On Thursday, I had the pleasure of meeting a hidden gem in the Ypsilanti music community. The lights were dim, with whispers of conversation as local musician Matt Jones and I conversed about his passion; soulful, honest music.
Jones’ latest album, “The Deep Enders,” is a mix between a cool breeze on a hot summer day, and the calming sounds of cellos colliding with the smooth sounds of a rugged guitar. His album is filled with relatable lyrics that pull at the heartstrings of his listeners.
“I try to think that everybody moves. If you can get them to relate to you, you can get people to listen to you,” Jones said.
His relatability shows in the lyrics of his song “Friends I’m Thinking Of.”
Lyrics like “Gathering evidence of all of the changes I lay cling to, the sunny streets of common sense,” and “A well-lit path ahead. One look over my shoulder invokes the circus I left,” show how he understands the struggles of thinking about the past and how it can affect you.
If his lyrics can’t make someone a fan of his work, the live band that plays in his background will. His sweet, calming voice melts into your ears as cellist Colette Alexander lets her soul pulsate through her fingertips onto her instrument. In the song, “Sarah & Sullivan,” Alexander’s talent shines through along with the melodic sounds of female vocals, and the soft notes of the piano.
Along with the backbone of a talented group of instrumentalists, Jones uses influences of his upbringing to inspire his musical sound.
“Growing up, my mom’s side of the family were circus performers,” he said. “I got inspired by, you know, the sound of the ragtime piano playing and circus music.”
He also went on to say how he gets inspired by the civil war era. He likes to incorporate a military sound by using a strict tempo on some of his records.
Jones might be a new artist to some people outside of the Ypsilanti area, but what many people don’t know is that he has been performing for years. Jones has performed in a variety of areas, from Downtown Detroit all the way to Philadelphia.
“I’ve passed up major record labels, but when you see the deals that are available, it’s kind of sad,” Jones said.
Jones is very passionate about giving his fans music that he believes mainstream artists aren’t composing anymore. He enjoys being an independent artist who has creative control of what is put out, which is what his fans look forward to. Jones’ creativity paired with his heart-warming lyrics are worth a listen.
On Oct. 3, Jones will be performing live in The Show at the Ark hosted in Ann Arbor. So, support an artist who enjoys what he does and gives the audience more than they could hope for.