"What he possesses is that same genuine essential tonality found in the voices of John Prime, Kris Kristofferson, Jon Dee Graham, Buddy Miller and John Martin"
John Apice, Associate Editor, Americana Highways, 5/17/23
An Apolitical Man video
“Unique footage of Alexander playing in unusual places, lively keys and guitar, and a very reasonable observation on those who stick their heads in the sand characterize this video by Matthew Alexander. The song echoes shades of the Bangles in its degree of playfulness over a serious critique.” - Melissa Clarke, Editor
“His CD American Boy offers the breath of fresh air we often search for in our album collections but rarely find” - Mark Price
— Charlotte Observer
Matthew Alexander Full Bio
Charlotte, NC based songwriter, musician, and singer Matthew Alexander’s seventh solo album, Soul River, peaked at #11 on the Folk Alliance International Album Chart for November 2020, with “Steel Rail Blues” reaching #3 on its Song Chart the month before. By then, however, the pandemic had forced him to slow down and sharpen his focus on his craft. A songwriting prodigy, distinctive guitar stylist, and younger product of the Cambridge-Boston folk scene of the 1960s, Alexander has performed for decades. As a solo artist and as founding member of the folk-trio Moonshine, he opened in the early seventies for Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, and Billy Joel.
Alexander’s October 2022 single, “An Apolitical Man,” provided the first of three advance singles from his eighth album, Midnight Dream Station, slated for a May 19, 2023, release on Caravan Records. “An Apolitical Man” debuted at #15 on the Music Meeting Directory Singles Chart for October 4, 2022. The same day Americana Highways premiered the video for the song. AH Editor Melissa Clarke wrote: “Really unique footage of Alexander playing in unusual places, lively keys and guitar, and a very reasonable observation on those who stick their heads in the sand characterize this video by Matthew Alexander. The song echoes shades of the Bangles in its degree of playfulness over a serious critique.” See the premiere at https://americanahighways.org/2022/10/04/video-premiere-matthew-alexander-an-apolitical-man/
“As a child of the 1960s,” he says, “I was idealistic and hopeful about the country, even despite the challenges of civil rights and the war in Vietnam. I had no idea back then that ‘liberal’ would become a term of denigration, that protesters would block and taunt women who were exercising their personal freedom to have an abortion or that people with different political ideologies would become so bitter and mean toward each other. I, like many, feel demoralized and apathetic. Our generation tried to make things better, and we didn’t succeed. I believe this to be an important song. ‘An Apolitical Man’ speaks for the millions of Americans who are turned off by the divisiveness, by the ugliness and by the governmental gridlock. The ice caps are melting, the earth is warming, children are being murdered in schools and yet politicians cannot summon the political will to do something. If the choice is to live my life in perpetual frustration, or to man the barricades, or to tune out and enjoy my remaining years on this planet, I plead guilty to apathy and will choose to enjoy my Netflix and Prime and the millions of songs I can play on Spotify.”
Raised in Manhattan by his classical composer father and poet mother, Alexander took lessons in acoustic guitar from the late Artie Traum and Jack Baker while developing a finger picking style modeled after Dave Van Ronk and Mississippi John Hurt. Tin Pan Alley tunesmith Lou Stallman discovered Alexander as a 16-year-old songwriter and published his first dozen compositions with Bornwin Music, pitching them to The Turtles and others. Warner Brothers Music, Beechwood-Capital, and Four Star Music, among others, have published his songs in the half century since. His work placed highly in the Music City Songwriting Competition and New York’s Intercollegiate Folk Festival.
He has appeared at The Ark (Ann Arbor), The Troubadour and Songwriters’ Showcase (Los Angeles), Sander's Theater (Cambridge), New Music Showcase (Atlanta), Kenny's Castaways (NYC). and the Double Door, the Evening Muse, Visulite Theater, Latta Plantation Folk Festival, Tosco Music Party, and Dale Halton Theater (Charlotte).
“While in quarantine, I had the opportunity to dig deeply into my music and channel my fears of “non-being” into creating a body of work that I felt would endure. I started doing vocal exercises every day, rehearsing six hours at a time and challenging myself to write songs that were more universal and complex lyrically. Whereas my previous output of songs had been one every year or two, all of a sudden, I was flooded with ideas resulting in 30 new songs being written in the space of six months.”
Many of these tunes have made their way onto Midnight Dream Station. Standout songs such as “An Apolitical Man”, “A Mourning Song”, “Moonshine”, "Love Was" and “On a Perfect Day” address pressing issues such as alienation, loss, and the value of human connection. Alexander's newest song "The Upside of Down" was enthusiastically received during its premiere at the 2022 International Resiliency Conference, streamed to an audience of more than 10,000 attendees from 49 countries! His video “A Mourning Song” had its world premiere at the 2023 International Resiliency Conference on September 8, 2023.
Matthew Alexander Discography
Midnight Dream Station (May 2023)
Soul River (October 2020)
Three Minute Movie (2015)
Wishing I Had Wings (1987, 2011)
Daredevil Angel (2008)
Early Recordings 1967 – 1977 (2008)
American Boy (1999)
April Heart (1992)
Document downloads for press
“Wishing I Had Wings shows off a crisp pop-folk flavor, beautifully recorded.... Alexander sings direct and honest songs with attractive melodies about subjects like freedom, nature’s beauty, open hearts etc.... The things Alexander sings about are a heck of a lot more pleasant than 'bus exhaust killed my soul' and you know what, they’re just as real. Sometimes we just need Matthew Alexander to remind us.” - John Grooms
— Creative Loafing Charlotte
“Matthew Alexander is an exceptional talent...He is a must see...a wonderful and especially likable performer” - Rob McHale, Founder of Songwriters Showcase
“The qualities that earned Creative Loafing raves for his previous disc are still in evidence on the new one: romanticism, snappy melodies in a pop/folk setting, a clear vision and a good heart” - John Grooms, Creative Loafing Charlotte
“There is artistry in the way his fingers work the strings creating waves of emotion and ripples of vivid imagery. Alexander’s guitar playing is absolutely spellbinding” - Carson James, Twang Town
“Poignant and prolific” Debbie Jet, Rock Hill Herald
“...captivating songwriting and timeless evocative singing” - All About Jazz