Matt Pond PA <3 cello

 In Cello Rock

I first learned of Matt Pond PA from a little article in the NYT from 2005, about an indie band and their drinking. ‘”We’re trying to drink better and better liquor,” Mr. Pond said.’ A noble goal.

I looked them up and got hooked on Matt Pond’s voice and his particular take on melancholy but sweet indie rock songs.  And, obviously the most important thing, that from time to time he has a cello in his band. Not always, but still.  His voice, somewhere in the low tenor range, has a gorgeous rounded edge to it, something like a really good cellist playing up high on the D string of a really good cello.

A few years ago, I took the entire Saint John and the Revelations band to see him/them at the Crocodile in Seattle. No cello in this iteration of his group, but a nice assortment of his old and new, with a good turn out. I wanted to say hello after the show but a crowd of attractive women saying hello got there first.

Matt Pond PA has had what some indie bands would consider big success: his “Snow Day” was used in a Starbuck’s commercial. He has placed songs in several TV shows. He’s cut something like 12 albums with an assortment of different musicians. My favorite Matt Pond song, Halloween, is haunting but not in a scary way.

So here’s Matt Pond’s “Last Song“, done on his balcony, just him and Shawn Alpay on cello. Shawn, whom I do not know, provides a lovely accompaniment, very much what I think I’d do if I were there on that porch in someone’s backyard balcony on a nice day. He slides a little, he pizz’s a little, he does call/response, he stays out of the way when Matt is singing. A+.

The guitar/cello duo is something I’ve done many many times, with many different singer songwriters, and is, IMHO, the best folk duo combo in the known universe. Yesterday I learned that Matt Pond PA has had its last tour late last year (2017) and the man, Matt Pond, is moving on to some TBD artistic endeavors. Yes, man, do that but you have to keep singing. [7/23/2022 update to this oldish post: no fear, Matt is busy recording and performing.]

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