Northeast Times

Bustleton songwriter celebrates CD release

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Sunday will be a big day for Bustleton’s Matt Roach.

The sing­er-song­writer and gui­tar­ist will turn 40 and will re­lease the com­pact disc Burn­ing Bridges on Memory Lane dur­ing a live per­form­ance at Ar­d­more’s Milk­Boy Cof­fee.

Like all his shows, the per­form­ance will be video­taped.

“It will be a nice memory,” he said. “It’s something dif­fer­ent. For their for­ti­eth birth­day, some people climb Mount Everest. I put out a CD. I like the idea of it. It’s a neat concept. It’s good my birth­day fell on a week­end.”

Roach, who lives on Nester Street, does it all. He writes and re­cords his own songs, pro­duces CDs in his home stu­dio and books and pro­motes his own shows. He has no agent, man­ager or band.

“I’m al­ways more com­fort­able do­ing it my­self,” he said.

The most dif­fi­cult part of pro­du­cing the CD was pick­ing the songs that made the fi­nal cut. Roach worked from a short list of 30.

“I prob­ably have about five-hun­dred songs,” he said. “How do I pick fif­teen songs? I’m happy how it turned out.”

The en­ter­tain­er got his start as a teen­ager in sketch com­edy. The skits in­cluded com­edy songs.

He has been in the mu­sic busi­ness for 15 years. In his song rep­er­toire, some are slow, oth­ers are fast. There are happy tunes and sad songs.

The up­com­ing re­lease of Burn­ing Bridges on Memory Lane will mark Roach’s fourth stu­dio al­bum. He’s pic­tured on the cov­er in a hat and a T-shirt with a fire im­age in a heart shape. He’s hold­ing a jack­et over his shoulder.

The shot was taken in late Decem­ber in a sec­tion of Pennypack Park with over­grown weeds and some graf­fiti.

“Everything was per­fect. I wanted something that wasn’t taken care of and looked like it went through the wringer,” he said.

Roach de­scribes the title and con­tent of the al­bum as com­ing to terms with his past, ac­know­ledging his present and an­ti­cip­at­ing his fu­ture with cau­tious op­tim­ism.

There are 15 songs, and fans will hear them all on Sunday. He’ll also take re­quests and play from a set list.

The al­bum in­cludes a couple of com­edy songs. Some of the songs were writ­ten in re­cent months. Oth­ers were writ­ten years ago, though none have ever ap­peared on an al­bum.

“They run the gamut from 1999 to 2011,” Roach said.

The song All the Same fea­tures Roach and a ukulele. On Older and Dumb, he plays the gui­tar.

The oth­er songs in­clude a mix of drums, key­board, banjo, har­mon­ica and per­cus­sion in­stru­ments. Roach played those in­stru­ments, then mixed them with the pre­vi­ously re­cor­ded vo­cals and gui­tar sounds.

While in the park for the photo shoot, he re­cor­ded a video for All the Same. The video can be seen on You­Tube.

“It worked out well. People seem to be en­joy­ing it,” Roach said.

Pro­du­cing the al­bum took about a month of long days in his base­ment mu­sic stu­dio.

As part of his pro­mo­tion, Roach is send­ing the CD to ra­dio sta­tions. So far, All the Same has been played on WSTW (93.7 FM).

In his ca­reer, Roach has played more than 200 shows in eight states and the Dis­trict of Columbia.

The up­com­ing show will open with a per­form­ance by Scott Mc­Clatchy, formerly of the pop­u­lar band The Stand. It will be Roach’s first per­form­ance since a Christ­mas con­cert at Milk­Boy’s since-closed Bryn Mawr loc­a­tion.

“I have to keep go­ing. I’m al­ways send­ing out book­ing re­quests. I have ten shows booked for this year so far,” he said. ••

All about the show…

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Matt Roach will per­form on Sunday at 7 p.m. at Milk­Boy Cof­fee, at 2 E. Lan­caster Ave. in Ar­d­more.

Scott Mc­Clatchy will open with a 45-minute set, fol­lowed by Roach.

Cop­ies of Roach’s new CD, Burn­ing Bridges on Memory Lane, will be for sale. Samples of each song can be heard at re­verb­n­a­tion.com/mat­troach

Tick­ets cost $8 in ad­vance and $10 at the door. Food and cof­fee will be for sale, and guests are wel­come to BY­OB.

It’s an all-ages show, and Roach re­com­mends it for any­one 18-and-older.

Go to mat­troach­music.com or milk­boy­cof­fee.com

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You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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