Performing up to 200 shows a year, Matt Andersen has the kind of work ethic that would make Joe Bonamassa proud. The Canadian blues guitarist and songwriter will be touring the UK and Europe this autumn and playing tracks from his well-received new album, Weightless.
Nice and easy does it as the Canadian bluesman takes to the stage.
Are you looking forward to coming over to the UK?
I’ve been coming over to the UK for the last seven or eight years – and at least once a year. It’s always a lot of fun. I find in England when people show up to a gig, they show up for a gig. The audiences are so intensely quiet, because people are listening. Growing up in Canada, I watched a lot of British TV shows like Fawlty Towers, so I also have a pretty good sense of British comedy, too.
You’ve shared the stage with some big names. Who have you opened for recently?
I’ve done some stuff with Los Lobos, Buddy Guy and Jonny Lang. I’ve also done a couple of shows opening for the Tedeschi Trucks Band. I’ve got some stuff with John Mayall coming up in the Fall. A lot of them are my heroes, especially Buddy Guy. It’s great to be around those guys.
Do you have any pre-gig rituals?
I love having a shower as close as possible to the gig starting. It makes my throat feel better and I always change strings before I go on stage. Other than that, nothing too much. I just get my head fixed and ready to put on a show. I’m not much of a ritual guy.
What makes it a good night for you?
It’s when you make the connection with audience. It’s nice, relaxed and everyone’s having a good time. The audience can pick up on the energy you are putting out and you can pick up on the energy they are giving back.
Where’s your favourite place to play gigs?
Well, being in Scotland reminds me of being home. There’s a lot of Scottish heritage where I live in Nova Scotia, for sure. Going down to the Southern states in the US is really cool, because that’s where blues and soul music came from. You can see the cotton fields and the swamps, which were the inspiration for that kind of music.
Have you ever played a venue and thought “Never again”?
Oh yeah, absolutely! Early on, I played lots of clubs where I was sitting besides the jukebox or singing in the middle of a pool tournament. Some places I just feel better about than others. I’m out on the road all the time. If it’s not a fun night for me, I won’t bother going back.