Thursday night (3/10) at Café Nola was a bit like something out of storybook. The pouring rain stopped just before the scheduled show time leaving the streets shimmering with puddle reflections and dark clouds hanging in the night sky. It was the kind of night where nothing in particular was really happening, but the possibilities were wide open. I walked in and looked for a seat at the bar as I normally would and to my right I found a thin young man with a slightly twisty-ended moustache and orange and white loafers. It was Matt from or more correctly, who is The Suitcase Junket ! Matt and I had a nice conversation about living in small towns, traveling around, and one of my favorite topics, man’s faithful companion the dog. Matt is from a small southern Vermont town and only a little more than a year ago started The Suitcase Junket although he’s been a musician for some time playing alto sax in high school, studying music at Hampshire College, and participating in a few different bands prior. Matt is currently trying to write his own story as the one-man band, The Suitcase Junket and just embarked on a spring tour that will take him through most of the south and central US with the company of his girlfriend, his dog, and hopefully lady luck. Café Nola was the fourth stop on his tour and the modest crowd that night was lucky to experience some of Matt’s unique talent first hand. As a one-man band, Matt sings, whistles, plays slide guitar, includes simple percussions, and does this pretty cool little trick called throat-singing. Throat-singing is where one makes a sound or vibration by placing the tongue against the roof of the mouth causing an eerie harmonic like feedback sound in the mic. Matt’s setup is home fabricated including a kick drum made from part of an old tin gas can and his own baby shoe that he found stuffed away at his parents house. He also writes his own songs to top things off, which are often beautifully intricate stories themselves. I asked Matt why he wanted to be a one-man band. His response was basically that it started out as a way to be able to experiment more on his own terms, but quickly grew into this all encompassing way to really feel the music he was playing, “I just wouldn’t feel whole if I did not play all the musical parts now”. The show at Café Nola moved us through sweet stories and jamming soul rebellious tune and before we knew it, the evening had come to end and it was up to us go off into the night to continue our own personal stories.
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