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Matthews Southern Comfort

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4 piece band

In 2011 Iain Matthews reformed Matthews Southern Comfort and undertook a short European tour that brought the band to the UK for 3 sell-out shows. That success persuaded Iain to offer the band for a further short tour of 11 UK dates in 2012 and we are happy to announce those dates here. It’s a great show featuring all MSC’s most popular songs including ‘Something In The Way She Moves’, ‘The Road to Ronderlin’ and, of course, their No1 hit ‘Woodstock’ alongside great new material that has emerged during the band’s renaissance. 

Iain Matthews – the story so far

When some artists are referred to as “legends” it is usually measured in years, or based on the quality of their music. Few are measured in both time and quality. One artist that has been judged by both is Iain Matthews.

As a founding member of Fairport Convention back in ’67, Matthews appeared on the bands’ first three recordings (Fairport Convention, What We Did On Our Holidays and Unhalfbricking) until musical differences caused him to leave in ’69 during the recording of their third album. It had become obvious to him that the group’s newfound traditional folk/rock direction would involve him far less than its previous contemporary work.

The next two years would yield three critically acclaimed releases for his new band, Matthews Southern Comfort. Due to the fact he felt he wasn’t yet ready for a solo career along with his desire to pursue his love of American country music, MSC provided the perfect vehicle for Matthews’ musical growth. Some thirty years later, MSC’s music continues to be held in high regard. The band went on to chart a #1 UK single with their version of Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock”. At the pinnacle of the bands’ rise to stardom, Matthews found this overwhelming success to be fulfilling, but restricting. He quit the band to pursue a solo career.

The 70’s, were extremely productive for Matthews, releasing 10 more albums as both solo artists and member of the band Plainsong. 1970’s If You Saw Thro My Eyes would reunite him with his ex-Fairport mates, Richard Thompson and Sandy Denny. Matthews toured the US for the first time in support of this record, the band featuring Richard Thompson, guitarist Andy Roberts and bassist Bob Ronga. Five records followed in the middle of the decade, three with Elektra (including one with Plainsong) and two with Columbia. 1978 brought us Stealin’ Home, thought by some as Matthews’ finest effort of all time. Stealin’ Home also yielded the Top 10 US hit “Shake It”.

The following year Matthews was again on the move, this time changing continents in a move to Los Angeles, where he established an artist, producer relationship with ex Monkee, Michael Nesmith.

Intending to make the one album, stay for a year and return to Britain, Matthews eventually became a US resident, staying for the next 25 years. Along the way, recording a further 15 solo albums, plus several more with Plainsong and a couple with former Pavlov's Dog founder, David Surkamp, in the short lived Hi-Fi. In 2000 he returned to Europe and for the next 4 years worked closely with Dutch singer/songwriter, Ad Vanderveen and together with Eliza Gilkyson, they formed the trio More Than a song, recording and releasing 2 albums. 3 years ago Matthews released his 19th solo work, Zumbach's coat. Settling in the south of Holland in 2002, he met and married his soul mate Marly. They have 2 children, Madelief and Luca.

Matthews Southern Comfort ….unfinished business

Never let it be said that Iain Matthews is one to dwell on past glories. These days, most band ‘reunions’ take place because of the huge financial rewards available and occasionally, record company pressure. In the case of Matthews Southern Comfort, neither reason applies. MSC has been reborn simply because Iain feels he didn’t quite get it right the first time. Originally a vehicle for his musical concepts, forty years on, the sounds and songs just keep on coming.

The original band came to a premature halt, when Matthews decided, rightly or wrongly, that it lacked musical depth. The formation of an all new MSC comes from his desire to finish the journey, plus a deep ongoing passion to make perhaps one more important musical statement, that will be both heard and acknowledged by his peers.

In conceiving and assembling this unique group of spirited and likeminded players, Matthews has once again surpassed all expectations. The musicianship and commitment are second to none and the sumptuous, soaring vocal harmonies instantly bring to mind the 60's version of the band.

The new MSC, a quartet, features reknowned guitarist, songwriter, Bart Jan Baartmans, keyboardist, Bart de Win and the relatively unknown but hugely talented songstress, Elly Kellner. This spectacular band, represents both the past and the present, as Matthews cleverly reinvents some of the classic MSC songs to accompany the new originals.

If you're looking for an evening of pure, unadulterated, sonic bliss, Matthews Southern Comfort lives! 


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