The Music is a Beautiful Thing Project

Thanks for stopping by!

Thanks for stopping by my website. If you are looking for info on The Music is a Beautiful Thing Project, please visit http://www.themusicisabeautifulthingproject.com. If you'd like to learn more about The Highwaymen Songs and Stories concerts that I do, please visit www.mattyorksongsandstories.com. If you have any questions about booking, please feel free to fill out the contact form or email me directly at mattyorkpembroke@gmail.com. I am a one-man shop over here. Thank you!

Welcome

Summer 2024 Update 

Live at Alchemy in Providence, Rhode Island June, 2024

I hope everyone is having a great start to their summer. June has been a really incredible month of music. In the past few weeks, I've opened up for one my real musical heroes (Rhett Miller of the Old 97's) and got to chat with him about the album he made with Waylon Jennings and his friendship with Willie Nelson. I spent Father's Day outdoors at a brewery singing old country music while dads ate food from the BBQ truck and drank a beer or two with their families. There were a million other moments in between, so thank you! The thing I've really enjoyed is that in the places I've been 2-3 times now, the crowds seem to get bigger and bigger each time and that's been really exciting to watch. If you think I didn't just knock on wood after typing that previous sentence, I assure you I definitely did. 

I've updated my website with all the July dates that are open to the public (as well as remaining June dates) at www.mattyorksongsandstories.com. The first week of July is fairly light, but then it's nonstop until September. As always, if there are places you think it might make sense for me to perform, please feel free to contact me and I'll try and make it happen. I'm booking up a lot of fall/winter dates now.

 

I'll be talking more about this in the months ahead, but later this year I plan on really working hard on something called The Music is a Beautiful Thing Project. However, The goal is to do two things: 1) Bring music to people/places that might not have a chance to hear much live music otherwise. 2) Try and bring quality musical instruments to places where they'll be put to use. If you'd like to read more about it (there's also a video), please click on the heart above. I think it's going to be awesome and I'm really excited about it.

I fell hard for old southern gospel albums about a year ago and now it's all I listen to. I really love the songs of The Happy Goodmans, George Jones, Willie and Johnny Cash. This song is called “Mansion over the Hilltop”.

This Thursday opening for the Old 97's Rhett Miller in Providence 

I'm excited to open for one of my truly favorite songwriters/artists Rhett Miller of the Old 97's. I was a full-fledged indie rock/punk musician when I first stumbled upon Rhett's music about twenty-five years ago. I loved how the Old 97's music fused indie rock with twangy country and yielded results that sounded like nothing I'd ever heard before. Their music, along with Steve Earle's, really changed my songwriting and influences. Eventually I ended up going down a rabbit hole of classic country music that I've never climbed out of. This Thursday at Alchemy, a great room for live music in Providence, R.I. Tickets can be purchased at https://alchemyri.net/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 2024 Update 

Happy June folks!
 

One week away from my concert at City Winery in Boston on Saturday, June 8th at 12pm. Doors are at 11am and they'll have a full brunch/lunch menu. I'll be doing the songs of the great Johnny Cash and talking about his career. You can purchase tickets at this link. 

My book about the Highwaymen is now available for purchase online through Barnes and Noble. You can find it at this link. I also recorded an album of Willie Nelson songs over the winter. I really enjoyed making the album. It's called Peace in the Valley. I'll have CDs available at my concerts but you can listen for free and/or download the album at www.mattyorkboston.bandcamp.com.

Head on over to the “Shows” page to see where I'll be in June. The answer is everywhere. Below is a video I recorded recently of a song that was written by the great country artist/songwriter Hank Cochran called “A Little Bitty Tear”. A number of artists (including Cochran) recorded this song. Hank also wrote “I Fall to Pieces” and “She's Got You” for Patsy Cline. He was a master songwriter.

 

Thanks for stopping by my website. If you have any questions, please just email me at mattyorkpembroke@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 2024 Update 

Howdy!
 
