Album Reviews

Recent Press:

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Worcester Magazine (Summer, 2023) - For months, seasoned South Shore musician Matt York has bounced from one small New England town to another, setting up with a microphone and his guitar in a different town hall or on a different grassy common every night. In one video, he sits in front of a guitar case that bears a bumper sticker reading “Willie Nelson for President.”

Patriot Ledger (Winter, 2022) - “Matt York has had an incredible year. Not only did his latest album, “Gently Used,” earn plaudits and slots on many Best of 2022 lists, but also his one-man tribute to The Highwaymen, where he performs the music of that immortal country outlaw quartet along with their life stories, became kind of a national sensation”.

Boston Globe (Summer 2022) - “You don’t have to have owned a horse or a farm or a pickup truck to understand the feelings” behind these songs,” York said. “A lobster boat is the same as a farmer out West.” They have the same life struggles, he added. “Making a living … Drinking, love.”

Twangville (Summer 2022) - York calls in some Nashville players (contributing remotely during the pandemic), including Joshua Hedley on fiddle and Spencer Cullum, Jr. on pedal steel. “If You Want Love”, in particular benefits from their contributions. But make no mistake, it’s York and his songs that are the stars here.

Texas Global Chronicles (June, 2022) - And no matter if you’re already a fan of York’s open book songwriting or you’re new to his journey, you’ll find tracks like the sawdust floor swing of opener “If You Want Love”, the Kris Kristofferson vibes of “Let’s Try Failure” or Ray Wylie Hubbard-style of the title track “Gently Used” all to your liking

Worcester Magazine (Oct. 2022) - All told, “Gently Used” is something of a masterwork, one where every single note serves a purpose. It’s a devastating album, one that stays with the listener long after the music’s ended. 

Take Effect Reviews (Oct. 2022) - York knows his way around a tune that you won’t soon forget, and the 11 here certainly will strike a chord with the roots, country, Americana and honky-tonk crowd in ways that will make you grab your dancin’ boots, just as they may have you mulling things over.

The Amp - Matt York’s Gently Used, is a tasteful, well put together record that leaves listeners with a nostalgic feeling of something they’re sure they’ve heard before but can’t quite put their finger on. York has a style of his on, blending elements of country, folk, and rock’n’roll. Spinning one track to the next, you’ll find a delightful listening experience in what York and his dynamite team of players have crafted. 

Americana UK - With its timeless songcraft, it’s definitely an album to watch out for and, in the meantime, check out the single.

Glide Magazine -   Gently Used bears all the hallmarks of masters at work — a timeless Americana listening experience crafted at the crossroads of York’s songcraft and his ace studio band lending their own flourishes.

Bill Copeland Music News (June, 2022) - Matt York continues to release these larger than life Americana roots albums, expressions of high emotions, beautifully rendered by tasteful use of voice and instruments. Gently Used, York’s best yet, flies high because he gives each song a freewheeling, unwieldy sense of joy and largeness.  

Patriot Ledger - As the album unfolds, its variety becomes evident. “Up and Down” could be a cosmic cowboy cut from Doug Sahm’s heyday. “Gently Used” features Warnek’s piano, with a sort of Willie Nelson by way of Townes Van Zandt feel. The smooth flow of “Baby Doll” is a groove-centered contemporary sound, riding infectious guitar lines from Hollingsworth. “Let’s Try Failure” is a sort of love story with fine vocal harmonies.

Worcester Magazine Such is the case with “Scent of Sin,” which melds a fairly stripped down melody to wistful, sadness-laden Beach Boys-esque harmonies. It’s interesting how grounded York keeps the song, how he keeps the focus on the guitar, even as the harmonies seem to emerge from the ether. Contrasting the low growl in York’s voice.

Country 102.5's Carolyn Kruse - Matt York could teach a course in songwriting. A consummate wordsmith with an obvious passion for the mighty pen, York’s life experiences have provided plenty of fodder. The singer/songwriter’s inspiration road map has taken him from Willie Nelson to Lou Reed, and beyond. Lyrically, Matt wears his heart on his sleeve, which perfectly compliments his honey whiskey vocals. - On his latest sad masterpiece, the Pembroke singer-songwriter applies his easygoing, rambling style to characters grappling with lost love, the specter of addiction and a general inability to deal with the commitments that go along with having a stable life. It’s heavy stuff, but fortunately York marries the keenly observant nature of his songwriting with an appealing country-rock sensibility. Every track on the album is an eminently listenable on its own, even if it feels like they all take place in the same troubled world

Patriot Ledger (Jay Miller) - York’s songwriting most often falls into several categories, with a strong influence from traditional country, a la Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and others, but also a noticeable folk music influence in the detail and nuance of his lyrics, and a definite rock ‘n’ roll strain in the melodic drive. York might best be dubbed a 2019 version of singer-songwriter, perfectly suited for the large tent of Americana.

