Album Review: Matt Glickman – Live from Starks, Maine 10.1.22

Matt Glickman is a keyboardist, singer and songwriter based in New England, USA who has just come to my attention thanks to his debut album. A recording of a performance, it not only gives us insight into his musical world, but his live show too. It’s called Live from Starks, Maine 10.1.22.

By Graeme Smith

Matt’s debut was born from COVID and its mental health impact. In his own words, the pandemic and its effect on the world of music led him to have a bit of a break down, during a time when he also lost his mother. Corralling these emotions and pouring them into his art and his performance has led to this striking collection.

The album opens strongly with Steady As Footprints. It’s a moody start, opening ambiently with rumbling and ethereal synths. The track progresses into some dramatic piano, rich with narrative as the composition unfolds over almost ten minutes. The focal point, though, is Matt’s soulful and passionate vocals. They’re utterly gripping.

The performance bleeds perfectly into Color Fields, a gentle classical-infused wonder before Secrets Of The Sage take things in a mystical, storytelling direction. Matt’s vocals are at their most pleading in a short, descriptive meditation that provides a mid-album highlight.

Leave It To Me features the vocals of Darby Sabin and takes things in a rock direction. A groovy guitar riff sets the pace before Matt and Darby’s vocals sumptously come together. Maybe It’s For The Best keeps Darby on stage and gives us some folk-infused rock and roll. Best follows with some delicate introspection. Its sense of vulnerability makes it another highlight.

Matt, perhaps, leaves the best to last, as the album and performance is rounded off by a 20-minute version of Grateful Dead’s Unbroken Chain. Opening with meditative piano it’s a track that Matt really embraces and makes his own. As the track progresses, we are treated to a smouldering psychedelic adventure. It’s the perfect end to both the performance and the record.

Live from Starks, Maine 10.1.22 is out tomorrow, 10 November, in all the usual places.