Happy: A Quest for Life After Death

Monday, April 30, 2012

Mat's Music

One of the many things I miss about Mat is his guitar music.  He had taught himself to play a little before we met and wooed me with the Lemonheads' "Being Around" and sing me lyrics like:

If I was a booger, would you blow your nose?
Would you keep it?  Would you eat it?
I'm just trying to give myself a reason for being around.

Then he learned how to play Jewel's "You Were Meant For Me," and I would sing, rather not as well as I thought I did.  Ditto for the Dixie Chicks' "Wide Open Spaces."  It was good to be young and in love and making mediocre music together.

Then we moved to Cambridge and Mat decided to really learn what he was doing on the guitar.  He took classes at the famous Club Passim's School of Music and spent what I thought was inordinate amounts of time looking at -- and sometimes buying -- guitars and guitar accessories.  
Then Mat started traveling full time for work.  This was terrible for me but great for Mat's guitar playing, because I bought him a travel-size Seagull Grand guitar.  He spent his nights in hotel rooms practicing and he went from mediocre to really good

Even more than Club Passim and the Seagull Grand, Mat's friend Brandon helped make this happen.  I'll let you tell Brandon about that himself. He recently gave me recordings of some of the songs he and Mat played together, and he also put them on SoundClick (email me if you want the link, then check out "Idaho Spud Blues" -- Mat wrote that one). Here's what Brandon wrote on the website:  

The first few years after Mat and Kimberly first moved to Boston, Mat and I played guitars together almost every Saturday morning. We tortured our unsuspecting wives with badly played music from all genres and they patiently put up with our loud noises and ever growing piles of guitar gear. It was male bonding at its finest. Sure our wives had book club but we had illusions of guitar grandeur. 

Later the kids came and music rooms got converted into nurseries. Saturday mornings got filled up with kid duty and the mountains of gear got moved into the attic. All that remained was the beginning of great friendship and handful of recordings.

I'll miss all the songs we never got to play and write together. I'm glad I captured a few to share here. Mat loved music, so much so he was determined to learn to play just to create his own. I am realizing as I write this many of you may not have known about his musical side.

I loved that about him, always another facet to discover. Always curious, always exploring, never one dimensional and never afraid to try. I'd like to think a little of that spirit lives on in me for having known him and with it maybe a little bit of Mat lives on as well.

Enjoy the tunes.

Brandon