Singer/songwriter Matt Minglewood’s music has been described as a musical hybrid with one foot in the roots of blues and country and the other knee-deep in rock. photo submitted

Central Music Festival presents Matt Minglewood Oct. 18th

He performs Oct. 18th at the Elks Lodge

Singer Matt Minglewood’s music has been described as a hybrid with one foot steeped in blues and country and the other knee-deep in rock.

The gifted artist performs Oct. 18th at the Elks Lodge in a show presented by the Central Music Festival Society. Fans can expect cuts from his incredibly diverse repertoire, and of course gems from his latest disc Fly Like Desperados.

“I wanted to work with this band that I have now,” he said, noting a few new members have joined the ranks as of late. Among them are some pretty gifted singers, too, and Minglewood knew he wanted those strengths to be showcased throughout the CD as well.

“They are such nice people to work with, and they are so giving of their time and their talents,” he said. “They wanted this record to be as good as it could be, and they worked hard on it, too,” he said. “I’m really proud of how they’ve played on it, so that’s one of the highlights (of this project) to me.

“We tried to do our best, and I think the best came out on that record,” he said.

Minglewood has a long musical history in Canada. Hailing from Cape Breton, he is, for starters, a natural born musician.

“Nobody in my family really played, except for my grandpa who was a fiddler,” he said, adding that Celtic-oriented tunes were a consistent favourite in family circles. “They were friends with Buddy McMaster (uncle of fiddling star Natalie McMaster). “Natalie’s father said the first person who ever drove him to a gig was my father,” he explained. “He had a big black car,” he added with a laugh. “So we were entrenched in that, and I grew up in it.”

But Minglewood also was listening to radio tunes that brought in a stream of other genres as well.

“The local radio station played country music in the morning and in the afternoon and the evening there were the top 10 hits which were probably pop songs.

“And so I had a whole blend of Celtic music, country music, pop songs of the day. And living here in Cape Breton we are literally only about 300 miles north of New York, so at night we could get stations from New York City and hear R&B and folk and everything else.”

After the fiddle, Minglewood dabbled in piano and then along came acoustic guitar and that was the start of something particularly new.

“I also started singing when I was about four,” he said, adding that his first public performance featured Gaelic songs his grandfather had taught him.

“So I sang at a little community hall and I was scared to death. But I always sang – hits of the day that were on the radio like Marty Robbins. My parents would go to parties and drag us kids around. They’d visit and music would be playing and then they’d get ‘the kid’ to sing Marty Robbins songs. So I always sang – I considered myself a singer who played guitar or the keyboards. I honestly considered myself a singer first.”

Indeed. It isn’t difficult to hear the influences of legendary artists such as B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry and Hank Williams but Minglewood infuses his blues sense with the country and a Celtic element that is in his bones.

By the mid-60s he landed in the band scene and the eventual release of his first album The Red Album in 1976 put him on the map. Those early days were indeed memorable. “We left town and like everyone else, we ran out of gas in Fredericton and found an agent,” he laughed.

“I still love playing music. The hardest part of it is getting there, but the doing it is the fun part. Here I am 71, and still doing it. I had someone tell me once, ‘If you find a job you love, you will never work a day in your life’.”

For ticket information, check out www.centralmusicfest.com.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Red Deer RCMP arrest man involved in fatal hit and run

RCMP flew to Nipawin, Sask. to arrest Tosh Vertraeten

Pop Evil hits the stage at Bo’s Nov. 25th

Acclaimed band is touring in support of self-titled disc released early this year

Oh What a Night! celebrates iconic American legends

Frankie Valli and Andy Williams honoured during Red Deer show

Red Deer Lights the Night gets residents into the holiday spirit

Free winter festival is on Saturday, Nov. 17th from 4 to 7 p.m.

First Nation marks ‘milestone’ land deal at Alberta ceremony

Lubicon Lake First Nation Chief Billy-Joe Laboucan signed treaty last month

What now for Calgary, Canada and Olympic Games after 2026 rejection?

Calgary, along with the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., made Canada a player in the international sport community

Naked man arrested for impaired driving

The man allegedly fled the scene of a collision wearing only a sheet. Plus other Ponoka RCMP briefs

Sex-misconduct survey excludes vulnerable military members: Survivors’ group

But It’s Just 700 says recent research has shown young military members and those on training are among those most at risk for sexual violence

Many child killers have been placed in Indigenous healing lodges according to stats

As of mid-September, there were 11 offenders in healing lodges who had been convicted of first- or second-degree murder of a minor

Expect no quick end to Canada-wide cannabis shortages, producers warn

Provinces including British Columbia, Alberta have all reported varying degrees of shortages

Canada Post strike having ‘critical’ impact on retailers, eBay tells PM

Canada Post says it is now facing an unprecedented backlog of shipments, largely as a result of strikes

NASA wants Canadian boots on the moon as first step in deep space exploration

The U.S. is seeking broad international support for the next-generation space station to send into orbit a in 2021

B.C. man wanted in connection to domestic assault in Edmonton

Sterling Miles Booker has ‘ROCK’ and ‘ROLL’ tattooed on his hands

Most Read