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Two Shots

Two Shots

4.7 7
by Matt Dusk
Newcomer Matt Dusk is a new traditionalist. He loves his Sinatra, as all young crooners should, but he�s not interested in a full-blown retro trip. So his debut, Two Shots, studiously avoids an overload of standards -- �Fly Me to the Moon,� the one Great American Songbook classic here, and a radically reworked version of the Beatles� �Please Please Me,� are the


Newcomer Matt Dusk is a new traditionalist. He loves his Sinatra, as all young crooners should, but he�s not interested in a full-blown retro trip. So his debut, Two Shots, studiously avoids an overload of standards -- �Fly Me to the Moon,� the one Great American Songbook classic here, and a radically reworked version of the Beatles� �Please Please Me,� are the only vintage cuts on the album. While the newer material gives Dusk plenty of room to flex his sturdy pipes, the backing tracks deliberately avoid an old-school vibe. The result is a pleasing hybrid of in-the-tradition vocals and contemporary arrangements. Dusk may be throwing his hat into the ring with the Connicks, Bubl�s, and Cincottis of the world, but he�s intent on bringing some fresh air with him.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Aaron Latham
Although he was well on his way to having a successful musical career, Matt Dusk's star certainly got a boost when he appeared on the Fox television reality series, The Casino. As the hired entertainment for Las Vegas' Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino, Dusk upped his visual exposure ante just in time for the release of his Decca Records debut, Two Shots. On The Casino, Dusk's attitude, swagger, good looks, and voice basically pay homage the legendary Rat Pack, and Two Shots is his attempt to recapture that tarnished musical era and polish it up for a new generation. There is no question that Dusk has the musical background and reverence for the style in which he has chosen to sing. In the opening song, "Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad," Dusk channels Sinatra almost to the point of spiritual possession. He does it very well and it gives the listener a chance to hear what it might have sounded like had Sinatra recorded this song. Indeed, Bono and The Edge from U2 wrote the song specifically for Sinatra, but it remained unrecorded by the legend as Sinatra passed away before he could get it committed to disc. Although this quick jog down Frankie Boulevard is a great exercise, it is a little exhausting when turned into a marathon. With each successive song, Dusk holds on to his Rat Pack croon so tightly that he buries his own identity and emotions. On the excellent original "Five," Dusk has the opportunity to simply enhance his own performance with the melancholic spirit of Sinatra's Only the Lonely album, but his connection with the audience wanes as he spends too much time concentrating on the bend and placement of each note instead of letting go and flying by the seat of his emotions. On the other hand, his Rat Pack embracement is utilized to great effect on "The Theme From Loaded Gun," as Dusk's exaggerated vocals enhance this savvy tribute to spy movie theme songs like "Goldfinger." The song is one of several competent originals penned for this disc that attempt to recall a bygone era, and although these new tunes succeed on that level, none of them, with the exception of "Five," leave an indelible impression. Also included are a fairly straightforward version of "Fly Me to the Moon," a lounge-y rendition of the Beatles' "Please Please Me," and a remix version of "Two Shots" that coats the song in colorful electronics. Technically, Two Shots is well written and produced, so it is up to Dusk to take these songs and sell them; and while the talent and the heart are quite apparent, his performances seem distant as he gets caught up in emulating his idols instead of simply learning from them and incorporating that knowledge into his own personality and style. However, this does not mean that Two Shots is not worthy of a listen as it is quality debut that will appeal to anyone who enjoys pop standards. But if he can sift out the ghosts of the past and find his own voice in these songs, he has the chance to create a disc that truly showcases the unique talent of Matt Dusk.

Product Details

Release Date:


  1. Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad
  2. Miracle
  3. Cold As Ice
  4. Lonely Road
  5. The Theme From Loaded Gun
  6. Don't Go Looking
  7. Fly Me To The Moon
  8. Please Please Me
  9. Precious Years
  10. Always
  11. Every Mother's Son
  12. Five
  13. Bonus Track: Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad (Hot Nugget Remix)

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Matt Dusk   Primary Artist,Vocals
Ian Thomas   Drums
Domenic Troiano   Guitar
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra   Musician
Hugh Burns   Guitar
Luis Jardim   Percussion
Mark Kelso   Drums
London Session Orchestra   Musician
Steve Pearce   Bass
Robin Smith   Conductor,Keyboards
Toronto Symphony Orchestra   Musician
Dafnis Prieto   Percussion
Roberto Occhipinti   Bass
Cliff Masterson   Conductor,Keyboards
Steve Macdonald   Saxophone
Steve Anderson   Keyboards

