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, brown cowboy hat and scuffed up brown leather boots made him look like a neon sign down some blacktop road at midnight. An American version of Crocodile Dundee, out of place, but right at home. He seemed gregarious, a little dangerous and one hell of a lot of fun. 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 just being himself, making honky-tonk music that’s equal parts uncompromising and empathetic, often giving voice to those who exist on the margins of modern life. 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. All the while, constantly playing, steadily building a following so dedicated they formed their own fan club, a self-governed group called The PossE.
With his latest effort, The Mountain, 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, Mountain 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 Matt Poss and company.
~ Sean Murphy (Punk Rock Jesus)