New Brunswick native Matt Andersen is coming home for a victory lap. Less than a month after playing some of the most prestigious stages across Canada and the U.S., Andersen returns to perform in Moncton before a sold-out Capitol Theatre tonight. The show is one of six sold-out dates in the Maritime Provinces.
Andersen is undoubtedly riding high on the success of Honest Man, his seventh studio release, and the follow-up to his 2014 Juno Award nominated album Weightless.
Boasting co-writes with Donovan Woods, Gordie Sampson, Thom Swift, and others, Honest Man is arguably one of Andersen’s most diverse and accessible works to date. With R&B producer Gordon “Commissioner” Williams (Lauryn Hill, Whitney Houston, Jay Z) overseeing the album’s creation, the producer helped Andersen attain a certain depth that his previous works had hinted at, but had not fully realized.
“What drew me to the Commissioner’s work was the fact he could help give the songs what they needed. Some producers tend to leave too much of a stamp on the records they oversee, but with the Commissioner, he has a great knack for respecting the songs and letting them breathe,” Andersen says.
Recorded mostly at Williams’ studio in New York City, Andersen shares that he was “spoiled” at the cast of musicians that the producer was able to bring in to perform on the record, including Andy Bassford (Toots and the Maytals, Natalie Merchant), Benji Bouton (Ibibio Sound Machine), Josh David Barret (The Wailers, Lauryn Hill), and Lenny Underwood (Mary J. Blige, Amy Winehouse).
“While the same rhythm section was featured throughout the record, the Commissioner hand-picking truly special guests to play on the record, which was completely spoiling. It was almost as though we had too many people to choose from, which isn’t necessarily a bad predicament to be in.”
Andersen’s current tour has marked a change of pace for the musician: Rather than performing the shows solo, as has been the case for the bulk of the last decade of shows, Andersen has been backed by a full band, which he says has opened up a world of possibilities when it comes to assembling his live set.
“This is the first time in 10 years that I’ve toured with a band. It’s something that I have really enjoyed getting back into. Having other people to feed off, not to mention the fact that I don’t have to carry the entire show myself, has been great. It has been freeing to get back on stage with a full band behind me.”
The concert stage has played a critical role in Andersen’s burgeoning success, both here at home and abroad. Having routinely undertaken upwards of 200 shows per year for much of the last decade, his deserved success has been the result of an unwavering work ethic, combined with the simple desire to make music for the masses.
“With every show, it seems as though the audience gets a little bigger, which I am completely grateful for. My career has been a bit of a slow build, but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Instant success doesn’t necessarily breed longevity. I have zero regrets about the way in which my career has unfolded.”
What: Matt Andersen with special guest Donovan Woods
When: Wednesday April 13, 8 p.m.
Where: Capitol Theatre, 811 Main St., Moncton
This show is sold out