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L.A. Beat

Matt Epp puts on his happy face for new album “Rolling Wave” and tour

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Singer songwriter Matt Epp has  had a tough  couple years even before Covid, his marriage broke up, he lost his house and is living in a van, living the life of a modern day troubadour. He just released his latest album “Rolling Wave,” which he recorded with collaborators from afar. 

 He makes a long awaited return to Lethbridge to play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, May 26 with Jesse Northey and up and coming singer Nora Kotkas.


 In spite of all the tribulations he has faced, he accepted them and wrote the new album “ Rolling Waves” from a more optimistic point of view.


Matt Epp returns to Lethbridge, Friday, May 26. Photo by Jen Squires

  Bassist Joel Couture sent Epp his bass parts from Winnipeg,  Kyle Crane contributed  drums from Los Angeles and jazz pianist Chris Andrew added piano from Edmonton.


“I really worked on layering guitars and vocals,” Epp said.


 It has been many years since he played Lethbridge, though he was in Lethbridge to visit family over Easter .

“ I got to check out the new Owl,” he said.


 He has released quite a few albums since he last played here. He released a collaboration with Ojibway artist Isaac Murdoch, “You Were Chosen to Be Here” in 2021, an album with Joel Couture,  “River of Tears” in 2019 and  “Shadowlands” in 2018.

“This album was a lot more fun to record. I felt the pressure was really lifted somehow after I had accepted all of the challenges that happened to me, with losing my house and my marriage and taking care of my daughter during during the pandemic, I took time for reflection ,” he said, adding he has been living and travelling in a Mercedes Sprinter van.

“‘I can stand up in it. It’s pretty comfortable,” he said.


 He recorded the new CD in a variety of places including in an old church on the shores of Lake Huron, one of his friends suggested and at Isaac Murdoch’s retreat centre.


 He said the new album reflects a more positive perspective, and all the tribulations  in his life didn’t inspire it.


“ The last three albums were about that,” he said.


The songs “Rolling ” are really  cheerful and upbeat.

 He wrote the beautiful ‘Architect Eyes’ in Mexico.

“I was on the beach with my guitar taking part in a songwriting challenge  and this beautiful girl came up and  we had a nice, friendly conversation in  Spanish. So I wrote it about her. I never expected to see her again, but she came back and played it for her,” he said.

The first single, “ made For Love,” is a slightly older song, written on 2021 and released in 2022. 

“ It‘s  a super simple song I wrote on my 12 string guitar,” he said, adding it is difficult to choose his favourite.


“ My favourite to play is ‘Live Free’ It just feels pretty special,” he said.


He is dabbling his toes in the feats of touring, having just completed an east coast tour including Prince Edward Island, and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

“ This tour has been a like a reconnaissance mission, so see if there is still support for my music,” he said.

 He is looking forward to this leg of the tour and especially returning to Lethbridge to play with Jesse Northey, who is also returning  to Lethbridge for a visit and a young, up and coming singer songwriter Nora Kotkas.

“ She’s like a young Joni Mitchell.  She’ll be singing some of the duets with me,” he said, adding he has been following her career for years, since she was a kid.


 He lived in Lethbridge briefly.

“ My parents moved to Lethbridge and Taber in 1998 when I was in Grade 12,” he said.

“So I’m super excited to come back and play,” he said, adding he will be playing solo, though  Nora Kotkas will be singing a few duets with him.


“The show will definitely focus on ‘Rolling Waves. But we’ll also go through some of the oldies. It will be a more uplifting set. And I’m excited to play with Jesse and  Nora,” he said.


“ it will be a positive, loving  and beautiful evening,” he said.


The Rolling Wave tour rolls into  the Owl Acoustic Lounge,  Friday,  May 26 at 9 p.m.  Tickets are $20. Jesse Northey and Nora Kotkas are also on the bill.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. beat editor

Last Updated ( Saturday, 20 May 2023 15:12 )  
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