LISTEN: Iowa roots songwriter delivers stripped-down emotion on newest song
Tenured Iowa roots and blues songwriter Matt Woods captures unfiltered emotion on his haunting new track, “Always Tired.”
A three-time Iowa Blues Challenge winner, Woods returned to the studio this year to track the five-minute cut, part of his upcoming 10-song effort, “Tired and Dirty.” Due out Dec. 12, the album marks Woods’ third released as an independent solo artist and first since 2015’s “Sawdust and Gasoline.”
Woods teams a foot-stomping guitar rhythm with howling vocals that proclaim “Always tired, always dirty too. Just tryin’ to make a little money, just to bring you.” Listen to “Tired and Dirty,” streaming via the Register, below (and download the track for free here).
As for the song’s inspiration, Woods tells the Register that “I try to be efficient and simple and write about my experience. Things that are derived from my experience. That’s the only thing I know how to do.”
The 39-year-old tracked “Tired and Dirty” at the Spacement in Ames with local engineer Byron Dudley. Woods and Dudley cut the album live, leaving little room for overdubbing steel guitar, but otherwise capturing the jagged sound as it’s delivered on stage.
It was as “natural” as a studio experience could get, Dudley said.
“This really was one of those situations where he came in, sat down and just played the album as people are going to hear it,” Dudley said. “No fussing about, it really was all about playing the songs.”
Raised on Motown and classic hip-hop, Woods wrote entirely original music for the release, opting not to cover favorite songwriters. “Tired and Dirty” channels traditional, guitar-driven songwriting akin to the folk and Americana stories passed down not by digital files — but from head-to-heart.
“This is a tradition that’s been around for 100 years,” Woods said. “I don’t want it to go away.”
And you’ll likely hear the songs performed live in a local watering hole. Woods books about 125 gigs a year in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Missouri, with no plans of slowing in 2019.
Upcoming Matt Woods shows:
- Dec. 12: Lefty’s Live Music in Des Moines, with the Butter Cow Blues Band
- Dec. 22: Rooster in Boone Iowa, solo
- Dec. 27: La Poste in Perry, solo
- Dec. 29: Shiny Top Brewery in Ft. Dodge, with Malcomb Wells and the Two-Timers
Find more information at mattwoodsmusic.com.