Mat Kearney,
The TVD First Date

“At sixteen I convinced my dad to let me buy a 1968 Volkswagen square back with $1,500 dollars I had earned as a bat boy for our local minor league baseball team.”

“I think the car ignited my interest in all things retro. My friends and I got deep into thrifting. The goal was to find the most ridiculous ’70s butterfly collar shirt from Goodwill and wear it with a smirk confidently. I remember a friend took me to a store called Donkey Salvage which introduced me to a more refined version of what thrifting could be.

The store had a quietly cool owner who curated items from the ’50s and ’60s along with a modest selection of jazz and blues records. I ended up hanging out at Donkey Salvage all the time. The owner constantly was spinning music and I would grill him with questions about artists like Dave Brubeck, Billie Holiday, and Dizzy Gillespie.

When I realized his ’50s Magnavox console record player was for sale, I gave him $100 and loaded it into the back of my VW. I look back at that moment as the beginning of my great love affair with vinyl, and really music in general. I discovered artists like Al Green, Louis Armstrong, and Miles Davis. The more I dug in the more I found a world that felt entirely my own.

Jazz was my first musical love. Something about the raw spontaneity of it made sense to me. It felt purely emotional. I listened to Billie Holiday’s All or Nothing at All every night through the Magnavox’s 15” horn speakers. Often my eyes would fill with tears totally overwhelmed in a state of bliss. I started to understand how large music could be and what if could mean to someone listening.

I lugged the Magnavox down to college in California. I would blast traditional Irish records like the Chieftains every weekend morning through the dorm hallways. I favored Bay Area underground hip hop as an upperclassmen and introduced my roommates to every DJ Shadow produced Latyrx record available. I eventually packed it up and drove it over the Rockies and across the Mississippi to where it sits now in Nashville.

I had picked up songwriting and wanted to try my hand at creating something of my own. That same Billie Holiday record is framed above my daughters bed now. Sometimes I put it on and still feel the same way I did at 16 when I was overwhelmed with the eternal weight one song could carry.”
Mat Kearney

January Flower, the new full length release from Mat Kearney arrives in stores on May 21, 2021—on vinyl.

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