MEET THE BAND: Matt Hectorne (vocals, guitar), Nick Wise (guitar, vocals), Dave Douglas (bass, vocals), Al Moss (pedal steel), Evan Storey (drums)
A MISSISSIPPI MAN: A singer-songwriter from Hernando, Mississippi, Hectorne has been writing songs since he was 10 and played in bands throughout high school. He moved to Northeast Ohio on a whim almost a decade ago. A friend of his from Mississippi met a woman online in Ohio and Hectorne came with him to visit. He wound up staying. "I was from a small, conservative town and didn't have a reason to go back," says Hectorne. "I started a couple of bands here and just hung out. I just ended up here with no grand scheme." He moved to Nashville a few years ago but came back to Northeast Ohio. In addition to playing with local folk rockers Humble Home, who have since disbanded, he's released solo albums for the past five years and put out a couple of EPs and a full-length album.
OLDER AND WISER: Hectorne's new album, Work, shows off his songwriting chops. He started writing the tunes about two years ago but wrote the majority of the album in the first half of 2016. "Whenever I write a batch of songs or make a record, I never realize it in the moment whether they have a theme," he says. "This record had like 25 demos. I never sit down to write a record about specific themes, but afterward I realized
there are lots of themes on the record. I'm older and married and the record has a wider perspective on the world than I used to have. I'm trying to see the bigger picture and enjoy the journey, as cheesy as that might sound." He recorded the tunes in September and October of 2016 at a friend's house in East Nashville. "It's a small, little one-car garage we converted into a studio," he says. "We had to put amps in different rooms in the house, and we drilled holes through the walls to run the cable. It was kind of fun. It was definitely DIY."
WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR HIM: With their cooing vocals and slide guitars, songs such as "Only Way Into Your Heart" and "It Don't Matter at All" have a Wilco vibe to them, and the mellow title track possesses a Grateful Dead feel. In Hectorne's talented hands, the songs come across as natural roots rock explorations. Expect to hear many of Work's songs when Hectorne and his local backing band play a show in support of its release at the Beachland Tavern. He and the band will also perform on Feb. 24 at the Brite Winter festival.
WHERE YOU CAN HEAR HIM: matthectorne.com.
WHERE YOU CAN SEE HIM: Matt Hectorne performs with Poro and Shetler Jones at 8:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 2, at the Beachland Tavern.