Matt the Electrician

Long Way Home

Texas Platters

Matt the Electrician

Long Way Home Those of us who've only ever seen Matt the Electrician live would expect his recorded material to be Tom Waits-influenced affairs, but Long Way Home is more Grant Lee Phillips than Waits. The rough edges of Sever's gritty voice have been sanded down in the production (not that they needed to be); its muted tones complement the music's mostly mellow vibe nicely. Sever, who abandoned his day job as an electrician to follow his musical muse, is supported by accomplished local players, including Jud Newcomb and Liz Pappademas on his sweetly spunky fourth album. Not deviating from his lean, spare storytelling, Sever turns in 10 nostalgic tales (some of them tall, to be sure), starring a streaking ugly-duckling-turned-swan ("Valedictorian"), lovers who provide just the right cure for each other ("Half Magic"), and slackers who always mean to get around to reading the canon ("I'm Sorry Hemingway"). The best moments on Long Way Home are the ones in which Sever plumbs the darker side of relationships, familial or otherwise. "Hammer on the Ladder" is a father/son song whose intimacy is almost too private to play: "Hold my hand walking down to the ocean. Pick me up and spin me around or the waves will knock me down. Oh Dad, you carry me," Sever sings to his damaged father, who needs to be held up as often as his son. It's deeply affecting, and, one hopes, a daring new direction for this maturing singer-songwriter.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Kinky Friedman
Resurrection (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, Jan. 3, 2020

More by Melanie Haupt
Desert Door Distillery Rolls Out Large Hand Sanitizer Production
Desert Door Distillery Rolls Out Large Hand Sanitizer Production
Local sotol makers offer the critical commodity free of cost

March 20, 2020

Tibetan Dumplings Shine at Yak & Yeti in Cedar Park
Tibetan Dumplings Shine at Yak & Yeti in Cedar Park
Dishes for sharing (or not) at this tiny Nepalese restaurant

Feb. 14, 2020


Matt the Electrician

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle