Start your week with this foot-tapping new single from Matt North. ‘Trophy Case’ has a real driving groove that is infectious and engaging. In the accompanying video, we get to see the musicians at work and it is, indeed, a fine group of players. Keeping that rhythm going relentlessly are Butch Norton on the drums and David Sutton’s pulsing bass (both Lucinda Williams). This provides the foundation for distorted guitar from Eli Wulfmeier (Shelby Lynne) and keys from Carl Byron (Michelle Shocked). Over it all, North delivers crisp, clean vocals that carry a tuneful power. North says of the song’s inspiration: “Two sources birthed ‘Trophy Case’. The first, my impression of multiple marriages once (or still) in my orbit – now crushed into one, fictitious couple. Second, I keep a jar full of pieces of paper, each with a weird word or a short sentence. When I can’t think of a lyric, I reach in the jar and find a home for whatever I pull out. “Play stupid games, win stupid prizes” won the prize for opening line and I’m most excited that I finally got to use “beard of bees.” But the line, “All you got was a trophy with your name spelled wrong” has been with me ever since an eleven year-old Matt North won first place in a fifth grade essay contest.”
North went from being a Hollywood script analyst to a sought-after session drummer and song-writer in Nashville. Over the years, he has played and recorded with the likes of the late Jay Bennett of Wilco and Coltrane bassist, Rafael Garrett. But it’s with his own songs that he captures our attention. ‘Trophy Case’ is taken from North’s second album, ‘Bullies in the Backyard’, which has just been released on Round Badge Records and the usual streaming platforms. As the title indicates, North wrote this collection while fighting courtroom battles with Nashville’s Public School system in relation to his son’s special needs. The precedents set in eventually winning the case will help other families in similar positions. The pandemic added further complications to the process of putting the songs together and North ended up writing while taking a job at Nashville’s Home Depot. It’s finally ready; the album was put together with the assistance of some great collaborators, particularly Jim Scott (Tom Petty, Wilco, Los Lobos) on production duties and Pete Lyman (Tom Waits, Chris Stapleton, Barry Gibb), who mastered the record. The dynamic ‘Trophy Case’ brings you plenty of energy to get you moving. Enjoy.
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