MATT
LOCKHART

Good Vibes, Good Times. Collaborating with like musical minds to create in studio inspiration.

Over 25 different musicians helped to record and create this accidental and untimely triple album release. “Music is a team sport,” says Lockhart. “I played with an amazing team thanks to some old school buddies and my new friends at Red Amp Audio.” Players like Keith Horne (Bassist for Peter Frampton) and Butch Taylor (keys for Dave Matthews Band) made for a fun, funky, and jam based groove to lay the soulful vocals of ‘Buddafly’ Vazques (backup singer for Keller Williams) overtop Lockhart’s collage of guitar tones and soulful leads.
 

Quite naturally, there’s no denying that ambition leads to achievement. For Matt Lockhart, that’s been a hallmark of his career since early on. Not only has the Virginia-based musician been practicing his craft for the more than twenty years he’s spent touring and recording, but he’s now embarking on a new phase of his career, one that finds him releasing three albums simultaneously — each one very different from the other.

Lockhart, who lists such early influences as Phish, Jerry Garcia, Bluegrass, and jazz guitarists Grant Green and John Scofield, says that while being locked down to Covid helped him find the time, there was a more meaningful motivation as well. “My goal with music is to bring people together,” he says,  clear in his confidence. “I want to help people feel better and more assured during what is clearly a difficult time. I hope I can help them transcend their uncertainties and erase some worries, if only for a short time.

Not surprisingly then, the three releases in question — Family Vibe, Conscious Minds and Party Time — each offer a specific perspective, all derived from a common core.

 

Family Vibe has its origins gleaned from a decidedly personal point of view. That’s only natural considering the lessons he learned from his father, a fan of classic country music and inherited from his great grandfather, who played fiddle in a bluegrass band, as well as the input of his brother Truman, whose musical preferences lean towards hip-hop and whose ideas have had an imprint on several of his songs. It was Truman who wrote and raps on two of the tracks, “Hot Girls in Shitty Cars” and “Book of Broken Glass.”

Standout selections include: “Natural Born Killer” (“Why fight the battle, if you don’t want to quit”), “Come A’Walkin’ With Me” (“You can’t live if you don’t live it up”) and “Sweet Va. Home” (written in 2007 for a gig he performed for the-then governor of Virginia Tim Kane before a large audience. “I didn’t ask permission, but when he walked up I presented him a Matt Lockhart Band TV shirt and signed it ‘Yo Tim – you the #1 Gov’ which of course he graciously accepted.”), and “With my Pen and With my Sword – Death to Tyrants I have Sworn” (‘Death to Tyrants’ is inscribed on the Virginia state flag motto in Latin. Not surprisingly, Lockhart  was born in Virginia and still lives there). 

The album Conscious Minds delves into a more cerebral setting. Lockhart describes it as an effort oriented towards deep thinkers who not only have insight, but also have the ability to remind people of those things they may know already, all conveyed in a variety of musical  settings that span rock, reggae, country, bossanova, and hip-hop. 

Here again, key cuts include: “Karate Katt” (“Which side of the bars are you? I got bad news, the Monkeys are running the Zoo”), “Revolution” (“Freedom Fighters of the world unite, are you ready to die, are you ready to fight, if justice is for sale then name your price, I’ll pay with blood and I’ll pay with life… Revolution…”) and “Sitting in the Sun” (“I am a dog in a pen, I can’t get out and I can’t get in”).

In contrast to the other two offerings, Lockhart describes the third album, Party Time, as a full-blown good time shared experience. As a result, it happily offers opportunity to let go in a celebratory style. 

Its key cuts include: “Good Shit” (“I swear tomorrow, it won’t be like this, for now, give me something with a good kick, don’t worry about me, I can handle it, give me some of that good, good shit”), “Funk Train” (“A fun jam, it’s supposed to sound like a train,” Lockhart says. “We say ‘Choo-choo, mother Funkers’ and then shout ‘All aboard’”) and “She Said” (“It’s a crowd-pleaser that audiences frequently ask for,” he notes. “I lost the words to it, but remembered enough to record it. People always said they liked this one when I was in my first band in college, so why not try to record it 25 years later?”)

Indeed, while several of the songs are recent compositions, others originated early on in his career, some going back to his studies at the University of Oregon music school in the late ’90s and others to the time Lockhart spent in Los Angeles during the early 2000s. He spent his time while there doing session work with Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer and Michael Boddiker (keyboard player with Michael Jackson), touring with various groups that opened for the Jerry Garcia Band, Steel Pulse and Galactic, and attending Music tech classics at UCLA and the Los Angeles Recording Workshop, where he graduated at the top of his class.

In addition, Lockhart has four previous albums to his credit, including those recorded with the various ensembles he was involved with at the time  — the eponymous Nectar Way (released circa 1998), Galaxy 1 (released in 2000 with Freedom Funk Ensemble), Ohm (released in 2007 with FreedOHM Funk), and L7 (a 2008 solo effort).  

After being introduced to the movie industry via working on various high-profile films as a studio assistant, he then turned his attention to filmmaking, accumulating  credits that include the award-winning entry “The Watermen” for Lionsgate Films and literally hundreds of television commercials and industrial presentations under the aegis of his own production company. He’s currently planning to do further films and to write a pair of books. Nevertheless, making new music is his prime focus.

“I thrive on spontaneity and mining ideas from my imagination,” Lockhart says. “I relish having the freedom to whatever I want as far as my creative pursuits are concerned. It all comes from the heart and the absolute joy that comes to me from entertaining an audience.”