Acoustic musicians ready to spread some ‘Winter Harvest’
February 14, 2012
In 2009, the Matt Flinner Trio released a CD called "Music Du Jour." It was comprised of songs Flinner and his bandmates guitarist Ross Martin and acoustic bassist Eric Thorin wrote while on a tour.
"We did these tours that we called ‘Music du Jour’ tours and what that means is the three of us each wrote a tune the day of each show and that song had to be played that night," Flinner told The Park Record during a phone call from his home in Nashville, Tenn. "The idea was to play a song that was younger that 24-hours old, and that’s what the songs on the CD were."
The three enjoyed the process so much that they continued to tour and write more songs. When it was time to record a new CD a year ago, the Matt Flinner Trio had almost 200 new songs to choose from.
"We narrowed that pool down to the 15 we thought we would like to record," Flinner said. "It wound up as a collection that we felt fit together and represented our strength as a trio."
A couple of weeks ago, the new CD "Winter Harvest" hit the CD racks.
The group, which will play Riffs Acoustic Music, 1205 Iron Horse Dr., on Thursday, Feb. 16, is named the CD "Winter Harvest" because a lot of the songs were written while the trio was on tour in the winter.
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"There were a lot of cold days and nights making this CD," Flinner said with a laugh. "Some of them were written three years ago."
Once in the studio the group pored over the songs to see which ones needed tweaking.
"We would change the arrangement on some songs, and we may have mixed up who takes over a solo or how we would end the songs to make them the best they can be, however, the heart and soul of the songs never changed," Flinner said. "The melodies were barely changed, if at all, and the chord progressions stayed pretty much the same. So, I think the original inspirations carried over into the new versions.
"I found if we tried to alter them too much, things didn’t work out, because the original inspirations were solid, which said something, and we found writing under pressure worked better than we thought it would."
Initially, Flinner wanted "Winter Harvest" to be a three-CD boxed set.
"We had enough material to, but the record company told us to do one CD and see what happens," he said. "We’re at a point where we feel like we’ve crystallized what we sound like as a trio, and ‘Winter Harvest’ is something we’re proud of."
That didn’t mean, however, that Flinner, Martin and Thorin stopped writing "du Jour" songs.
"We’re ready to see how things go on this tour," Flinner said. "We’re going to write a song for the Park City show and see where that takes us."
Flinner said the members of the trio, who has been together for six years, chose to play acoustic music because of the genre’s rawness and the challenge of keeping on top of their game.
"There is a certain sort of real quality to the genre," he said. "When you take these three instruments and play them together, you can’t really hide. We each have pretty heavy responsibilities to create a sound that we couldn’t have if we played in an eight-piece band, you know?
"There’s also the feeling that you’re constantly exposed and that’s something we like facing each night," he said. "We like to rise to the occasion by figuring out how to make this small ensemble sound as big as it can when it needs to."
Personally, Flinner likes the absence of electronic effects that shades most music these days.
"You don’t have distortion to hide behind, so what you get is real," he said. "It’s all very raw and direct," he said. "The challenge for us is to not repeat ourselves with the song writing. We try to come up with new textures and techniques on our instruments and gradually push the boundaries of what we can do and what everyone expects to hear from these instruments."
The Matt Flinner Trio will play Riffs Acoustic Music, 1205 Iron Horse Dr., on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $20. Seats are limited. For more information, visit http://www.riffspc.com or call (435) 647-1940.