Technical Credits

John Lennon   Composer
Paul McCartney   Composer
Steve Wolfe   Executive Producer
Bono   Composer
Andy Duncan   Producer
Nigel Lowis   Composer,Programming,Producer,Audio Production
Mitch Manker & His Brass Section   Horn Arrangements
Mark Millington   Art Direction
Willi Morrison   Executive Producer
Bob Rosa   Engineer
Robin Smith   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Jeff Wolpert   Engineer
Terrance Lee Sawchuk   Composer,Producer,Vocal Producer
Steve Lee   Composer
Simon Rhodes   Engineer
Ash Howes   Producer
Claire Tomkinson   Engineer
Tom Nichols   Composer
Terrance Sawchuck   Programming,Engineer
Adrian Hall   Engineer
Wayne Hector   Composer
Ron Lopata   Composer
Cliff Masterson   Arranger,Producer,Audio Production
Matt Bartram   Programming
Matt Dusk   Composer,Executive Producer,Art Direction
Steve Pryce   Engineer
Matt Ward   Producer,Remixing
Bart Howard   Composer
Steve Anderson   Arranger,Composer,Programming,Producer

Customer Reviews

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Two Shots 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Matt Dusk is a artist in the true form of the word. Not only is he a wonderful performer full of great stage presence, he genuinely feels the emotions coming from the lyrics and conveys them to every listener's soul. Every melody line is driven with feeling, beautiful phrasing and articulation. Mr.Dusk sings "Five" with such a beautiful tone in his voice and at the same time you can hear his heart crying."Every Mother's Son" he sings with such tenderness, every mother, son, man or woman! could relate and be touched within. This CD is a must buy and his performances are a must see!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This singer is amazing! I just returned to Belgium with this great CD in my suitcase. I was in California for an internship when I heard about him. I am a big fan of jazz singers and it’s been a long time since a singer gave me chills or “chicken skin” like we say in my country lol. You are really lucky to have new singers like him and I am a bit jealous actually… I hope that he will quickly come for concerts or festivals in Europe. Did you know the song ‘Two Shots’ was written by Bono (U2)? This means for me that we can trust in the quality of Matt. I really recommend you to check out Matt Dusk’s album!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I generally listen to all kinds of music and I particularly liked this album. Due to its old classical jazz melodies expressed in a modern fashion. If you also like artists like the Beatles and Bono from U2, you will find the Beatles “Please Please me” and Bono “Two shots” originally written for Frank Sinatra. This album is perfect for quiet romantic moments or when you are in the mood for classical jazz accompanied by a full symphony orchestra. I hope that you enjoy this album as much I do!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Matt Dusk is one of those singers gifted with a voice so powerfully evocative that you find yourself thinking, "Why isn't he more of a sensation?" But give him time. In this world of Britneys and Justins, this young crooner has true talent. His voice is rich and mellow, and his delivery smooth and confident. I consider myself a keen judge of music, but was utterly shocked to find that he is only 24! He sounds as if he has truly lived every word he's singing. The gem of this album is the title track, written by U2's Bono. "Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad" is so Sinatra-esque that you almost expect to see the Chairman himself standing before you. But Dusk has a style all his own. Other standouts on this disk include "Don't Go Looking", a plea to someone hurt by love, a sexy cover version of the Beatles "Please Please Me", and "Five", a stunning ballad which showcases Dusk's vocal abilities at their finest. The only reason I don't give this 5 stars is because I think it would be nice to see him assert his OWN style a little more. That is, on this CD, you'll likely listen and say, "Wow...sounds like Frank." Hopefully, after his next one, we can say, "Sounds like Matt Dusk." Highly Recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recently purchased the debut album by Matt Dusk after seeing him perform on Fox’s new show called “The Casino”. I have been interested in jazz music for a while, but have not purchased many CD’s in this genre. I guess after I saw him perform and demonstrate such a will to bring the casino in the show back to the way Vegas used to be, I thought his CD would be a good investment. While it is his debut CD, I feel as though he has many years of training as a singer, and I was amazed at the artists who have contributed to this project, including Bono from U2, the Beatles (well not directly, but he did cover them), the Toronto Symphonic Orchestra, and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra are both featured on the CD. His talent is confirmed by his ability to carry many different tunes, while he expresses heartfelt emotions through his poetic lyrics.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Matt Dusk's rich, deep voice belting out the tunes on this cd is phenomenal! The man should be a legend and the songs are fantastic ranging from a newbie like "Two Shots of Happy" to good oldies like "Fly Me To The Moon" This release is all around outstanding!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A sophisticated, young voice with soul and sizzle, Matt Dusk brilliantly revives an old generation of Jazz with his new album “Two Shots.” Undoubtedly the next Sinatra, Matt’s music appeals not only to loyal fans of the legend, but also our modern generation of listeners who can appreciate true talent and style. His skill especially shines in the tracks paying tribute to Sinatra and the Beatles, “Fly Me to the Moon” and his own rendition of “Please Please me”, through which he proves that he can dabble in the ranks of timeless artists. But he’s not without his own flavor. With the theme song of the hit reality show “Casino”, Matt’s “Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad” has created a great track that evokes a desire for the Vegas flair and excitement. Matt’s album is a modern classic that can soothe and charm audiences of all ages.