Bloomington native Matthew Curry says his "guitar gun-slinger" days may not be completely over, but his sound should evolve.
Curry returns to the Castle Theatre for his annual "Concert For A Cure" Saturday night to benefit the Community Cancer Center in Normal.
Curry said that musical evolution can be heard on "Open Road," the new album he'll unveil this weekend.
“If I were to put a label on the new album, I’d call it roots-rock,” said Curry. “I’ve been trying to focus more on the songwriting end of things. I think people will hear that in this album. There’s a little less blazing guitar and hopefully people will dig it.”
It’s a notable change for a guy who gained respect as a pre-teen in the local music scene as a guitar phenom. He said he’s been feeling the move to singer-songwriter has been knawing at him.
“The blazing-guitar label almost kind of haunts me,” said Curry.
“There’s only so many notes … and there’s so many guitar players light-years better than I’ll ever be,” he said, offering up Derek Trucks and Eric Gales as examples of guitarists that have his attention. He’s realized it’s probably best to find his niche in a different way.
There are flashes on “Open Road” of that old blues-rock sound, including the title track and “On My Way,” But you can also hear straight-up soul on “Singing Right Along” along with the roots-rockers that dominate the rest of the album. “The Great Midwest” is a song he debuted at last year's Castle Theatre show. It has hints of John Mellencamp both musically and lyrically, with references to central Illinois and his late father Paul Curry.
As the sun hits the horizon
And yields the light of the moon
My mind takes me back in time
To a lazy afternoon
On the banks of the Mackinaw
As I threw in the line
Almost heard my daddy call
Son you’ll get back some time
- from "The Great Midwest" from Matthew Curry
As you can hear in “The Great Midwest,” McLean County imagery is seared into his conscience. But the Bloomington native has finally moved to a music hub, saying Nashville has been his home base for nearly three months. It's where many of his music partners and connections live, including members of the Doobie Brothers and Peter Frampton’s band. These are people he has become close with after landing opening-act spots on their respective tours. He said they have become mentors.
“Not to come off the wrong way, but I’m able to use their connections and see what I can do on my own to further my career. I still miss Bloomington, but I think it’s the best move. It’s only seven hours away and it’s easy enough to jump in the car and come up for the holidays,” said Curry.
Matthew Curry returns to the Castle Theatre for his annual "Concert For A Cure" Saturday night to benefit the Community Cancer Center in Normal.
WGLT depends on financial support from users to bring you stories and interviews like this one. As someone who values experienced, knowledgeable, and award-winning journalists covering meaningful stories in central Illinois, please consider making a contribution.