Owner of a raspy voice and a battered acoustic guitar, a writer of words and a singer of songs, Matty James Cassidy started plying his trade at an early age in the bars and clubs of his native Northern Ireland. Years of banging the skins for Cadaver Club, and then more recently playing bass for Tyla’s Dogs D’amour have seen him gain a higher profile in the UK. Up until recently, you would most likely see him doing a set of his own material opening for his boss at many a gig in the bars and clubs of the UK.
Following the unexpected and well-received ‘The Isolation Tapes’ acoustic album, recorded and released during the lockdown, the man in black releases his new album proper ‘Old Souls’.
There’s a heart-warming familiarity to the laidback rock ‘n’ roll sound that Matty creates. He straddles outlaw country, folk and blues with confidence and ease. Simple structures and chord progressions are the name of the game, the emphasis on melody, feel and telling a story or two.
The recent singles are present and correct, showing a snapshot of the troubadour’s sound. The raucous, rogue rock of album opener ‘Said & Done’ sets the scene nicely. It’s always good to open with a fast one, innit? The brooding, folk-rock of ‘Rosary’ hits the spot, and the upbeat and balladic ‘Anodyne’ floats by on a summer breeze.
There is more than a passing nod to The Dogs D’amour, which is to be expected and is never a bad thing. But Matty adds his own inimitable style to the heartfelt tunes on offer. The mix of harmonica and stabs of piano give ‘Contradiction In Terms’ a barroom boogie feel, and he soothes the soul with the late-night smoky blues that is ‘The Art Of Falling Down’, a standout cut for sure.
Being a multi-instrumentalist, Matty handles all instruments, although his Dogs bandmate Gary Pennick adds some guitars, as does former Main Grains/Spangles guitar slinger Ben Marsden.
Upbeat rockers such as ‘Leave Your Heart At Home’ mix well with the sentimental ballads, but there are a couple of tracks that stand out from the crowd instantly for me. The title track comes on like The Specials meets Hanoi Rocks doing a Tarantino movie soundtrack. A killer, ska-styled groove skulks along at a deathly pace, as emotive sax wails away in the background behind Matty’s distinctive raspy tones. You gotta love it. You also have to love the album closer ‘Born Ancient’. A gloriously folk-tinged’, foot-stomper that will have you hitting the repeat button and swinging the bottle until the sun comes up!
For those that dig lullabies for tough guys or those that desire a little romance in their rock ‘n’ roll, Matty James Cassidy has a song or two for ya! Lyrics that are reflective and observational, set to tunes you will have heard before but can’t quite place, and it’s all drenched in sweet guitars, bluesy harmonica and soulful sax. Music that will appeal to fans of The Dogs D’Amour, lovers of rock ‘n’ roll or just the pirates, vampires and the outlaws of this crazy world we live in.
Buy Old Souls Here
Author: Ben Hughes