunting.” Unfortunately, they couldn’t tour in support of What Is There in the midst of the Global Pandemic.
“It took over a year before we could be back on the road again,” Vasquez sighs. “In that headspace, we started another album. What else were we going to do? We needed to keep going.”
Churning out ideas separately throughout the summer of 2020, Brandon flew to Austin where he and Matthew recorded early ideas for what would become One Is One.
“We were ready to come back,” Matthew goes on. “We never stopped writing. Brandon and I knew we had some great songs, so we actually recorded an initial version of the album. From there, we sent it to the other guys. We really perfected the songs together over time.”
With Kelly and Will in New York, John in Montreal, and Brandon in Chattanooga, the musicians congregated for sessions in New York and Vermont. They expanded the sonic palette by incorporating soundtrack-style synthwave elements more than ever before.
“Our cup of tea is making epic and cinematic music,” he exclaims. “We’ve always been like that. We try to put listeners in their own movie.”
The first single “What’s Done Is Done” would be the perfect trailer for that movie. Distorted guitar revs up the propulsive beat as the snappy refrain soars, “All this time thinking what’s done is done, wasted time thinking that you were the one.” Written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Michael Parks Randa [Best Summer Ever], produced in partnership with the Global Down Syndrome Foundation (GLOBAL), and starring Jamie Brewer [American Horror Story] and Zack Gottsagen [The Peanut Butter Falcon], the accompanying video world premiered at the SXSW Film Festival. It depicts a heartfelt and touching love story of a couple with Down syndrome. This moving visual hit especially close to home for Matt. Not only did he once hold a job at an adult transition facility program for people with disabilities prior to the birth of the band, but his niece also has Down syndrome. “What’s Done Is Done” might just be the beating heart of One Is One.
“As a society, we really underestimate the capabilities of the disability community, especially in the creative arts,” Matthew remarks. “We've been collaborating with Randa for years, and after seeing his inclusive film Best Summer Ever, we were energized by the idea of doing our part to help further inclusion in the music industry. When he brought Zack and Jamie to the table to tell a love story between two people with Down syndrome, the band was so excited. They're both incredibly talented - I loved Peanut Butter Falcon and American Horror Story. It’s catchy and really sweet. It tells a different kind of story. Having a niece with Down syndrome, it's really important for her to see herself on screen and feel included and to know that an amazing organization like the Global Down Syndrome Foundation is working hard to create a brighter future for her. It’s catchy and really sweet.”
A choir of synths glows through the opener “Villains” as Matthew’s voice resounds over glitchy percussion, “Had a dream so good that I didn’t want to wake up.”
“It’s about growth,” he notes. “The second date I went on with my wife was in Mexico. I think of those times and who I was then. I’m a lot healthier and happier now. My motivation and inspiration come from better places.”
Harmonies sway and seesaw atop an organic beat on “Ghost of Caddo,” while the vocals enchant and entrance.
“It’s an exercise in imagery,” he says. “Caddo Lake might be the only lake in Texas. It’s a spooky place, so I thought it needed a murder ballad.”
Cello and acoustic guitar glisten alongside high register vocal swells during “Thoughts On Seneca,” exploring stoicism. “In The Daily Stoic, Seneca is a wealthy well-to-do person,” the frontman elaborates. “He always had to work harder to prove his place, because he was not in a position of poverty. It’s an interesting paradox. To his point, where you set your intention is where you are.”
In many ways, the title track “One Is One” doubles as an intentional mantra shocked to life by a “Nightrider-style” soundscape punctuated by warbly robotic funk fire.
“It’s about daily meditation,” Matthew states. “You realize your mood and world outlook are choices. You can choose to recognize your place. You can choose to have a good day. You can choose to seek peace.”
In the end, Delta Spirit have gone deeper than ever with their most memorable body of work.
“This music was adventurous for us,” he leaves off. “It’s full of positivity and beauty. I hope those feelings are reflected back for people.”