Hope you are doing well. Two great ticketed concerts for June have been added. I'll be returning to City Winery Boston on Saturday, June 8th doing the songs and stories of Johnny Cash. This is a part of the brunch concert series the Winery is doing. Food there is great, it is a beautiful listening room and you are steps away from the North End/Quincy Market, so it's pretty cool. Tickets can be found at this link.  https://citywinery.com/boston/events/matt-york-sings-the-songs-of-johnny-cash-hltbav
 
On Thursday, June 13th, I have the real honor of opening for Rhett Miller of the Old 97's at Alchemy in Providence, Rhode Island. I'll get more long-winded about the Old 97's below, but you can purchase tickets now at this link.
 
I'm excited to announce that my album of Willie Nelson songs is now available. The album is called Peace in the Valley and is a collection of songs of his that I love. I recorded it over the winter and I'll have CDs available at shows. You can stream the album for free at https://mattyorkboston.bandcamp.com/album/peace-in-the-valley-the-songs-of-willie-nelson. You can also download it there if you would like. It was a lot of fun to make and kept me busy over the winter months. If you want me to mail you a copy, email me back and we'll figure something out : )
 
This month's YouTube video is my version of a song by a young Texas artist named Ellis Bullard. His music is Texas through and through and you can learn more about him at https://www.ellisbullardmusic.com.  
 
 
Here's a link to my version of his great song “Lucky You, Lucky Me, My Unlucky Ways".
 
 
 
If you like my dumb stories, here's a quick one about the Old 97's and their lead singer Rhett Miller.
 
Rhett Miller/Old 97's - In 1996, my band was preparing to perform at TT the Bears in Cambridge for the first time. An iconic and sadly now-defunct room that maybe could fit 250 people. The weekend before we were playing there, we decided to check out a show. The Old 97's, from Austin, Texas, headlined and had a spirit and fierceness to their music that was astonishing. I can't remember if I was already a fan of theirs or if I just knew their name. Over the years, I played that club many, many times and saw many more shows there. I never saw TT's the way it was that night. The fact that the roof didn't come off the place that night is still astonishing to me. They wrote (and continue to write) hooky songs that are both twangy and rock n' roll. I was not a country guy as a kid and the Old 97's (along w/ Steve Earle and Willie) were really the artists that led me into this world of classic country music. 
 
Rhett Miller's about my age and is the lead singer/rhythm guitarist of the band and a truly incredible frontman.  I've seen him perform 5-6 times as an acoustic solo act and he's always great. A funny guy with whip-smart songs. In 1996, Waylon Jennings also saw the Old 97's, he also loved them and they decided to record an album together. Jennings was in poor health and they only completed two songs but you can find them online. The songs were not released until many years later. I hope to have the opportunity to talk with Rhett the night of the concert and ask him about those sessions. Here's an old video of the band from the Tonight Show. Click this link.
 
Thanks for your support,
 

April, 2024 Update 

Hi folks,
 
Just wanted to send a quick spring update. This Friday night (March 29th), I'm coming to Norwood, MA to perform with a full band at the Extended Sessions at The Fallout Shelter. We'll be doing the songs of the Highwaymen. The Fallout Shelter has been a great music venue for years and this will be my first time performing there. Advanced tickets and additional info for that can be found at https://www.extendedplaysessions.com/
 
 
YouTube song this month is "I'll Fly Away" which has been recorded by over 250 artists including Willie, Cash and Merle Haggard. 
 
