April 25, 2013

Making Noise: Matt Newberg records his groovy songs about love

'Into a Dream' features eight original songs inspired by the Motown sound.

'Into a Dream" is the latest album from Bath musician Matt Newberg, and it's home to eight original songs inspired by the Motown sound. It was recorded with the help of James Whalen and mastered by Frank Hopkins.

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Matt Newberg will play songs from his new album, “Into a Dream,” at the Chocolate Church Arts Center in Bath on May 10.

Courtesy photo


 "Two Old Friends," Neil Young

"King Harvest (Has Surely Come)," The Band

"Sunset Road," Bela Fleck and The Flecktones

"Hammerhead," Jeff Beck

"Valley Road," James McMurtry

"Rambler," Ginger Baker Trio

"Even the Losers," Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

"Jungle Man," The Meters

"Have Mercy," Loretta Lynn

"Perfect Timing," Drive-By Truckers


WITH: Bailey Evans and Noah Horning

WHERE: 7 p.m. May 10

WHERE: Chocolate Church Arts Center, 804 Washington St., Bath


INFO: chocolatechurcharts.org

TURN YOUR radio dial to 102.9 WBLM every Friday at 8:30 a.m. to hear Aimsel Ponti wax poetic about her top live music picks for the week with the Captain and Celeste.

On the record, you'll hear guitarist Greg Hoover, bassist Sean Finn, drummer Jeff Glidden and Mason Thayer on keyboards. Lisa Brundage contributed saxophone and harmony vocals.

GO tracked down Newberg for a chat about the new record, his influences and more.

Over what period of time did you write the songs? What generally inspires your songwriting?

"Ships" is the oldest song on the album, dating back to 2003 or 2004, written after the cliche music industry burn that was "Buffalo" (the album). Others were literally written while the album was being recorded. Can't say I have a general inspiration, though this album hangs together in a way some of my others don't. It's about love. Mostly.

When did you first start singing? Playing guitar? Writing songs?

I only recently started to really sing. "Back From the Trail of Tears" (2008) was my fifth album, and the first time I actually enjoyed my own singing. I've been trying a long time. As for the guitar, I picked it up right after I quit trumpet in fifth grade, maybe. I've always been way more into writing than learning other people's stuff. I created an endless number of three-chord punk songs in junior high school.  

What are you plans for this summer in terms of music?

Planning is not my strength. My hope is that I will be able to play some shows and promote the album live. The players on the record are even greater in person. Come out and see for yourself. I'll also be surfing, playing Ultimate and getting married.

How does this album differ from "Back from the Trail of Tears?" How have you grown as an artist?

Stylistically they couldn't be more different, with the exception of "Tears of War." That song could have been on the "Back from" album. "Into a Dream" is groove-oriented, Motown-inspired. Neil Young's "Are You Passionate?" had a lot to do with this album.

But my songwriting tends to hop around a bit. "Time Goes By" is another song that dates back to 2004 or so, and was written with a groove in mind.

"Back from the Trail of Tears" is much rawer. In fact, I have plans to re-release that album. It was never really finished. I played too much guitar on it. It needs Gregg Hoover. Always did.

Who are your main influences?

Neil Young and James McMurtry are the big two. With that said, I listen to just about everything.

What's your favorite song on "Into a Dream," and why?

 "What You Want." I had a blast dancing to it while I was tracking the vocals.

Where can people purchase a copy of "Into a Dream?"

"Into a Dream" can be purchased online via mattnewberg.com. CD Baby and iTunes to follow.

Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at:


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