Matt Andersen is a musical force to be reckoned with.
His stage presence has come about after decades of playing everything from dim-lit bars to grand theatres all over the world. He’s headlined festivals, played clubs and theatres on three continents, and has shared the stage with everyone from Gregg Allman and Randy Bachman to Serena Ryder and the Tedeschi Trucks Band.
In 2013 and 2016 he nabbed the European Blues Award for Best Solo/Acoustic Act and was the first Canadian to grab top honours at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Actually, Andersen has won more awards that we have time to list. Suffice to say that he is a master of his craft.
On April 4, Andersen will be bringing that musical magic to Victoria when he takes the stage at the McPherson Theatre as part of a 27-date cross-Canada tour that will see Andersen appear with his 8-piece band, The Big Bottle of Joy, along with his special guests, The Hello Darlins.
“I’ve done a lot of solo shows over the years, and I really love doing solo shows – playing the guitar and telling stories- but doing shows with these people is so exciting,” said Andersen.
“When we get together it’s just so high energy. We’re having a blast onstage. Every show is just a riot. You can just tell that all of us are enjoying ourselves so much. It translates into the music and the sound.”
Andersen has come a long way from some of the dusty clubs where he used to play upwards of 200 shows a year.
“I’ve been at this for more than 20 years and, yeah, sometimes you miss the standing in a club, doing a solo act and sweating into some guy’s drink when they’re feet away from you, but the music we’re doing now has the same capacity to touch the audience in an intimate way. I’m glad we haven’t lost that. If anything, it’s stronger.”
Andersen’s appearance with The Big Bottle of Joy will coincide with the release of his latest album of the same name.
“Big Bottle of Joy is a collection, a celebration, really, of blues-rock, folk, gospel … it’s just the music we love,” Andersen said.
Tickets for Matt Andersen are available at rmts.bc.ca.