Raised on an equal dose of Hee-Haw and Soul Train, North played gigs in Champaign, Illinois from a young age alongside the late Jay Bennett of Wilco and former John Coltrane bassist, Rafael Garrett. He became house drummer for The Sunshine Dinner Theater at age 14 where he worked until college and, after winning the Illinois All-State Drum Set Competition, received a scholarship to study drums at the University of North Texas with world-renowned instructor, Ed Soph. Following his freshman year, University of Illinois jazz band director, John Garvey, invited North to join his band for a summer tour of Russia alongside bassist Viktor Krauss (Lyle Lovett).
North’s training ground for songwriting was atypical. Working as a fact-checker for Mother Jones Magazine in San Francisco from 1994-97, he unexpectedly began working at The Punchline Comedy Club as an opening act for Mitch Hedberg, Marc Maron, Jimmy Fallon, and Dave Chappelle. North was roommates with comedian Patton Oswalt in Haight-Ashbury for two years before moving to L.A. where he began privately writing songs, answering “Drummer Wanted” ads, and writing his original screenplay Best Western that won multiple awards, resulting in regular work as a story analyst – skills he now transfers to songwriting. His great uncle is novelist and Kentucky poet laureate, Jesse Stuart, and his father's family were Scotch-Irish coalminers in Harlan County, Kentucky.
In 2000, North starred opposite James Woods in the Golden Globe winning movie “Dirty Pictures” and was soon cast by Larry David for seven episodes of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” as Jason Alexander’s agent. After shooting the first episode of Season 2, HBO abruptly wrote North out when Alexander left “Curb” to star in his own NBC sitcom “Bob Patterson.” His last years in L.A. were focused entirely on drumming, songwriting, and raising his son who was born on the autism spectrum while North worked as a valet at Century Plaza Hotel and Beverly Hills City Hall as a custodian.
Before leaving L.A. for Nashville in 2010, he produced “I Can’t Die In L.A.,” by L.A. band, Hail The Size, featuring vocalist Maria McKee of Lone Justice. Vintage Guitar Magazine later called it “one of the best albums of the year.” As a new Nashvillian with few connections, North began learning guitar, piano, and recording “Above Ground Fools” in his garage. Looking ahead, North will release what he calls his “punk-rock-special-education-protest-single” about the Tennessee Department of Education, “Tennessee IEP” in Fall 2017.
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For Extended Bio, Hi-Res Pics, or to schedule an interview: mattnorth.net
Rock | Americana/Roots | Indie Rock
Nashville Songwriter/drummer Matt North Releases Debut Album
"ABOVE GROUND FOOLS" Out FEB 21, 2017 on iTunes & Amazon
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Matt North's Above Ground Fools is out Feb 21, 2017, delivering ten upbeat tales of personal failure - all of them true - featuring Nashville's A-list: Michael Webb (Sturgill Simpson), bassist Chris Donohue (Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris), guitarist Stuart Mathis (Lucinda Williams), and Matt North (drums, vocals). Mastered by Pete Lyman, known for Chris Stapleton's Grammy-winning Traveller, Shovels & Rope, Elizabeth Cook, and The Who.
As a drummer, North has recorded and performed with Maria McKee, Jay Bennett, Andy Prieboy, Blondie Chaplin, Jesse DeNatale, Peter Case, and Mink Stole of John Waters fame. His great uncle is Kentucky novelist and poet laureate, Jesse Stuart, and his father's family were Scotch-Irish coalminers in Harlan, Kentucky.
Raised on an equal dose of Hee-Haw and Soul Train in Champaign, Illinois, he worked backstage at Farm Aid I in 1985 and blames that day for cementing his decision to pursue a career in music. After dropping out of college and forfeiting a music scholarship at the acclaimed University of North Texas, he drove a Yellow Checker Cab while drumming in John Garvey's University of Illinois Jazz Band from 1989-91. North graduated from Ohio University in 1994.
His training for songwriting was atypical. Working as a fact checker at Mother Jones magazine in San Francisco from 1994-97, he unexpectedly began working at The Punchline Comedy Club opening for Mitch Hedberg, Jimmy Fallon, Marc Maron, and Dave Chappelle. North was roommates with comedian Patton Oswalt in Haight-Ashbury for two years before moving to L.A. where he began writing songs and an original screenplay Best Western that won multiple awards, resulting in regular work as a story analyst - skills he now transfers into songwriting.
In 2000, North starred opposite James Woods in the Golden Globe winning film Dirty Pictures and was soon cast by Larry David for seven episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm as Jason Alexander's agent. After shooting the first episode, HBO abruptly wrote North out when Alexander left Curb to star in NBC’s sitcom Bob Patterson.
Approaching 30, when many cut their losses, he joined L.A. garage rock band, The Buxotics, fronted by Rita D'Albert in addition to producing and drumming on the album, "I'm Not Sentimental," by New York City singer/songwriter Rob Kendt.
Before moving to Nashville in 2010, North produced and co-wrote "I Can't Die In L.A." by L.A. band Hail The Size featuring Maria McKee of Lone Justice. It was later called "one of the best albums of the year" by Vintage Guitar Magazine.
|Record Label:||Round Badge Records|
|Release Title:||Above Ground Fools|