Matt Suggs was half of the great Kansas-via-Visalia, CA, pop band Butterglory, which recorded four albums for Merge and toured our nation many times with the likes of Superchunk, the Wedding Present, and Neutral Milk Hotel.
Amigo Row was Matt’s sophomore LP, and there was no slump in sight. If anything, Suggs grew even more as a songwriter and arranger. Amigo Row is a supremely confident selection of songs and, with the able assistance of producer Brian Paulson, Suggs created an album that trumps his critically acclaimed debut, Golden Days Before They End.
Rich in texture and emotion, Amigo Row conjures images of dusty backwater towns where no matter how serene and normal the surfaces may appear, something slightly off-kilter or wicked is most likely hiding just below. Matt paints his characters with abstract brushstrokes, and sets scenes that are reminiscent of film noir or spaghetti westerns. The characters and sets might be a little bit out of focus, but they are still vividly intriguing. The songs on Amigo Row have a distinct western flavor, but are rooted firmly in rock, with possible comparisons to be made with the works of Flying Burrito Brothers/Gram Parsons and the dustier trails of The Byrds. Traces of Ray Davies or Nick Drake can be heard in the easy saunter of the vocals, but Matt Suggs is definitely his own man, cutting his own swathe across the rock landscape as a songwriter of considerable gifts and talent.
For more Matt Suggs, check out White Whale on Merge.