Blue Skies Matty T Wall Only Blues Music For a place its inhabitants like to call one of the most isolated places on earth, Western Australia has always seen its fair share of guitar talent. Rockers John Meyer and Johnny Diesel, slidemeister Dave Hole, pedal steel king Lucky Oceans, roots legend John Butler and blues gurus Phil Manning, Dave Brewer and John Heussenstamm are among those to have called it home.
Now there’s a new talent breaking out of the dusty west and his name is Matty T Wall. Wall has been impressing West Aussies for some time and his debut album demonstrates why. Recorded in Perth and New York, Blue Skies is mostly modern electric blues and it’s obvious from lead track Burnin’ Up, Burning Down that Wall not only knows his way around a fretboard but can pen a decent tune.
All but three songs on the album are originals, the exceptions being a drum-driven version of Robert Johnson’s spooky Hellhound on My Trail, an upbeat rendition of Keb’ Mo’s Am I Wrong? and a solid cover of Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Chile. Hall has a decent enough voice and can shred with the best of them, romping through songs such as Scorcher with fiery skill and the able backing of Jasper Miller on drums and Stephen Walker on bass. But he also demonstrates a good feel for slower numbers in Love has Gone Away, a song reminiscent of Gary Moore’s Still Got the Blues, while showing a thought-provoking flexibility as a songsmith in cuts such as the soulful This is Real and instrumental number Smile.
This impressive debut marks Wall, now on his inaugural national tour, as well worth watching as he develops what are already striking skills.