Gatehouse Media (Peter Chianca) - What ultimately makes “Bruisable Heart” such a success, though, isn’t just the resonance of York’s hardscrabble characters but rather how well York marries the keenly observant nature of his songwriting with an appealing southern rock sensibility. Every track on the album is an eminently listenable song that more than stands alone. But like on Springsteen’s “Nebraska” or Johnny Cash’s “American Recordings,” you’re left feeling like they all take place in the same troubled world, and that you’re lucky to have been allowed into it.

The Music Mermaid - The album’s title track has echoes of Matt’s heroes — a Springsteen guitar lick here, some Townes twang there, and Dylan’s poesy sneaking in. With his latest album, Matt York humbly introduces himself as a songwriter of great depth, an empathetic heart, and a world of talent.

Velvety - After two successful albums, Boston, Texas (2016) and Between The Bars (2017), the Boston composer and singer Matt York returns with his talented alternative country proposal and a new album, Bruisable Heart (2019), from which he shares another gem of the genre, Permanent Crush , a hymn for the working class with echoes of Bruce Springsteen or Townes Van Zandt that adds to its lyrical sense a powerful acoustic melody, as well as an honest and irreproachable attitude.

Global Texas Chronicles – With the haunting and eager lyric sensibilities of Noel Gallagher’s “Wonderwall” and delivered in an earnest timeless alt-country vocal. Produced by Thomas Wenzl, this track finds York at his best. Edging ever closer to the heights of songwriters like Lukas Nelson and Justin Townes Earle. If you’re into distinctive song construction, this is for you.

The Lowell Spin – It has to be asked: Why hasn’t UML alum Matt York taken off on a national scale in the same way that less compelling singer-songwriters have? (Looking at you, Ed Sheeran.) His latest single, “Permanent Crush” is the former of the two, with just a little bit of Bruce Springsteen working class flavor sprinkled atop. It’s a regular Joe folk rock anthem that’s not much seen in modern music anymore, with anthemic bar-singalong guitars, a shuffling fall dance beat, and York’s own husky vocals, which harkens to the likes of Steve Earle, Townes Van Zandt, and just a little bit of Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem. An acoustic ditty that’s got a bit more punch than your average campfire singalong, short and simple, but sweet and solemn in that simplicity. Global Texas Chronicles – With the haunting and eager lyric sensibilities of Noel Gallagher’s “Wonderwall” and delivered in an earnest timeless alt-country vocal. Produced by Thomas Wenzl, this track finds York at his best. Edging ever closer to the heights of songwriters like Lukas Nelson and Justin Townes Earle. If you’re into distinctive song construction, this is for you.  

Americana UK – “A gutsy roots-rocker” 

GigSoup - Boston’s Matt York writes the kind of songs that feel like they’ve been a part of your life forever. With a comfortingly familiar, rootsy sound steeped in Alt Country and the kind of loose-but-sincere 80s indie rock that The Replacements made famous, he’s been picking up plaudits for his albums and playing live all over the USA.

Vanyaland - The Boston musician’s latest track, a chilling acoustic number dealing in stone cold honesty about the struggles of addiction, is a stark reminder of our current epidemic.

Worcester Telegram – It’s a lot to process, in a lot of ways, but York’s simple, heartfelt melody carries with it so much heartache that it’s hard not to be moved. 

Past Press:

York’s lived-in vocals, punctuated by gruff harmonies, moody horns and ’60s-style organ flourishes, make you feel like you’re right next to him in the bar at closing time. 27 Albums You Missed in 2017/Gatehouse Media

There’s a retro tone reminiscent of Bob Dylan or John Prine - Patriot Ledger/Wicked Local List of Top Local Albums of New England 

Matt York is One To Watch. This is an ambitious songwriter who's already moved on from this record and is already working on a whole new set of songs, but you would do well to spend some time here and linger for a while. Winning stuff. Ryan's Smashing Life

With his newest EP “Between the Bars,” Boston-area musician Matt York offers a rabbit punch of country music, a sharp jab that comes and goes so quickly you can barely see it, but which nonetheless leaves you aching. This is an album filled with loneliness, toxic romance, wasted time and people who aren’t easily likable. Even more importantly, it’s an album that puts the space where they co-exist into focus. - Victor Infante - Worcester Telegram

