Iain Matthew’s Musical History

Iain Matthew’s Musical History

  Hello friend, 
Sometimes an artist has such a career that lasts decades, which is a feat and wonderful, and makes it impossible to sum up their work in 2 paragraphs! Here by Keith Keller is a condensed version of Iain Matthews colorful and inspirational career, check out his musical collaborations! :

Press Release
Re: Iain Matthews and Clara Bellino in concert November tour of California, 2015.
Iain Matthews first gained attention as a founding member of and vocalist for Fairport Convention’s first three albums. When that long-lived bunch turned towards electrifying English traditional music in 1969 Matthews embarked on a musical journey fueled by his interests. He formed the band; Matthew’s Southern Comfort, explored American music and had a #1 hit in the UK with Joni Mitchell’s...
...“Woodstock”.  Never one to stand still for very long Iain moved on during the 1970’s with another group, Plainsong an ensemble that allowed Matthews to blossom as a song writer, acoustic guitarist and honor the works of Richard Farina. Plainsong was supported by his ex-Fairport mates Sandy Denny and Richard Thompson both in the studio and in Richard’s case on tour. Between his own solo recording and various Plainsong line-ups Iain released ten albums to critical acclaim including another well known Top Ten US hit with the single, “Shake It”. 

During the early 1980’s Matthews turned towards the business side of music as a rep for Island Records. Because Fairport Convention and associated acts are basically an extended family he appeared at Fairport’s annual Festival in 1986 which is held in the small village of Cropredy near Oxford. It was there that he spoke with Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin who strongly urged him to continue with his musical career. With the fire re-lit Iain went on with yet another strong album, “Walking a Changing Line” a collection of Jules Shear compositions.

Mathews then moved to the US (Texas-1990’s) for more solo work and Plainsong records. During this period he recorded a wonderful version of Peter Gabriel’s, “Mercy Street”, contributed to a Phil Ochs’s tribute album and recorded plus toured with Nanci Griffith. Next he released another respected record with the somewhat sarcastic title, “Excerpts from Swine Lake”. 

Early Spring of 2000 Matthews returned to Europe (Amsterdam) and once again came up with a good one, “A Tiniest Wham” considered by some to be his best. That year led to more adventures being a tour of Europe with Dutch singer-songwriter Ad Vandereen together with Californian, Eliza Gilkyson. Fortune smiled upon Matthews at this point in the form of love and he along with his new family moved to the small town of Horst in the Netherlands. 

Iain found a busy, happy life in Europe with more touring of the UK and Continent. Yet more well received collaborative recording were issued including a tribute album to Sandy Denny. Later in the 2000’s Matthews found one of his most sympathetic musical companions the pianist, Egbert Derix. These two work so well together to the point where Matthews felt he had finally found an almost perfect musical sweet spot with, “The Art of Obscurity”.  At this point in his creative endeavors Matthews does venture out on very select tours. Of course things do come around again and Iain Matthews guitar in hand and songs springing from his muse was an honored guest at Fairport Convention’s Cropredy Festival 2015.

Keith B. Keller

August, 2015

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