Jun 15, 2009
IAN MATTHEWS - MATTHEWS' SOUTHERN COMFORT (UNI 1970) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve + 1 bonus
Matthews grew up in a working-class family in Scunthorpe. He sang with several minor bands during the British pop music explosion of the mid-1960s. He moved to London in 1966, taking a job in a Carnaby Street shoe shop. That year, he formed a trio, The Pyramid, which recorded one single, "Summer Of Last Year/Summer Evening," in January 1967 released as Deram 111. A remaining song, "Me About You," surfaced on Iain's Orphans & Outcasts Volume 3 cd in 1999. The Pyramid may be England's only surf band, albeit a short-lived one.
Not long afterwards, he was recruited by Ashley Hutchings as a male vocalist for Fairport Convention, where he duetted first with Judy Dyble, but more famously with Sandy Denny. In 1969, as Fairport's music veered much more toward British traditional influences, Matthews found out he had not been invited to a recording session and, after a short discussion with Ashley Hutchings, he headed off in his own musical direction.
With Thompson, Nicol, and Hutchings from Fairport Convention, plus drummer Gerry Conway (of Fotheringay, and later to join Fairport) and pedal steel player Gordon Huntley, he recorded his first solo album, Matthews' Southern Comfort, whose sound was rooted in American country music and rockabilly; this was his first significant experience as a songwriter, although the band also covered the likes of Neil Young and Ian and Sylvia. He then formed a working band using the name of his first album and recorded Second Spring and Later That Same Year. The band went through several different lineups and toured extensively for the next two years, to general critical acclaim. They had one commercial success: a cover version of "Woodstock" (written by Joni Mitchell) was a number one hit single in the UK and saw heavy airplay in Canada reaching #5, as well as reaching #23 in the US. After this, Matthews split with Southern Comfort, who went on to release three albums of their own on Harvest Records....[wiki]