You can now stream a slew of my albums on Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube
 
Here's where I'll be in the weeks ahead:
 
March 28th (Thurs.) Littleton Library at 7pm (Willie)

March 29th (Fri.) Fallout Shelter Norwood Load in at 4:30 Show at 7pm

April 10th (Wed.) Methuen COA (Willie) 1pm

April 11th (Thurs.) Freetown COA (Willie) 1pm

April 14th (Sun.) Chesterfield (MA) Community Center doing the songs of Willie 2pm 

April 19th (Fri.) Boxford COA 6pm (Willie)

April 21st (Sun.) 3pm Christ Church in Harwichport

April 24th (Wed.) 1pm Brookline COA (Johnny Cash) 

April 27th (Sat.) Salisbury Days (more info here)

May 2nd (Thurs.) - Avon COA songs of Willie (6pm)

May 4th (Sat.) Mattapoisett Library doing songs of Johnny Cash 2pm

May 7th (Tues.) Shrewsbury Library doing the Songs of Willie at 7pm 

May 9th (Thurs.) Ashby Library 6pm Highwaymen 

May 14th (Tues.) Oxford Library (6:30) Songs of Willie

May 16th (Thurs.) - Southbridge Library (Johnny Cash)

May 18th (Sat.) - Milford Library at 1pm (Johnny Cash)

May 21st (Tues) - East Bridgewater Library 6:30pm (Willie)

May 22nd Wed.) Middleton COA 11:30 (Willie)

May 22nd (Wed.) Lynnfield Library 6pm (Cash)

May 23rd (Thurs.) 7-10 The Porch in Medford, MA

May 24th (Friday) Lynn COA 10:30 a.m.

May 24th (Friday) Norwood Town Concerts (outdoors) 6:30 to 8:30

May 25th (Sat.) Plympton Library  11am Willie

May 25th (Sat.) Mashpee Library 3:30pm Cash

May 30th (Thurs) Medfield COA (Highwaymen) 1:45

May 30th (Thurs.) Medway Library (Songs of Johnny Cash) Evening Concert.

 
Thanks, as always, for your support!!!
 

March 2024 Update 

Hello folks,

Just a quick update on what I'll be up to in the weeks ahead.

Over the winter, I've really fallen in love with some of the old gospel records that Cash, Willie and others have recorded through the years. I never spent a lot of time listening to gospel music, but it's all I've been listening to lately. I hope to record an album of gospel songs later this year. This is an old Christian hymn that's particularly been stuck in my of late https://youtu.be/FCCxXhwXHtc. Willie and his late sister Bobbie did a beautiful version of this song many years ago. If you like what you hear, please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel (it's free). I'll also be doing concerts this year geared towards churches/places of worship, where I'll focus on the gospel songs that Cash and Willie recorded. If you know of a place where it might make sense for me to perform, as always, shoot me an email and I'll try and make it happen

A reminder that you can follow me on social media at @mattyorkboston on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or visit my website at www.mattyorkmusic.com for more info. I've still got a few slots left for summer house concerts for those interested.

In the weeks ahead, I'll be at:

Feb. 29th (Thurs.) Hanson Library at 6:30pm: I'll be doing the songs of the great Willie Nelson. It's free, thanks to a cultural grant from the Hanson Cultural Council. Reserve a spot at this link https://www.eventkeeper.com/code/ekform.cfm?curOrg=HANSON&curID=682214

March 2nd (Sat.) Village Social Club in Brookline, MA - I'll be singing classic country music at 8pm at this cool venue that's in the basement of the Garrison House in Brookline. It's free!

March 9th (Sat.) I'll be opening for two-time Grammy Award Winner Jim Lauderdale at the Porch Southern Fare and Juke Joint in Medford. Really excited for this one. Jim's a real songwriting hero of mine. Advanced tickets at www.theporchsouthern.com.

March 16th (Sat.) The Knickerbocker Music Center in Westerly, RI (8pm) - I'll be opening for my good friend, the wildly talented Christine Ohlman. Advanced tickets at www.knickmusic.com

March 21st (Thurs.) Life Learning in Orleans at 10:30am and  1:30 pm - I'll be performing at the Snow Library in Orleans, MA doing two concerts. These concerts will also be available online. You can register/learn more at https://friendsofsnowlibrary.org/lifetime-learning-program/ These concerts will cover the songs/careers of the Highwaymen.

