Inspired by the Blues, infused with the funk rhythms of New Orleans and topped-off by virtuoso musicianship, Matt Schofield is being talked of as the finest Blues guitarist to have emerged in Europe for several generations, perhaps even in the World. His latest album "Siftin Thru Ashes" (Nugene Records) has received rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic.
Britain's Guitarist magazine describes Schofield's guitar playing as "Dynamite", picking him as the only non-American in their review of the future of Blues guitar; while America's Blues Revue calls him "The entire package – a singer with range and soul, and a guitarist who delivers with devastating tone and superb dynamics". BBC Radio 2 presenter Paul Jones picked Schofield as one of his highlights of 2005, commenting "I think it's time he became a big star."
The LA Daily News describes Schofield as "Head and shoulders above the herd" while music bible AllMusic.com marks Schofield's approach "an enjoyable demonstration of what can happen when blues-rock and blues-jazz are united". Music magazine, MOJO, gave Siftin' Thru Ashes a four star (excellent) rating, something rarely given to UK Blues artists.
In 2006, just two years after his debut CD, Schofield gained the distinction of being one of only two living British artists to be given a four star (excellent) rating in the Penguin Book of Blues Recordings.
The band line-up harks back to the classic organ trios of the fifties and sixties. Jonny Henderson on Hammond organ gives sleazy texture and dynamics while holding down left hand bass lines, and "drummers' drummer" Evan Jenkins provides compelling grooves. But that's where any comparison with a traditional organ trio ends. With their huge sounding, multi-layered and rhythmically infectious delivery this band redefines the meaning of "power trio" and are unlike anything else on the Blues scene today.
In the Beginning…
Born in Manchester, Matt's family moved to Fairford in Gloucestershire when he was a youngster. He first started playing guitar seriously at 12. It was not the guitar heroes of that period (the late-eighties) that inspired him. Rather it was seeing a video of BB King, Albert Collins and Stevie Ray Vaughan playing together that fired Matts imagination.
The call of music was strong. As soon as Matt finished college he ventured to London to check out the music scene, visiting the Blues jams around town, and was soon playing professionally. After touring and recording with the Lee Sankey Group, Matt was recruited by British Blues Diva, Dana Gillespie, to form part of her London Blues Band. While all this was happening Matt consciously avoided being labelled a teenage wonder.