Fort Worth’s Matthew McNeal and Music on The Road

LRG_DSC04181Matthew McNeal | Photo Credit: Emily Lynn McBurnett

By Juan R Govea

Matthew McNeal, Fort Worth’s genre-bending singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist has spent more than the better part of the past two years on the road. For the past several years McNeal has been building a listening base within various music scenes across the US and abroad.

Operating as a ‘full-band style’ power-duo for most of their time on the road, McNeal and longtime drummer/collaborator Andre Black perform dynamically to the likes of a five piece guitar, bass, and key sounds mixed with a myriad of amplifiers stemming from McNeals’ unorthodox approach to the electric guitar accompanied by Black’s soulful, lyrical groove.

After touring in support of the 2015 studio debut Compadre, McNeal released his sophomore effort Good Luck, an LP recorded by Grammy award-winning Ted Young (Kurt Vile, The Rolling Stones) in February of 2018 via his own independent record label Matte Black Sound Company.

Backed by an all-star band including Austin’s own psych-rocker Israel Nash, the album weaves in and out of genre atop the analog hiss of a 1971 tape machine. McNeal delivers an inventive storytelling approach over a groove-laden soundtrack mirroring the dynamic landscapes while on the road.

Constantly performing and collaborating to find the next source of sonic inspiration, the band continues to release singles through their label throughout the year in effort to make music that is thought-provoking, unifying and as genuine as can be.

The 25-year-old has lived in Fort Worth since 2012 after gaining an education at Denton’s University of North Texas and University of Texas at Arlington with a degree in Business Marketing, but says he has always had a love for music.

Starting at his birthplace in the piney woods of East Texas, McNeal began his musical career at the age of fifteen. He started a DIY scene playing in bands across Texas throughout high school.

LRG_DSC04273Matthew McNeal | Photo Credit: Emily Lynn McBurnett

In 2013 the artists released a few bedroom recordings entitled When You’re Down in order to prepare for their 2015 release Compadre.

While traveling and touring from coast to coast, McNeal’s group makes time to write more music while networking. McNeal says he and Black are like brothers when they’re on the road as a two-piece.

“Traveling and collaborating with other musicians while on the road is not rare,” McNeal says. Artists such as Israel Nash’s psychedelic sounds vibe well with McNeal and Black’s sound. Nash performed with McNeal on the road. Good Luck was recoded at Nash’s studio in Austin, Texas.

While also recording with Ted Young, McNeal says Young is always involved in McNeal’s recording, bringing him in from New York, but also maintains that there are several people involved with the music, making new contacts and professional relationships.

McNeal says the industry is very different in order for a musician to make a career as a musician in the modern age.

LRG_DSC04399Matthew McNeal | Photo Credit: Emily Lynn McBurnett

“Oh, you make a good song and a record label executive sees it and everything is great. It’s not really like that anymore,” he says. “There is certainly not really one way to do it with success, but we kind of chose our own path and like the unknown while breaking the mold.”

McNeal’s music can be found on all streaming platforms including a few older tunes on Soundcloud. McNeal and Black have their fingers crossed in hopes to start traveling overseas in the next year, but are home for the holidays in Fort Worth as of now.

Matthew McNeal’s Bandcamp page :

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