March 23rd (Sat.) Abington Library at 3pm - doing the songs of Johnny Cash. Free! You can reserve a spot at https://www.eventkeeper.com/code/friend.cfm?curOrg=ABINGTON&tEvt=7455213&tfPopup=1

March 28th (Thurs.) Reuben Hoar Library in Littleton, MA at 7pm - doing the songs of Willie. More info at https://www.littletonma.org/160/Library

March 29th (Fri.) Fallout Shelter in Norwood at 7pm: -- Full band concert doing the songs of the Highwaymen in this really great venue. This concert will be livestreamed but you can also attend. I'm really looking forward to playing here for the first time. Advanced tickets at https://www.extendedplaysessions.com/

Thank you for your support,

February 2024 Update 

Hi folks,
 
Happy February! Hope everyone is surviving winter. Had a really great time at the Bull Run a few weeks ago in Shirley. Had something that has never happened before at my concert in Foxboro last week, where I basically couldn't sing. I'd been battling a cold and thought I was on the other side of it. Turns out that I might have been feeling better, but I couldn't really sing, so that was a lot of fun for all involved. Nonetheless, we made it through....kinda. 
 
I'm just putting the finishing touches on my new book about Willie Nelson. I'm excited about it and I hope folks like it. It's a collection of stories about him, blended in with some stories of things that I've seen while traveling all over the place singing these past few years. It'll be available for purchase hopefully by March 1st. I've also recently completed recording an album's worth of songs by Willie that should also be available soon.
 
I don't have any ticketed concerts in February, but I do have a few that I'm excited about in March. 
 
March 9th (Sat.) - I'll be opening for two-time Grammy Award winner Jim Lauderdale at The Porch Southern Fare and Juke Joint in Medford. I've long admired Jim's music and it's a treat to get to perform my own songs opening for him. More info at www.theporchsouthern.com. If you plan on attending, bring your appetite. The food at The Porch rules!
 
March 16th (Sat.) - I'll be opening for my longtime friend Christine Ohlman at The Knickerbocker Music Center in Westerly, RI. I'll be performing solo and doing my own stuff. More info at www.knickmusic.com. Christine is terrific and the Knick is a real gem of a place to see live music. 
 
March 29th (Fri.) - Real excited to play The Fallout Shelter in Norwood for the first time. I'll be playing w/ a full band and doing the songs of the Highwaymen. The Fallout Shelter concerts can be streamed online live and they have a live audience that can attend as well. A bunch of artists I've long admired have performed here, so I'm looking forward to playing for the first time. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.extendedplaysessions.com/
 
Most of the gigs I have in February are private concerts. However, a couple are open to the public. They are:
 
Feb. 18th (Sun.) - Groton (MA) Library - I'll be doing the songs of the great Johnny Cash at 2:30 pm. It's free. Looks like seats are filling up quickly for this one though, so if you want to attend, please register at https://gpl.assabetinteractive.com/calendar/in-person-sunday-concert-series-8/
 
Feb. 29th (Thurs.) Hanson Library - I'll be doing the songs of Willie Nelson at 6:30 pm. It's free and you can register to reserve a spot at https://www.eventkeeper.com/code/ekform.cfm?curOrg=HANSON&curID=682214
 
 
A couple other notes:
 
If you're interested in having me perform a private concert at your home this summer, please let me know soon. I've had a number of inquiries about these and I enjoy doing them. However, my summer weekend dates are quickly filling up (still plenty of spring/fall dates), so feel free to reach out if you're interested, either by email or call/text me at 781-953-6177. 
 
