Happy 2019!

Happy New Year all!

I recently acquired a beautiful Washburn Maverick BT-9, a fairly rare model unique to the UK market around the turn of the millennium.

At the bottom of this post is a short clip demonstrating its wonderful single-coil tones on a suitably seasonal tune!

Washburn support were quite enthusiastic and helpful in identifying the age and country of manufacture. Here’s a reply I got from Dave Steffen:

The BT9 shows that the Brits were more on the ball than we were! The BT9 was only offered in the UK….ordered with a special maple neck, and a swamp ash body! These were made sometime between 2001 and 2005…the neck plates do not have the origin date. Looks to be Korean….the hardware leads us there and it fits into that 2001 to 2005 timetable. We really like this guitar…..designed by William T Atkins….Billy T….thus the BT designation.

Interestingly enough, the seller told me that he purchased the guitar in around 1998/1999, so we have a bit of a mystery on our hands as to its true age. Based on Washburn’s reply, and the various information I’ve found on the Internet, the guitar certainly does seem to have been made by the Samick factory in South Korea – in my opinion the quality of the build seems to agree with this notion.

I hope that 2019 proves to be a great year for you.

A First Foray into Tank Drums

I was fortunate enough to receive a lovely, handmade Tank Drum for Christmas from my partner, and have been almost unable to put it down since. I’ve been wanting one of these since seeing a handpan street performer in Lisbon back in October 2016.
In the spirit of the New Year, here’s my first ever video featuring the drum, featuring the Westminster Quarters chime! — Matt

Meeting one of my Music Heroes

I was fortunate enough recently to meet one of my all-time heroes, the great Julie Fowlis, after watching her amazing performance live at The Stables, near Milton Keynes.
She was gracious enough to hang around for a meet and greet, and I managed to capture a picture.

Matt meets Julie Fowlis, 7th November 2017 at The Stables nr. Milton Keynes
Matt meets Julie Fowlis, 7th November 2017 at The Stables nr. Milton Keynes

Naturally I had to record a cover of one of her tracks, so I picked my favourite one of all: Òganaich Uir A Rinn M’ Fhàgail. I first heard this one on BBC’s Transatlantic Sessions, and was immediately taken with it, so here’s my humble attempt at recreating the theme of the tune – enjoy! –Matt

Guitar solo cover gets recognition from the original artist!

A video containing two guitar solo covers that went live on Youtube recently has received praise from the artist who originally wrote/performed them.

The video contains covers of “Battle Hymn” and “Hail and Kill”, originally written and recorded by the band Manowar. Matt performs all of the instruments for the duration of the video. Ross “The Boss” Friedman contacted Matt to say:

Wow Matt thank you. That’s a big honor. Well done!

The video can be found on Youtube, or viewed below.

“Coming Home (Live)” now available on Youtube

A second clip from ‘An Evening with Matt Stevenson’ live at The Core @ Corby Cube has been released to Youtube. This time featuring Elio Andrade on vocals, this song was originally written by Timo Tolkki and recorded by Stratovarius on their 1997 “Visions” album.

This has always been a favourite of mine, and exemplifies the quality of Tolkki’s work while he was with the band Stratovarius. My version, whilst different from the original, aims to strike a strong contrast between the longing of the lyrics in the early verses and the certainty of the lyrics immediately before the guitar solo. As the solo begins, the song transforms from delicate ballad into something much more powerful!
This was a real joy to perform, and I hope that you enjoy listening to it – Matt.

“All the trust that was built along the years
Is coming back to stay.
I know, just look ahead, the road is free,
I’m coming home.”

Welcome to the new site!

Thanks for your visit. This is the new website for Matt Stevenson, musician from Northamptonshire, England. Over the coming weeks the site will be updated with music, photos and other information.