© 2021 WKSU
Public Radio News for Northeast Ohio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Arts & Culture
Your local backstage pass to Northeast Ohio’s music scene. Get to know the talented musicians and community influencers in our backyard.

Shuffle: Matt Hectorne Explores the Struggles of the Touring Musician

photo of Matt Hectorne

Singer-songwriter Matt Hectorne was raised in the South but now calls Northeast Ohio home. His latest album, “Work,” explores the challenges of living as a married musician often on the road.

'I kind of like the twangy-er sounds, but I also like rock 'n' roll.'

The album’s direct, one-word title refers to Hectorne’s own efforts to build a career and improve himself. Hectorne was born in Memphis and raised in Mississippi, but he grew weary of small-town life and eventually ended up in the Cleveland area.

“There wasn’t too much modern stuff going on,” Hectorne said of the church he grew up attending. “It was a pretty old-timey kind of church, a lot of gospel and bluegrass influence.”

Hectorne’s music embraces many aspects of southern rock and country: lyrics recounting personal struggles with romance and the demands of everyday life, assertive drumming and, yes, slide guitar. But his music also incorporates elements of gospel and ‘90s rock. Hectorne considers "Americana" to be a more inclusive way to describe his eclectic style.

“I kind of like the twangy-er sounds, but I also like rock ‘n’ roll,” Hectorne said. “It’s definitely on the spectrum of country music, it’s just not what people typically think of when they think of country music.”

Lyrical storytelling
As far as the lyrics go, Hectorne admits they’re wholly autobiographical. True to his southern roots, Hectorne puts lyricism and storytelling above showmanship.

“It’s not really about the production or the flashiness of the song,” Hectorne said. “It’s built on the story.”

Hectorne and his band mates will perform an hour-long set including songs from his new album at Brite Winter Fest in Cleveland on Saturday.

Listen to the full album: