Earlier this year, I watched as a young Fort Worth musician by the name of Matt Tedder auditioned on The Voice. It was evident to me that this was someone not only with strong vocal skills, but also plenty of talent as an instrumentalist. His blending of blues with a more rootsy rock style proved interesting and enjoyable to listen to. While Tedder was eliminated in The Battles round, his career is truly just beginning. His debut EP, California Mercy Me, will be released this coming Friday. Tedder will hold his EP release show the following day at Three Links, with Natural Anthem and Keite Young rounding out the bill. I had the opportunity to speak with Matt, and discuss his experience on The Voice, his upcoming album, and more. Oh, and I’m also getting the opportunity to debut the album’s second single, “Good as Gone”, before it spins Monday on 91.7 KXT.
GOBL: Since most American’s first impression of you was from watching The Voice, I have to ask what your experience of that show was like.
MT: It was a very different approach to doing music. It’s the most work I’ve ever put into just ninety seconds for a song. Those 90 seconds make a big difference. I spent three works just working on the song; it’s the most time I’ve spent on something so short. There’s obviously a bit of preparation that goes into it. But the band (on The Voice) was great, and it was great getting to work with them.
GOBL: Many musicians have been critical of such shows as American Idol and The Voice, so I was wanting to know what your personal perspective is, since you’ve actually experienced such a show.
MT: I think one of the reasons why they’re criticized is because of some of the contestant’s attitude. They feel that being on a show makes them validated as an artist. Some look at it as a quick way into music scene. Some think the works just stops after the show is over, but that’s not a time to get stagnant. I have two shows I’m doing today. I think the show is just a beginning point, and not an end point of a career.
GOBL: Tell me a little about the recording process for California Mercy Me.
MT: It was the most fun I’ve ever had in the studio. I’ve recorded before in Nashville and Fort Worth, but I’ve never felt comfortable throwing anything out for the public, so it’s been a long time coming. But the Modern Eclectric studio gives such a good vibe. All the musicians on record really brought something special. Beau Bedford (the album’s) producer. is not going to let you get any with just good. He wants it to be the best record it can be for everyone involved. We spent three days spent just on tracking alone. It was a great time jamming with all the guys. Matt Mabe played on drums, and I’ve always been a huge fan of him. Scott Lee played on bass, really brought something to table. He put out a lot of unexpected stuff, but all very tasteful. There were Hannah Cook and Taylor Lumby on background vocals, and Paul Harrington on harmonica. Just so much talent.
GOBL: What is your new song, “Good as Gone” about? Is it about a personal experience?
MT: It’s about me growing up in small town Texas, somewhere I couldn’t really do what I wanted. I could play guitar and all, but there was no one I could really relate to in terms of music. i was listening to artists that were big in 50’s and 60’s, and everyone at school was listening to modern music. I wanted to get out see new places, meet new people. That’s what the song is about.
And here’s the song in question…