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A weekly series focused on Bloomington-Normal's arts community and other major events. Made possible with support from PNC Financial Services.

Matthew Curry plays one night at the Castle — expect rock guitar with a singer/songwriter vibe

A man with blond hair, ripped jeans and a denim shirt sits at the counter of an old-fashioned diner holding his guitar.
Courtesy of Matthew Curry
Matthew Curry plays Friday night at the Castle Theatre in downtown Bloomington. The Twin City native's sound is a blend of blues, southern rock and jam bands.

It’s been 10 years since musician Matthew Curry graduated from Bloomington High School, and life is pretty good for the boy wonder known for ripping guitar runs. He landed early success, opening for mentors like Steve Miller and Peter Frampton, and moved to Nashville four years ago to make a go of it there with his new bride.

But Curry isn’t all that fond of staying in one place and missed being on the road during the pandemic. He returned to Bloomington in 2021 for a limited-capacity show after a year off from his annual set at the Castle Theatre downtown.

Curry returns for one-off Friday night (Dec. 9) with his full band and special guest, Cole Hollow.

In addition to older songs featuring Curry’s guitar, audiences can expect to hear plenty from his latest album, “Open Road.” The 2019 record took a distinct turn toward songwriting, revealing Curry’s soulful voice and a new sound for the band.

“I decided I needed to get better at writing songs because there are so many great guitar players out there,” Curry said.

If he had to put a label on it, Curry would call his music “roots rock,” with clear influences coming from blues, southern rock, jam bands and a dash of country. Like “Open Road,” new material — including a single dropping Saturday called “Don’t be a Stranger” — leans into the singer/songwriter vein Curry continues to hone.

“I’m having a lot of fun writing songs,” he said. “And the more that I do it, I feel like the stronger the songs become. So, I think it’s probably going to continue in that direction — as long as people put up with it.”

Matthew Curry plays with his full band at 8 p.m. Friday at the Castle Theatre, 209 E. Washington St. in Bloomington. Curry’s new single “Don’t be a Stranger,” drops at midnight on Saturday, Dec. 10 on Spotify and other streaming platforms. More information is available at matthewcurry.com.

Lauren Warnecke is a reporter at WGLT. You can reach Lauren at lewarne@ilstu.edu.
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