Sometimes if you travel just off the beaten path, you can find some of the best country music. The last few months have had major releases in country music that shadowed over some great music. You may have heard Matt Kennon's song "The Call" back in 2009 off of his CD "Matt Kennon". Since then, Matt has released two albums on Roaddawg Records. The latest "Makin' Music That Matters" is doing just that. Matt wrote 8 of the 13 songs about real life experiences and the other five came from people who hit the same heart string that Matt Kennon is able to do in his writing. Matt said this about the songs on the release
"We truly believe there is one or more songs on this album
that the listener will relate to...I could write and record
fictitous songs, but in my heart, I believe fans are longing
for the Truth. Everyone has a story, songs come from stories.
These are mine..."
The rapiness present in Kennon's voice aids to the hurt and raw emotion of the songs. Some of the songs have been sitting in Matt's back pocket for over 8 years until finally finding that perfect spot on this album. Usually I would pick just a few songs to focus on for reviewing purposes, but every song is so unique on this release that I am going to do it justice with a full breakdown. My favorites from the record are marked with an asterisk (*).
1 - Beautiful Cry - Jami Grooms, Alex Dooley, Shane Thompson - Written about that moment when you are so happy, you let out a "Beautiful Cry," this song a great song to remind you of how amazing life can be. From a wedding, beating cancer, a child being born, to a soldier coming home some things are just worth being so happy you could cry.
*2 - If I Was Any Kinda Man - Aaron Scherz, Matt Kennon - Matt wrote this one about his biological parents. Although his parents had divorced, his biological father would not let Matt's mother move on. "If I was any kind of man I'd let that woman go, move it down the road, and I wouldn't look back." This would be a great song to blast and sing along to after a bad breakup.
*3 - That's Love - Lonnie Williams, Dave Brainard, Kenny Royster - "When you sacrifice for someone else and you put them before yourself. If you don't think about what you're giving up - that's love." This piano and strings driven song shows a slightly different side of Matt Kennon. The song actually is so great that it landed him his first record deal. I could see this song being recorded by a more mainstream artist such as Phil Vassar also. Definitely a big stand out on the record.
*4 - You Had To Pick On Me - Jami Grooms, Garret Parris, Matt Kennon - With bullying taking a big place in many student's lives, Matt felt compelled to write this song. I have put a video produced by a 12 year old boy at the top of this review. The video just adds to the song on a words can't describe. The song is Kennon's latest single - be sure to tell radio to play it.
5 - Nobody To Miss - Darryl Burgess, Matt Kennon - When you need a good pick-me-up, Matt delivers that with this song. After a loss of any kind, this song projects the message that life is better when you don't need to worry about missing them. You will meet again upstairs.
*6 - You Won't Hurt Me Anymore - Lisa Carver, Frank Myers, Matt Kennon - Everyone hopes that all relationships will work out in the end. This song is a great ballad about how Matt is doing better without having the problems with his father. He had always hoped for a relationship, but after meeting up with him, realized sometimes goodbyes are a good thing.
7 - Who I Ain't - Justin Lantz, Jamie Paulin - In Matt's words "This song is all about redemption and at that Judgement day that the Good Lord knows who you really are regardless of your sins and all of your wrongdoings." I couldn't explain it better myself. Not everyone is perfect, but you are worth it!
8 - We Don't Talk About The War - Rich Fagan, Matt Kennon - As many country singers do, Matt has toured many Army bases over his years. He wrote this song as a song for all veterans or those actively serving. No matter what the soldiers see, they are all humble just to say it was their job to save our nation.
9 - Wake Up Dancin' - Gary Duffey, Angie Russell, John Colgin - Unfortunately many people eventually witness someone with a terminal illness. This is a song about a man on his last day who wants to have end on a high note. He is headed up to go see his wife one more time where he will finally get that last dance.
10 - Same Hometown - Darryl Burgess, Matt Kennon - Have you ever met someone that you feel like you have known your whole life? That is exactly what Matt wrote this song about. As he tours the nation he finds many towns that could be like his hometown.
*11 - It Ain't My Time - Noah Gordon, Matt Kennon - Matt has had a lot of close calls in his life. This is an uplifting song that tells you every day is a new page. It ain't your time to leave this earth, so just keep trucking along.
12 - Follow Me - Tom Grant, Roger Allan Wade - Taking a more folk spin, Matt picked this song for the message behind it. "It's all about finding true love and chasing your dreams together" said Matt. After you find that love would they wait for you, stay with you and pray for you?
*13 - The Call (acoustic) - Jeremy Campbell, Matt Kennon, Noah Gordon - Matt's debut single that started it all. Written about someone ready to give up until they realize how much others care, this song carries an uplifting message. Matt wanted an acoustic version on this album to really focus on the lyrics and message behind the song. "Who knows, they mights be glad you called!"
I STRONGLY recommend clicking over to your favorite digital retailer and buying this album. It is a shame how many albums like this get pushed back on the industry's desks for a more popular artist. You will definitely regret not purchasing a song or two. If you want to keep up with Matt Kennon, be sure to follow him on twitter @MattKennon or head over to Facebook.com/MattKennonMusic. He would love hearing your opinions of his music.