On June 15th, Two Cent Revival, the new project from Brazilian-born, Texas-raised singer/songwriter Matt Jones, will release his debut EP The Devil's in This Whiskey at New York City's Rockwood Music Hall. The album mixes folk-tinged Americana and classic country elements with dark lyrical themes and an acoustic-focused rock band. Driven by Jones' baritone vocals, the songs hint at wooden barrooms and dusty churches, walking the line between failure and redemption.
On The Devil's in This Whiskey, Jones and his band add a harder edge to the sound he began developing on his previous release, Butter and Rum (2008). Produced by Alex Houton (Charlotte Sometimes, Bailey Grey), mixed by multiple Grammy Award winning engineer Brian Vibberts (Michael Jackson, Paul Simon, Dave Matthews Band), and mastered by David Ives, the new five song EP features a 1971 Fender Telecaster, a late 1930's Gibson Kalamazoo acoustic guitar, and a Kentucky mandolin to create a distinct vintage workhouse tone with a modern Americana bite.
With driving electric guitar and vintage acoustic guitar sounds, The Devil's in This Whiskey was heavily influenced by Jones' longing for his southern and southwestern roots.
"I used to live on the bayou in Texas, where we'd drink cheap beer barefoot and hang out from late afternoon until well past sunset. I distinctly remember the smell of freshly cut grass and the whine of the mosquitoes in the summer," he said.
"Living in New York makes me realize how much I'm partial to the vibe of Texas and Tucson," he said. "I wanted to get out of it, but now I yearn to be back there."
Jones' predilection to the sights, sounds and details of home, evident only after his move to New York, has transformed him into an exceptional songwriter. Jimmy Norman, co-writer of "Time Is On My Side" said "Matt Jones [has] a lot going for him: his stage presence, his interesting, original songs, and especially his phrasing. He is a great storyteller."
Jezebelmusic.com says "[Jones] and his tight knit band perform with an energy that is seldom witnessed with an acoustic guitar as the lead instrument. The primary catalyst is Jones himself, whose rich, deep voice projects every note, ensuring all within earshot receive a proper introduction to his lovingly crafted songs.
"It's no surprise then, that Jones' influences include Bob Dylan and Townes Van Zandt ("who once said, and I paraphrase, that he puts all of his sadness in his songs so he can live his life") to Creedence Clearwater Revival, Tom Petty, Tom Waits, and the more contemporary Ray LaMontagne.