Web music authority All Music Guide calls him "...an artist to be reckoned with." A seasoned recording artist, multi-instrumentalist, eternal idealist and compassionate peace loving realist, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY based Matt Turk is a veteran performer who has engaged audiences around the world, both as a rocking bandleader and an acoustic folk troubadour. He has shared the stage with Pete... more
Web music authority All Music Guide calls him "...an artist to be reckoned with." A seasoned recording artist, multi-instrumentalist, eternal idealist and compassionate peace loving realist, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY based Matt Turk is a veteran performer who has engaged audiences around the world, both as a rocking bandleader and an acoustic folk troubadour. He has shared the stage with Pete Seeger and opened for Judy Collins, The Doobie Brothers, Fiona Apple, The Grateful Dead's Mickey Hart and more. He has performed throughout the U.S.A., Europe, Israel and the Caribbean, appearing at festivals and venues including Clearwater's Great Hudson River Revival, the Gathering of the Vibes, Atlanta's Music Midtown, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Beacon Theatre and Brooklyn Bowl.
Matt's new recording, Cold Revival, is produced by David Dobkin, also a filmmaker, best known for directing "Wedding Crashers." Cold Revival was recorded in Los Angeles at Matter Music and is an arrestingly emotional collection of songs dealing with human relationships, loss, and the redeeming power of love. The album is scheduled for an October 2014 release. The tracks provide a modern folk-influenced soundscape showcasing Matt's powerful troubadour. The album's opener "Cracked Egg," stands out with its Celtic acoustic rock, indelible mandolin riff and thunderous drum that likens anger in relationship to a mythical Humpty Dumpty outcome via its chorus "I'll be all the kings horses and all the kings men, but I won't pretend I can put it all back together again."
A few of the songs featured on Cold Revival are adaptations which were brought to Matt's attention by his teacher Barry Mitterhoff who is in Hot Tuna. "Midnight on the Water" is a shortened version of the Luke Thomasson classic, an American gem. This solo mandolin track closes with a classic New Orleans King Creole type riff while "Battle Song" is adapted from the instrumental "Tunturisatu" where the sweet vocals provide an engaging contrast to the twisted lyric "I used to dream about you, now I just want to kill you." The title track finds its center around a rhythmic mandolin, an excellent cello/dobro solo as well as a lyrical nod to our age: "Caught between the crossfire of extremists, there's no middle anymore."
Musicians on the new album provide an impressive list of gentlemen including Russ Irwin (Sting, Aerosmith), Chris Joyner (Jason Mraz, Ray La Montagne, Sheryl Crow) and Dean Butterworth (Good Charlotte, Ben Harper) and more. Matt sings, plays acoustic guitar, mandolin and lap steel guitar.
In 2011, Matt scored the full-length documentary "The Lion of Judah," winner of several independent film festival awards. Matt's 2010 release American Preservation placed #20 on the folk charts FolkRadio.org and is a collection of well-loved classics, ranging from Taj Mahal to T. Rex. In February of 2008, Turk released the music video "The Fog of War" which featured the musician with special guest Pete Seeger. Acoustic Live's Richard Cuccaro called it "a remarkable video." Matt's cover of the Christmas classic "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" appeared on the soundtrack to the 2007 Warner Bros. film "Fred Claus."
His version of "America the Beautiful" has been called "arguably the definitive acoustic version" by Music News Nashville. Turk's solo discography includes Turktunes (2000), What Gives (2002) and Washington Arms (2006). Mandolin Caravan's Desert Soul (2003), a collection of timeless Jewish folk songs, was a collaboration with Kevin Hupp and Gillen & Turk Backs to the Wall (2008) was a collaboration with Fred Gillen Jr.
In 1987, while a student at New York University, Matt teamed up with Marshall Madow and co-founded The Hour, shared the stage with Blues Traveler, opened for Richie Havens, Hot Tuna, Dave Matthews Band and released three albums: Hold Back the Reins (1989), and with drummer Carey Harmon (now in Railroad Earth), Fricker-Nicker Sessions (1991) and Songs of Sweden (1992). Around this time Turk became acquainted with producer Phil Ramone, during studio work singing with Phoebe Snow on Russ Irwin's debut. "Phil took an interest in my music and gave me a great tutoring on the craft of songwriting," remembers Matt.
For several years, Matt coordinated and hosted the Circle of Song and Jam tents at Clearwater's Great Hudson River Revival. Since 1997, Matt Turk has served as resident musician at Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in New York City and is an Arts Westchester Roster Artist. Matt served two terms (June 2010-June 2012) as president of the board of Tribes Hill, the Hudson Valley kindred folk music organization. Matt Turk lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY with his wife Ilana Arazie.less