The LowellArts Featured Artist of the Month is the Bruce Matthews Band (BMB). The group’s latest album release concert will take place on Sunday, August 15 at 7 PM on the stage at Riverwalk Plaza. What You Leave Behind is the group’s third album. Concert goers will be able to pick up the new album (pre-orders for vinyl LP will be taken for a September arrival) along with other BMB gear during the free event.
Bruce Matthews often talks about how music can touch or influence others in a number of ways. “That’s what music ought to do—touch folks, and often in ways you as a songwriter have no inkling or intention when you wrote it,” says Matthews. “I have a friend who’s a writer, and he’s told me he’s now adding a chapter to his new book, with the chapter called ‘What You Leave Behind’, inspired by our song.”
When it comes to writing music, Matthews doesn’t start the day with the goal of putting thoughts into words and musical notes. He finds “constant and deep inspiration in Creation and relationships with family, friends, and God”. He hopes his music is doing good for those who listen whether it’s for pure enjoyment or some personal influence is found – or both.
Inspiration for his music comes from a variety of places according to Matthews. Some come from conversations with his wife, Linda, such as “Nova Scotia”, while “What You Leave Behind” took three months to write when it came to thoughts about getting older weighing on his heart. “Going To The Back Of The North Wind” takes Matthews back to when his son was younger, singing about wielding superpowers, and “Christmas, Next Year” was inspired by the pandemic.
“Music is a universal language. It’s a window into our souls that we share no matter any other ways we differ. We all share in the way it touches our hearts,” Matthews comments on why he thinks music touches people in different ways. He has personally been spoken to by Roger MacNaughton’s “The Island Beckons” which he explains hearing “deep in my heart”. According to Matthews, one of music’s mysteries is that it meets individuals where they are. A song can help someone through a rough time, be remembered as a way to mark a memory, and have different meanings depending on the individual who is listening.
Calling Lowell Home
Although he was born in Louisville, Kentucky, Matthews has lived in various spots along the east coast before landing in Lowell. He feels Lowell has everything he and his wife need, including some of their kids and grandkids living nearby, friends, and a church family, in addition to band members. He also enjoys being able to watch nature, tend to a garden, and always seeing a familiar face when out in the community. He has enjoyed blooming where he has been planted.
The artwork for the cover of “What You Leave Behind” was done by Matthew’s step-daughter Ari Mariduena, who he refers to as an “amazing artist”. She has designed album covers and promotional artwork for the band.
Fallasburg Arts Festival is one of the favorite spots for DMB to perform. Matthews loves the family atmosphere with visitors happy to be there and the band happy to be performing. However, the next opportunity to see the band in action is Sunday, August 15 beginning at 7PM on the Riverwalk. You can also follow the Bruce Matthews Band on Facebook and listen to tracks from the new album here. Additionally, more information about the band, including upcoming performances, can be found here.
Photos courtesy of the Bruce Matthews Band and used with permission.