The night I met Matt Poss, he wasn't performing. He was just there, hanging out, at a black tie fundraiser in downtown Chicago. Matt was the only guy there without a black tie on. The scruffy beard, dirty jeans, pearl snaps, shit brown cowboy hat and scuffed up brown leather boots made him look like a neon sign down some abandoned blacktop road at midnight. A Midwestern version of Crocodile Dundee, out of place, but right at home. How did he even get through the door? I knew we were going to be friends before I even met the guy.
For a decade now, Matt Poss has been busy touring through nearly every state in the Union and through fourteen countries, just being himself, making honky-tonk music that’s equal parts uncompromising and empathetic. Poss was born and raised in the corn and bean fields of Southern Illinois, surrounded by truck stops and limited opportunities, so it makes sense that his music often gives voice to those who exist on the margins of modern life. Matt is fond of saying that Steve Earle ruined his life, in the best way possible. Matt says, "When I finally heard songs like 'Someday' and 'Guitar Town' it was like Steve was singing my life back to me. And I knew that's what I wanted to do. I wanted to write and sing peoples' lives back to them."
Since first emerging as a solo artist in the mid 00’s, this Black-Dirt, Midwestern-bred singer/songwriter has steadily advanced from playing nearly empty dive bar rooms to touring with the likes of Blackberry Smoke and Shooter Jennings. With his latest effort, BOHICA, Poss reaffirms his commitment to creating music with purpose and passion. The follow up to 2017's Beans & Bullets - Live & Reloaded, this new release deepens the spirit of solidarity that has long guided his every endeavor. Rooted in a relentlessly Midwestern Country-Rock sound, BOHICA is at once a tribute to and a call to arms for his blue collar brothers and sisters. Veterans, bikers, hippies, rednecks, kickers, and cowboy angels are all a part of this growing family. Poss is there to represent, with his powerful baritone voice and lyrics that contain more ideas in a ryhming couplet than many have on a whole album. He attests to the work of self-preservation in an often unbending world, and ultimately leaves the listener with a profound sense of courage.
Give my boy a listen. Better yet, go see one of his high-octane performances and see for yourself what I'm rambling on about. Honky Tonk music ain't dead...it's just been hiding out in The Midwest with the Matt Poss Band.
~ Sean Murphy (Punk Rock Jesus) ~ Chicago, Illinois