Fresh Blood

Fresh Blood

by Matthew E. White


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Fresh Blood

Before he became a frontman, Matthew E. White cut his teeth as a jazz composer and arranger. Although his solo records are adamantly anti-avant-garde, they nevertheless speak to these pronounced structural strengths. This is especially true of Fresh Blood, the 2015 album designed as a deeper, richer, sleeker sequel to his 2012 debut, Big Inner. White doesn't swap styles on Fresh Blood, choosing to stick with the Southern soul and hazy Laurel Canyon pop heard not only on Big Inner but on his stellar work for Natalie Prass' 2015 debut. His touch is assured, even seductive. Fresh Blood marches forth at a deliberate pace, its arrangements dripping strings, horns, and backing vocals, a tapestry so smooth and enveloping that it's little wonder White fades away in its honeyed contours. Then again, as a singer/songwriter, Matthew E. White isn't exactly a forceful presence. He may be physically big but he has a gentle, precise voice that always plays as another element in his arrangements, never drawing attention to what his songs actually say. As Fresh Blood is somewhat more lyrically ambitious than its predecessor -- "Tranquility" is written for the late actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, "Holy Moly" is about abuse -- this is theoretically problematic, but in practice the languid procession of sweet, Southern-fried singer/songwriter classicisms is alluring. With a sound so luscious, Fresh Blood is hard to resist, and if it doesn't quite offer the lasting sustenance it presumes, it nevertheless tastes mighty fine.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/10/2015
Label: Domino
UPC: 0887828030927
catalogNumber: 80309
Rank: 146286

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Matthew E. White   Primary Artist,Guitar,Piano
John Lilley   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Kim Ryan   Viola
Jason Scott   Clarinet,Flute,Tenor Saxophone
Bob Miller   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Giustino Riccio   Conga
Pinson Chanselle   Percussion,Drums
Cameron Ralston   Bass
Melissa Sunderland   Violin
Thomas Stevens   Viola
Stephanie Barrett   Celli
Reggie Pace   Trombone
Marcus Tenney   Trumpet
Reggie Chapman   Trombone
Phil Cook   Piano
JC Kuhl   Bass Clarinet,Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Trey Pollard   Guitar,Pedal Steel Guitar
Bryan Hooten   Trombone
Treesa Gold   Violin
Ellen Cockerham   Violin
Anna Bishop   Violin
Naima Burrs   Violin
Lauramarie Laskey   Celli
Katie Woolridge   Violin
Johanna Beaver   Viola
Faith Hofman   Violin
Beth Almore   Celli
Amanda Ellerbe   Violin
Rick Rieger   Flute,Alto Flute,Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Rachel Velvikis   French Horn

Technical Credits

Travis Robertson   Art Direction
Matthew E. White   Composer,Producer,Horn Arrangements
Trey Pollard   Producer,Engineer,String Arrangements,String Conductor
Joel Speasmaker   Art Direction
Andy C. Jenkins   Composer
My Larsdotter   Composer

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