Matt Malone is a singer/songwriter and poet straight from the Pete Seeger mould who performed to an appreciative audience at the Babushka Bar on the 12th of April.
Malone played a variety of cover and his own original pieces, including a number of original poems.
The standouts of the set included a cover version of Glenn Danzig's ‘Thirteen' and the set closer, ‘Crawlin' King Snake', a title borrowed from an old blues song but
with original music and lyrics. The dominant riff in this song cascades in the manner similar to a snakes fluid movements. Malone definitely made the Danzig song his
own, drawing the audience in with the tension and intensity of the subject matter, of a desperate man who feels he has run out of luck and struggling to find redemption in a capricious universe. Even though in this reviewer's opinion the cover song was the highlights, this did not detract from Malone's original work, especially his poetry.
Malone's poetry and original songs contained themes of having loved, losing love and pining for love from the perspective of subjects who give the impression that
love is an evasive force. Malone's themes of existential struggle in his songs bring to mind the work of Michael Gira, chief songwriter for post punk band, Swans, who deals with very similar themes of struggle within relationships.
Malone as a performer has the ability to create an atmosphere of intimacy between himself and his audience, chiefly through openness of the subject matter, but also through his quality of drawing the listening into the song by depth of the emotion and vulnerability in his voice. It's as if Malone is openly inviting the listener into his world
and daring the audience to take up the invitation. In this day and age to find this in many artists is rare.