Lastly, one of the songs that I recently recorded of Willie's, is a song called "Local Memory". It appeared on the Shotgun Willie album in 1973. It was released initially by country artist Bobby Lewis ten years earlier. Willie has done a few studio versions of it. A fairly obscure song that was never a hit, I really love the lyrics and spirit of the song. 
Here's a video of my half awake singing it on this brisk Saturday morning. https://youtu.be/Fxf1cpeRlRQ

January 2024 Update 

Happy New Year folks,

I had a really nice time doing a slew of Holiday concerts in December. Since there's a bit less interest in holiday songs after December, I'll be shifting back into classic country mode : )

In 2024 the majority of Songs & Stories concerts I'll be doing will be on the career of Willie Nelson. Willie is my all-time favorite artist and I'm finishing up a book on him now that should be available very soon. If you're a Willie fan, Paramount + just released a four-part documentary on his career. It's four hours in all and I really thought it was well done. Here's the trailer if you're interested 

One of the things I've been working hard on is bringing my concerts to more small theaters/listening rooms around New England. I have some shows that have advanced tickets that I wanted to highlight below. 

January 13th (Saturday) - The Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley, MA. I'm excited to return to the Bull Run. This time I'll be performing the songs of Willie (I did the Highwaymen last time). This will be a solo show. The Bull Run is a place that many of my musical heroes have performed at through the years and I'm looking forward to coming back there. Advanced tickets are $18 and can be purchased at this link.

January 26th (Friday) - The Marilyn Rodman Performing Arts Center in Foxborough. Tickets can be purchased at this link. This is a full-band concert doing the songs of Willie. I grew up in Foxboro and went to this old theater as a kid all the time to see movies. This is a big room (probably the biggest I've done a Songs & Stories concert), so I'm working hard to make this one a success.

Also in January:

Check back on my website (www.mattyorkmusic.com) for updates because there are 3-4 gigs in January that are likely happening that I just need to confirm. I'll update my website once I have received confirmation. The ones below are confirmed:

January 22nd (Monday) - Askew in Providence, Rhode Island opening for Dan Bern. Dan is a great songwriter that has performed at Carnegie Hall and done some really great stuff through the years. He's out on tour and I'll be opening for him, doing my own songs at one of my favorite venues, Askew Providence. Advanced tickets available at www.askewprov.com

Jan. 28th (Sun.) - I'll be at the Duxbury Library at 2pm for a free concert doing the songs of the late, great Johnny Cash. More info on that available at https://www.town.duxbury.ma.us/duxbury-free-library

If you are on social media, you can follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mattyorkboston or Instagram at www.instagram.com/mattyorkboston. I generally post a couple of videos to my YouTube channel each month. You can subscribe for free just watch videos at this link

It's looking like I'll be doing a boatload of house concerts in the Summer of 2024. If you'd be interested in me coming to perform, shoot me an email and I can give you the details on how it works. It's super simple and pretty awesome. Lastly, if there's any venue you think it'd make sense for me to come perform at, please let me know.  

New Years Eve performing at the Chatham Drama Guild

Thanks for your continued support,

Matt York

www.mattyorkmusic.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December, 2023 Update 

 

 

Happy Holidays folks!
 
I'll finish this year having played nearly 200 concerts in 2024. I've met some incredible folks, had some really great moments and I thank you for having caught a show or clicked on a video link etc.
 
I'm in full Christmas concert mode for the most part in December. Lots of Ho-Ho-Hoing in the weeks ahead at some private concerts but also many open to the public (listed below). I also have some fun non-holiday gigs lined up in the weeks/months ahead. If you're looking for a stocking stuffer for your favorite country music fan, there are some options below.
 
The full album of Christmas songs is now available to stream for free at www.mattyorkboston.bandcamp.com. You can also download the album there if you'd like. If you'd like a CD of the album, let me know. The song "Jingle Bells" is out on Spotify, Apple Music etc. It can be found at https://mattyorkboston.hearnow.com/ The Highwaymen book is also available for purchase online at this link
 
Advanced tickets for upcoming shows (full band where noted)
 
December 3rd (this weekend) Sunday Morning Brunch at City Winery Boston, doing the songs of Willie Nelson. Doors at 11am concert at noon. Full band show. Tickets are only $15 and can be purchased at www.citywinery.com/boston
 
