On Friday, June 30th Matt Deal will grace the stage at the Sweet Shoppe in downtown Lewisburg. Matt grew up in Welch, WV with a steady diet of classics from every genre thanks to his parents’ glorious record/music collection, which included The Beatles, Motown, Country, Classic Rock, Funk, Folk and everything in between was in that collection. At age 13, Matt got his first acoustic guitar and as the teenage years took hold, so did a number of newer/weirder influences such as Nirvana, Sublime, The Dead Milkmen, Primus, Queens Of The Stone Age, Radiohead, Django Reinhardt and many more. All these influences started to shape a songwriting style that was not satisfied to linger too long on any one sound or emotion. In his early 20s Matt started playing shows around his hometown and found that he loved it. So far in his radio career, Matt has WON 4 awards from the West Virginia Broadcaster’s Association. Get to know Matt one-on-one with our Q&A:
I really appreciate the chance to tell your readers about myself. I hope to party with you and your readers as soon as possible. – Matt Deal
What is your favorite instrument?
Oddly enough, the cello, which I can’t play. I can play guitar, bass, a little bit of keyboard, ukulele, some dulcimer, and recently I’ve picked up drums, but I haven’t tried the cello yet. They are quite expensive. My Dad always said he thought the violin sounded like the most soulful instrument to him. I would argue cello, but I think it may be a tie.
What do fans usually take away from your shows?
Apparently, that I’m funny. I didn’t plan it that way, but you have to say stuff between songs and when you break strings and such and I’ve always tried to win people over with slightly inappropriate humor, so that just kind of came out on stage and worked. So, I don’t really fight the urge to speak as much as I used to and people don’t seem to mind.
What is your genre?
I guess I would say Alternative in general, but I like to sway in different directions. I have a song called “Heathen Baptism” that’s kinda bluegrassy, then I have a tune called “Drunk at the Beach” that channels my love of Queens of the Stone Age and it goes on like that with the rest of songs. I have a lot of respect for bands like Ween that can sound completely different from song to song. I want that kind of variety, but still with sort of an underlying style that ties it all together.
Do you tour?
Recently I’ve been on a bit of a tear across southern WV, southwestern VA, and NC and it’s been amazingly fun. There’s a lot of shows lined up for this summer and I hopes it rolls right into fall.
What is your favorite, most memorable show?
Every year I host a charity concert in early December called the Can Jam. We charge folks $5 or 5 canned food items for admission and then we have a few bands, and we give away raffle prizes donated by local businesses, and all the money gets donated to a great charity here in Bluefield called the Bluefield Union Mission (www.bluefieldunionmission.com). Every year we’ve grown and I am so thankful for everything that has come with it. All the bands donate their time and I’ve made some of my best friends in music and life doing this event. So, the memories from that are the kind I hope I keep forever. Also, I once opened for Molly Hatchet at a 9/11 tribute show. That last sentence is inexplicably true.
Have you played in Lewisburg before?
I have and I love it! I’ve played a few times at the Asylum and recently I played for a wedding reception at The French Goat. I haven’t played at the Sweet Shoppe so I’m very excited. I’ve heard great things from musician friends that have played there and The French Goat staff had kind words as well.
What do you like about Lewisburg?
What’s not to like? Great venues, great food, great beer, great crowds and when I was there most recently I got my first chance to walk around downtown and saw so many things I wanted to do, including playing in that water fountain in the park. I would have, but I didn’t have trunks with me and you know, people would judge me because I’m an adult.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
As time goes on I only seem to be more and more surrounded by music. I don’t see that trend changing any time soon.
When he’s not working or making music, Matt tells us he spends most of his time with his daughter/favorite person in the world, Sophie. He is also passionate about cooking, cheese, politics, and mildly offensive and/or offensively cheesy jokes. Follow the artist on facebook.com/mattdealmusic, instagram.com/jmdeal, and twitter.com/thatmattdealguy
Also this month at the Sweet Shoppe, don’t miss Rob Jones on first Friday, June 2nd, 9:30pm; Richard Hefner on Friday, June 16th at 9:30pm; and Shayar (pictured above) on Friday, June 23rd at 9:30pm. Every Tuesday is Ladies Night and ladies get ½ price drinks! Every Thursday it’s Karaoke with DJ Swerv’n Irvine, 10pm. Saturdays is DJ Sid, 10pm-2am. Happy Hour is always fun, which is every Monday-Friday with 50 cents off domestics and $1 off mixed drinks and shooters! The Sweet Shoppe is located at 125 W. Washington St. in downtown Lewisburg. Follow them at facebook.com/sweetshoppewv
– HashtagWV, June 2017
HASHTAGWV ART & ENTERTAINMENT Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Christina Entenmann-Edwards has been a WV resident since September 2008. She was born and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and is no stranger to hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2006, she graduated from Quinnipiac University (Hamden, Connecticut), Cum Laude, with a B.A. in History. In 2010, she graduated with an M.B.A. from Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia). In February 2012, Christina launched HashtagWV as the area’s first full-color, free arts and entertainment tabloid + online platform. Christina completed the Leadership West Virginia class of 2021, which is an innovative program that grows, engages, and mobilizes leaders to ignite a life passion to move West Virginia forward.