Get ready, Edmonds: Blues performer feeds off the crowd

Matt Andersen opening for Shemekia Copeland
By Brian Soergel | Oct 25, 2017
Courtesy of: Matt Andersen Matt Andersen opens for Shemekia Copeland Nov. 2 at Edmonds Center for the Arts.

There are musicians who really get into their music in front of an audience. Then there’s Matt Andersen.

Watch a YouTube video, and you’ll agree. You can see Andersen’s passion in person on Nov. 2 when the blues musician opens for Shemekia Copeland Nov. 2 at the Edmonds Center for the Arts.

“The crowd is a big part of it, especially in a solo show,” said Andersen over the phone from Germany. He would be traveling to Holland later that day for a show. “They more the crowd gets into it, the more I give back. I always equate it to a good conversation – when one person talks, it gets boring pretty quick.”

Andersen, a Canadian who grew up in New Brunswick and now lives in Nova Scotia, has been performing full time since 2002, mostly around Canada and the East Coast. But he’s lately been playing to appreciative crowds in Europe and elsewhere overseas.

With over 10 million views on YouTube, two European Blues Awards, three Maple Blues Awards, a JUNO nomination, and the 2010 award for Best Solo Performer at the International Memphis Blues Challenge, Andersen has built a formidable following the old fashioned way: touring.

In addition to headlining major festivals, clubs and theaters throughout the world, he's toured and shared the stage with artists such as Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy, Gregg Allman and the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

“You can only tour so much in your backyard before you need to leave them alone a bit,” he said. “It’s a necessity that you need to travel as a musician, and I’m grateful that they’re big into live music overseas.

“In a lot of countries, they’ve heard their own folk music for so long, they’re looking for something else.”

Andersen said he grew up listening to his parents’ country music. But, at age 17, he had a life-changing moment.

“I saw a blues show live and was caught by its intensity and delivery. The guy was laying it all out. That got me hooked.”

Andersen is touring in support of his latest album, “Honest Man.” It’s his seventh studio album and debuted at No. 5 on the Canadian charts, coming in just below Justin Bieber and beating out Rihanna, Chris Stapleton, Coldplay, The Weeknd and Taylor Swift.

Not bad.

The CD is his follow-up to his 2014 Juno-Award nominated album “Weightless,” and finds him pushing himself into new territory as he enlisted R&B producer Commissioner Gordon (Amy Winehouse, Quincy Jones, Joss Stone, Santana) to help create what he calls his most accessible album to date.


Matt Andersen

Where: Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 Fourth Ave. N, Edmonds
When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2
Tickets: $19-$54
Information: 425-275-9595,

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