January 13th (Sat.) at the Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley. This sold out last time and will be the songs of Willie. Advanced tickets available at this link
 
January 26th (Fri.) at The Marilyn Rodman Performing Arts Center in Foxboro. Returning to my hometown to perform the songs of Willie with a full band. This will be the largest venue I've done one of these concerts, so I'm really excited for it. Advanced tickets are $22 and be purchased at https://mrpac.booktix.com/dept/main/e/MYS
 
Other December gigs:
 
December 1st (Fri.) Bourne Library XMas songs at 4:30pm 

December 2nd (Sat.) Townsend Library Xmas songs at 1pm 

Dec. 3rd (Sun.) City Winery Boston Sunday Morning Coming Down! noon (ticket link)

December 5th (Tues.) Xmas Songs at Adams Center in Kingston 6pm (more info)

December 7th - (Thurs.) Chatham Library at 5pm (Xmas Songs)

Dec 8th (Friday) Waltham COA 1pm XMAS Song)

December 9th (Sat.) The Porch in Medford 1-4 Country Classic Revue. Free! (www.theporchsouthern.com

December 10th The Hitching Post in Hanson (brunch 10-1)

December 17th The Hitching Post brunch 10-1)

December 28th (Thurs.) The G Pub in Plymouth, MA 6-8 

Dec. 31st 1pm First Night Chatham (but in the afternoon!) https://www.firstnightchatham.com/
 
 
Here's my version of Pretty Paper, the Christmas classic written by Willie Nelson. It was initially performed by the late, great Roy Orbison. 
 
Happy Holidays and thank you for your support in 2023.
 

 

 

 

November, 2023 Update 

Hope everyone is enjoying the fall. I've got a few updates for you. First off, I was recently nominated for the Boston Music Award for Best Country Artist. This is the second year in a row that I've been nominated and I'm thankful for the recognition. If you'd like to vote and/or learn more, you can do so at https://bostonmusicawards.com/

On Sunday, December 3rd, I'll be doing Bloody Mary Morning Brunch at City Winery Boston, doing the songs of Willie. I'm working hard to get folks out for this one, as I've had a great time when I've performed here previously. City Winery has awesome food and they'll be serving brunch while I talk about and perform the songs of Willie. That's a noontime show and should be a great time. Advanced tickets found at this link

Also, I had a great time the last time I performed at the Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley, MA. I'll be returning there on January 13th, 2024 to do the songs of Willie Nelson (Advanced tickets at this link)

I just completed a new album of holiday songs called Winter Classics. It'll be coming out later this month. I'm really happy with how it came out and will have more info on it soon. To celebrate, I'll be doing a boatload of Holiday Concerts beginning in late November.

I made a video that includes about 90 seconds of me rambling about November stuff, followed by a short song by Willie called "Walkin". I love this song. It was on his Phases and Stages album from the 1970's. The album is about a divorce and the first side of the record is songs written from the perspective of the wife and the second side from the perspective of the husband. Waylon Jennings also does a really great version of this one. There's also a duet version that Willie did with Norah Jones that is really beautiful. 

November 8th  (Wed.) Levitate - Rexicana in Marshfield 5-8 (https://levitatebrand.com/)

November 12th (Sun.) Olde Hitching Post 10-1 ( (https://oldehp.com)

November 18th (Sat.) Village Social Club in Brookline, MA 7-9 (Highwaymen) More info at http://www.villagesocialclub.com

Nov. 19th (Sun.) Boyden Library - Foxboro 2pm (songs of Johnny Cash) More info at https://boydenlibrary.org/

November 26th (Sun.)  Olde Hitching Post 10-1 ( (https://oldehp.com)

December 1st (Fri.) Bourne Library XMas songs 4:30pm

December 2nd (Sat.) Townsend Library Xmas songs 1pm (need to confirm)

Dec. 3rd (Sun.) City Winery Boston (songs of Willie Nelson) More info at www.citywinery.com/boston

 

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