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Matt Harlan - Tips and Compliments

Tips and

Matt Harlan

Berkalin Records - BRK 10005

Available from Matt Harlan's web site.

A review written for the Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb

Tips and Compliments is the initial release from this Houston based songwriter, who is another of those fine singer/songwriters Texas seems to spawn -- must be something in the water. Harlan brought in Rich Brotherton to produce this disc of his songs, he wrote all but one and that one was co-written by him. This is a powerful introduction to this Texan who has already garnered a plethora of well-deserved accolades for his songwriting, including being a finalist on Prairie Home Companion's National Talent Show. His songs are written with an ability to get to the point in an expressive manner that also makes for spinning a good tale. His opening cut of Elizabethtown, is the edgy story of watching a 'brother' slide into drug use. He doesn't sugar coat the story and the effects on the family at all, he spins it straight. His songs contain those images that often stand stark naked in front of you causing you to stop and think.

He has some wonderful people playing with him on the disc; Rich Brotherton adds vocals, guitars, lap steel, mandolin, cittern and percussion; Warren Hood, fiddle; Riley Osbourn, keys; and Rankin Peters, upright and electric bass, to name but a few who stand out here. A well-crafted disc that is sure to help ratchet this songwriter's career up a hefty notch, and get him more of the audience he deserves.

Track List:

  • Elizabethtown
  • Skinny Trees of Mississippi
  • Something New
  • Suitcase Blues
  • Driving Song
  • Everyone Else
  • Waiting for Godot
  • Over the Bridge
  • Tips & Compliments
  • Walter
  • Warm November
  • You're Just Drunk
  • Dresses

Edited by: David N. Pyles


Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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