Matt Harlan “Raven Hotel” CD Review

Matt Harlan is a genius. Plain and simple. A true poet. Wordsmith, even. As much as it pains me to admit this, both as a music fan and songwriter myself: I had never heard of him, until his new record,’Raven Hotel’, ended up in my Dropbox app! Usually, when there’s a writer that great in the scene, I’ve picked their songs apart, and stolen everything I could by now! He’s an old school storyteller. His voice is eerily reminiscent of Chris LeDoux, and so is his brand of songwriting. There’s an almost palpable believability in the words he writes, and like LeDoux, you just know he lived what he’s telling you about! ‘Raven Hotel’ just oozes substance, and that substance comes with experience. In life, on stages, places he’s been, and inside the recording studio! This album is evidence of heartbreak, love, thought, time, and change. The guitar work is stellar, as are the beautiful vocal harmonies by his wife, Rachel Jones. A phenomenal vocalist herself, she even takes the lead on ‘Riding With The Wind’! The songs are really well constructed, and thought out. Matt’s voice sails effortlessly throughout every track on ‘Raven Hotel’. Pair that with the beautiful accompaniment of top notch musicianship, and seamless harmonies throughout, and you have yourself a brilliant album! I thoroughly enjoyed this record, and if you are a fan of real music, I am quite certain that you will enjoy it too! “Raven Hotel” was released in June on 2014 and can be found at all your digital media outlets and at www.mattharlan.com

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