Put Boston’s Matt York in the “should be rich and famous department” -- his country rock with a jangly edge has instantaneous appeal, combining wry lyrics about barflies, ex-lovers and fading summers with infectious melodies and a rocker’s penchant for strumming his way through heartbreak. Though his latest is tight at six tracks, York still manages to squeeze in guitar rave-ups (“All Over the Town”), Stonesy blues chuggers (“Honkytonk Hangover”), mariachi-tinged reminiscences (“When The War Began”) and even a spooky surf lament (“Calling for You”). Portsmouth Herald

 On Matt York’s “Boston, Texas,” the singer-songwriter uses basic building blocks — Holly’s chords, Hank Williams’ swagger, Steve Earle’s boozy wisdom, Paul Westerberg’s straight-up-drunk wisdom — to construct an album of beauty, optimism and heartbreak" - Boston Herald

 Singer-songwriter-guitarist Matt York delivers another compelling album of well penned originals with his new release “Between the Bars”. Matt York’s musical genius rises to the top for a fulfilling EP of musical ear candy. - Metronome Magazine, November 2017.

 One can feel the grit in his six strings as he opines about the pointlessness of trying to figure the world out instead of just living in it. The lead guitar practically sings its higher notes, offering another layer of emotion, a feeling of joy when one lets go of the “why” question to everything. York’s vocal still has that blend of emotive expression and chirp” - Bill Copeland Music News

Radio-friendly tracks include the opener "Big Fan of Why", the hillbilly bent of "Saw You on Friday", the rocker "New to You", the infectious two-stepping jaunt of "Tomorrows", and the haunting backwoods anthem "I'm Back".” - Metronome Magazine

While most artists highlight, tease and rework influences within their sounds, most stick a specific genre, but York’s album is unique in that it travels so many sonic avenues it is impossible to pigeonhole. Utilizing well placed backdrops as soundtracks as moods change and his stories are worked out. Matt York is without a doubt a brilliant talent. - Global Texan Chronicles

"York’s got a middle-range that’s more serious, soulful and unclassifiable. He’s all over the map, in a good way" - Roots Music Report

Recent Press:

PBS Rhode Island - Summer, 2023 

Worcester Magazine - Summer, 2023

Patriot Ledger - Winter, 2022

The Boston Globe - Summer, 2022

The Amp - June, 2022 

Americana UK - May 2022 

Glide Magazine - March 2022

Patriot Ledger - November, 2021

Worcester Magazine - July 2020

Country 102.5 Local Catch of the Week - February, 2020's Top Albums of 2019 

Feature by Jay Miller of the Patriot Ledger - 2019

Peter Chianca of Gatehouse Media review of new album - 2019 

Boston Herald's Songs of Summer - 2019

The Music Mermaid write-up of the new album - 2019

Velvety (music blog in Spain) write-up of Permanent Crush - 2019

Global Texan Chronicles write-up of "Permanent Crush" - 2019

Lowell Spin write-up of single "Permanent Crush" - 2019

Vanyaland article on new video/single "I Lost My Baby to the Needle" 2018

Matt York - Boston's Nomad Troubadour - IOU Music 2019 

27 Great Albums You Missed in 2017 - Gatehouse Media

Patriot Ledger/Wicked Local Albums of the Year 2017

Ryan's Smashing Life - December, 2017

Portsmouth Herald - November, 2017

Spill Magazine (Canada) - November, 2017

Worcester Telegram Review of Between the Bars - September, 2017

On the Flipside Music - November, 2017

Boston Herald Rumble Preview - March, 2017

WZLX 100.7 FM - Rock n Roll Rumble Q&A - March, 2017 

Wicked Local Essex - Can't Miss Country, Roots and Rockabilly Albums of 2016 - January, 2017

November - On the Flipside Music - Review of NYC Show - November, 2016

Vanyaland premiere of "Birds" - November, 2016

Ryan's Smashing Life - October, 2016

Redline Roots - July, 2016

Worcester Telegram and Gazette - July, 2016

Roots Music Report - July, 2016

Boston Herald - Guestlisted - Jed Gottlieb - July, 2016

Global Texan Chronicle (Germany) - June, 2016

WBZ-AM 1030 Jordan Rich Show - May, 2016

Bill Copeland Music News - March, 2016

Limelight Magazine - January, 2016

Wicked Local - January 2016