Born and raised in Texas, Matthew started learning the keyboard around age 9. At age 13 he picked up his musician-father’s guitar and has been playing ever since. “I remember that I was practicing organ (my mom inherited it from my grandmother), and I decided that since no one was around, I would play hookie and just mess around with my dad’s guitar that was nearby. That way, I could say that I “practiced” my music for the allotted time. I have never been one to enjoy rehearsal… ” Matthew’s first performance with a local band was at age 16, and at 18 he was accepted to the prestigious University of North Texas School of Music.
EARLY INFLUENCES (in chronological order)
Carlos Santana, Led Zeppelin, Ted Nugent, Jimi Hendrix, Rush, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Pat Travers, Frank Marino, and later Pat Metheny, Mike Stern, Allan Holdsworth, and Greg Howe.
FAVORITE EARLY MUSICAL MEMORY
"My older brother Rusty went to high school with Stevie Ray Vaughan. When I was 15 and had only been playing guitar a couple of years, Rusty snuck me into an Austin club named ‘The Club Foot’ to see Stevie play. I’d heard of Stevie, but he had no albums out yet, so I hadn’t heard him play. It was a Monday night dollar night, and there were only about 50-60 people in a club that was about the size of the ’Whiskey-a-Go-Go’ in Hollywood. When we walked in, the first thing I saw was Stevie was playing ‘Third Stone From the Sun’ and walking his guitar around the stage by the whammy bar. And it was still just the first set! On break, Stevie was sitting at the bar by himself, drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette. We walked over, and he said, ‘Hey, Rusty, how ya doin?’ My brother said, ‘Stevie - this is my brother, Matt. He’s also a guitar player.’ Stevie looked at me and said, ‘Oh you’re a guitar player?’ To which I said, ‘Not anymore. Tomorrow I’m gonna go buy a shovel...’ I will never forget SRV laughing at something I said… Later that night I heard the most intense version of ‘Voodoo Chile’ I have ever heard and probably ever will hear. Needless to say, Stevie’s intensity was a HUGE influence on me and how I approach the guitar...."
Shortly after college, Matthew moved to Los Angeles where he formed his critically acclaimed, progressive rock power trio, Doctor M. It was at this time that he met Jack Russell, singer for the band Great White, and the two became great friends. Matthew co-wrote (with Great White and Don Dokken) the song “My World” (lyrics by Russell, Johnson) on Great White’s album “Let It Rock”.
Later, Matthew wrote several tracks, including the title track, and played lead guitar on Russell’s solo album “Shelter Me”. “On THIS album, I got to work with a pretty intense rhythm section. Myron Grombacher (Pat Benatar) was on drums and the legendary Tim Bogert (Vanilla Fudge / Beck, Bogert, and Appice) was on bass. Here’s a man who got to jam with Jimi! And here I am in the studio with these guys playing on MY songs. Wow!!”
Soon after the completion of “Shelter Me”, Matthew accepted an invitation to assume lead guitar responsibilities for both U.S. and European tours of Great White. After several months, playing several shows as “Loopfest” in Chicago (with Styx, REO Speedwagon, Kenny Wayne Shepard, and Eddie Money), the tour slowly came to an end, and Matthew decided to remain in L.A.
“I remember being in LA and getting to play gigs with some of not only the best musicians I’d ever played, but that I had ever HEARD. I had a house gig in Manhattan Beach and got to jam HARD with drummers like Todd Sucherman (Styx – currently/Brian Wilson/Peter Cetera/Spinal Tap), Chris Frazier (Foreigner – currently/Whitesnake/Steve Vai/Eddie Money), and Matt Laug (Alanis Morissette/Lifehouse/Alice Cooper/The New Radicals/Melissa Etheridge). And I was jamming with bass players like Koko Powell (Edgar Winter Group - currently /Spencer Davis Group), and Shem Schroeck (Kenny Loggins – musical director/Ambrosia/Patti Austin/Steve Perry). I truly have been blessed to become friends with some great people who always inspire me and challenge me musically…”
In 2007, Matthew accepted a tour offer from Austin Texas artist, Patrice Pike of Sister Seven (signed to Arista by Clive Davis). Patrice had just appeared in the 2006 CBS television show, Rock Star: Supernova. And Matthew found a reason to come home to Texas…
Currently, Matthew is back on tour with Great White featuring Jack Russell, playing sold out shows all over the country (with plans for a European tour later in the year). When Matthew is not touring, he is performing 4-5 nights a week all over Texas (D/FW, Austin, Houston, etc).
SOME OF THE BANDS MATTHEW HAS PERFORMED WITH:
• Great White featuring Jack Russell (currently)
• Patrice Pike (Sister Seven / Little Sister)
• Redbone (“Come and Get Your Love”)
• The Molly Maguires
• May Lee Thomas
• Debbie Babcock and the Dallas Heat
• Filet of Soul
• Texas Flood (Matthew’s tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan)
MISCELLANEOUS CREDITS AND PROJECTS:
• Inducted into Texas-based Buddy Magazine's prestigious Texas Tornado Hall of
• Established Chez Moi Studios, Dallas and Los Angeles
• Composed, arranged, and performed music score for interactive CD-rom video
game “Revenge of Crotalus”
• Composed/Produced music for “Wealth and Creativity" (meditation/positive
• Composed, arranged, and performed movie soundtrack and score for horror-spoof
“Post Mortem: A Return to Carnage Hall”
• Sound editor for “Post Mortem: A Return to Carnage Hall”
• Extensive and varied studio session experience (writer, performer, producer -
in both L.A. and Dallas)
• Commercial jingles / voice over work (writer, performer)