River Matthews is an artist for whom the stars seem to have aligned since the days of playing cover songs in local pubs. A career as a musical therapy teacher, and no small amount of heartbreak, has led to working with world-renowned songwriter Jamie Scott, supporting Rag ‘N’ Bone Man on his sold-out ‘Human’ tour, two Sold-Out headline London shows and a European tour throughout 2017.
Now established as one of the UK’s most distinctive and soulful vocals performers, this is the body of work that will ensure his place as one of the most talented songwriters on the scene today. The final single before the release is the spine-tingling ‘Fool For You’, also our Song of the Day. Songwriting doesn’t come any more special than this. It’s a stunning combination of everything River’s music is about: incredible crescendos, immaculate production and a vocal that stays with you for months.
River’s first forays into music came at the age of 7 learning classical guitar. Then, as with most young lads, he lost interest in his teenage years as he embarked on an informal education of The Beach Boys, Cat Stevens, the Beatles and The Rolling Stones, from the school of Mum and Dad. After fanning the musical flames, River soon found himself performing 60’s & 70’s hits at local pubs & venues, alongside some more crowd-friendly tracks from Oasis & Radiohead. Still, it was a long time before he ever put pen to paper.
River’s next step was to put his musical ability to altruistic use, spending years working with children with learning difficulties, using music to help build confidence and self-esteem in the students.
“I worked at a school with students with learning difficulties, using music as a kind of therapy to build self-esteem and confidence. From working one to one with the students to encouraging them to form bands; it was great fun, and really powerful when you saw how often they would grow in confidence and self-awareness through music (The Park School in Woking, Surrey).
The energy and care all the staff put into the lives of the students are quite incredible. I can honestly say I owe a huge amount to that place, for so many different reasons”.
It was this path that eventually led River to the songwriter, Jamie Scott, and since then the pieces have all fallen into place. After breaking into the public consciousness with the tantalizingly brilliant ‘Stars’, River soon followed that up with one of the years most feel-good releases ‘Sunshine’, a hook-driven, high-quality production showcasing River’s incredibly distinctive vocal. Amongst critical acclaim, the release led to a sold-out first London headline show at St Pancras Old Church, prompting a first, headline European tour this Autumn. All in all, not a bad year for an artist that took the best part of a decade to commit to releasing music..
The conclusion of all this work and stunning music, is River’s debut album ‘Imogen’. He has just been confirmed for this year’s The Great Escape and Live at Leeds Festival – he’s going places, so don’t miss him.
River Matthews Tour Dates
Granada Theatre, Dallas – 20th February
Antone’s, Austin – 21st February
Antone’s, Austin – 22nd February
Pub Rock, Scottsdale – 23rd February
The Glass House, Pomona – 25th February
Doug Fir Lounge, Portland – 28th February
The State Room, Salt Lake City – 5th March
7th St Entry, Minneapolis – 8th March
House Of Blues, Cleveland – 11th March
Union Stage, Washington – 13th March
Brighton Music Hall, Allston – 15th March
Live At Leeds, Leeds – 5th May
The Great Escape, Brighton – 17th May
Upstairs at Whelan’s, Dublin – 23rd May