When you think of Blue Collar, Working-Class Musicians, there is one name that stands out: Bruce Springsteen. However, for the 21st century, there is a fresh face who has picked up that mantle and is amazing music fans with his unique songwriting: Matthew Mayfield.
I first heard Matthew’s music when he posted his entire song catalog to Noisetrade.com a few years ago. I thought it was incredibly impressive to post 72 songs online for free, all with the hope of attracting new fans. It certainly paid off for him. Since then, we’ve featured countless songs from his songbook on The Appetizer Radio Show, also earning him top billing in some of our radio specials like our annual Cover Series.
When I was looking at new musician guests to add to the DIY Artist Route Podcast, Matthew was tops on the list. Having followed his career for the past few years, and learning that we’re from the same place on the map (B’ham, AL; Roll Tide!), making the connection with him was something I had to do. He didn’t disappoint.
What Makes Matthew Mayfield A Teacher For DIY Musicians
There are some specific attributes to his songwriting in the way that he crafts stories that pull you in from a listening perspective, added to that the gritty vocal tone he utilizes. It’s not a sound you would necessarily associate with folk or singer-songwriter styled music, which is what makes him uncommon.
I learned a few new things in our conversation, among them how well indie labels are doing in truly representing their bands, and how being a musical journeyman is a mantra not suited for every musician. We all have to make sacrifices in some way when we choose the path we’re on. Matthew was very candid in sharing these insights with me in this podcast.
I also wanted to make sure to include some clips from his songs, which you can hear laced in our conversation and placed appropriately in the themes of the discussion. The list of music from this podcast is here:
Matthew Mayfield. “Team (Lorde Cover)” Wild Eyes Unplugged EP. Matthew Mayfield, 2015. 01:45
Matthew Mayfield. “Mess Of A Man” Wild Eyes Unplugged EP. Matthew Mayfield, 2015. 01:30
Matthew Mayfield. “Quiet Lies” Wild Eyes Unplugged EP. Matthew Mayfield, 2015. :45
For Artists Using Cover Songs As A Way To Grow Fan Base
I love the way Matthew Mayfield does cover songs. It’s actually one of the things that first drew me to his music and made me dive deeper into his songbook. He does cover songs the RIGHT way. As you can hear in our Covers Series going back the past 6 years, a great cover song (in my book) is one that recreates the original, and does so in the style of the songwriter who is performing a cover. Too many new artists try to copy the original version of the song. This isn’t how you get new fans to dive into your songbook. Listen to Matthew’s take on Lorde’s Team or his version of Don Henley’s Boys Of Summer to get a better grid for this.
Matthew Mayfield is a great artist to follow and certainly one to take note of in taking your path to success with your musical brand. How did this conversation connect with you? Do you want to learn more about how you can carve out a unique path to growth with your music? Reach out to me and let’s have a chat about it.
You can also stream our podcast conversation (and grab other podcasts) via Youtube: