MATT SCHOFIELD TO RELEASE FAR AS I CAN SEE
VIA MASCOT LABEL GROUP'S PROVOGUE
RECORDS ON FEBRUARY 18
North American Tour To Commence March, 2014
New York, NY --- Mascot Label Group has announced a February 18, 2014 release date for Matt Schofield's FAR AS I CAN SEE on the Provogue imprint. Guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer Schofield has been frequently lauded as the British blues guitarist of current times. Overseas, Guitarist Magazine published simply, “There isn’t a better British blues guitarist playing currently”. With his debut album for Provogue, Schofield finds himself as representative for the long tradition of British Blues on the ultimate blues guitar label, and gaining a home amongst his peers - the world's greatest contemporary blues players.
Schofield's career has been gaining momentum for the last several years on both sides of the Atlantic. Successful runs in the UK, Europe and North America have been met with critical acclaim and exponentially increasing audiences. The Los Angeles Times stated, “In Schofield, the U.K. has produced the best Blues guitarist from any country in decades. Head and shoulders above the herd.”
The new collection is Schofield's fifth album, offering two choice covers from his musical heroes alongside nine original tracks. Schofield has broadened the canvas far beyond this album being a pure Blues release. The core is there amongst all of the cuts, but the boundaries are blurred. Long-time fans will anticipate the epic slow blues of "The Day You Left," as the guitarist re-harmonizes a traditional 12-bar form. The cut heard is the first take he played in the studio, totally live, with an intensity and immediacy that breathes life in to the performance. The album's second cut "Clean Break," is a classic trio shuffle, while "Getaway" exhibits Schofield is eager to continue finding new ways to play the blues, integrating odd time signatures into the genre. He offers, "You don't find this approach much in the genre, new or old. To make it work, the unusual time, in this case 7/8, has to be especially groovy, with just the right feel. The end result makes for uniquely tense solo sections where the lines played on guitar have to weave around the time. Lyrically, the inspiration came from the desire to create intimacy with the audience, by inviting them to share in the moment with the music - the same way the musicians must be in order to play it - something that, in these days of an audience filled with camera phones, seems harder to achieve."
The instrumental cut "Oakville Shuffle," features a cameo by Denny Ilett, one of Schofield's favorite U.K. jazz/blues guitarists. With "Hindsight," the horn section is in full flight in a setting Schofield describes as "What if Albert Collins and Maceo Parker sat in with Tower of Power." James Morton's funky alto sax weaves through the guitar lines. Additional tracks include an upbeat and simple organ trio track "Everything," The Texas-blues nod to Jimmie Vaughan "Tell Me Some Lies," and "Red Dragon," which is a tribute to Hendrix's approach to the Blues -- one take, all live, late at night, with the band following his every move.
As a life-long fan of Albert King, Schofield pays his respect when taking on "Breaking Up Somebody's Home." He reveals, "When I make an album I always go back to a long list of songs I love. I’ve been compiling this list over the years, reaching back to my first discovery of blues. We tried to put our own spin on the groove, it also marks the first appearance of a horn section on one of my records." The second cover on the release is the classic "Yellow Moon." Schofield reminisces, "I've loved this song since I was a kid going through my Dad’s records. Funky New Orleans blues, originally done by the Neville Brothers, and produced by Daniel Lanois, who we’re also a big fan of. I’ve tried to make this great song my own with a unique approach to the arrangement, featuring Jordan’s incredible vocals interplaying with my guitar."
Schofield is an inspired character. His lyrical approach is driven by inspiration from all facets of life's experiences, and the impact what he reads, watches and absorbs has on his deepest thoughts. This is best displayed with the album opener, "From Far Away." The track is a song that has been brewing for years, where the singer finds inspiration from Carl Sagan. He offers, "I'm a big lover of science, humanism and their related philosophies. Lyrically I have known for a long time that I wanted to do something inspired by Sagan’s incredible and inspiring monologue 'Pale Blue Dot' - this song is my tribute to his beautiful, stirring words."
He is no stranger to accolades, and has been honored as the recipient of major awards that include British Blues Awards Guitarist of the Year in 2010, 2011 and 2012, making him the first guitarist in the British Blues Awards Hall of Fame. He also was complimented by Mojo Magazine with Blues Album of the Year in 2011, and received the nod for British Blues Awards Album of the Year 2010. He was rated in the top ten British blues guitarists of all time by Guitar & Bass Magazine alongside such icons as Eric Clapton and Peter Green. In the Penguin Book of Blues Recordings, Schofield is cited as one of only two living British artists to gain a maximum four-star rating.
Schofield will begin a North American Tour on March 13 in Ridgefield, CT, with confirmed appearances that include:
3/13 Ridgefield, CT The Ridgefield Playhouse
3/14 Natick, MA The Center For Arts In Natick
3/15 Fall River, MA Narrows Center For The Arts
3/16 Northampton, MA Iron Horse Music Hall
3/17 New York, NY Iridium Jazz Club
3/19 Wilmington, DE World Cafe Live at The Queen
3/20 Annapolis, MD Ram's Head On Stage
3/22 Richmond, VA Capital Ale House
4/11 St. Petersburg, FL Tampa Bay Blues Festival