Matlen Starsley Band: Rollin’ Again

You can preview and purchase “Rollin’ Again” on the band’s Website.

I listen to quite a few genres of music, and I always look forward to discovering a new band like Matlen Starsley Band…good, solid, blues and outlaw-country, roots-rock, southern-tinged rock and roll. If the album sounds like music that would come from a group of seasoned veterans, it’s because they’re exactly that.

Lead vocalist Dennis “Dollar” Matechuck…as documented on the band’s Website…“has played thousands of shows and written and sang in a number of different musical genres, everything from traditional country to heavy metal, the common thread running through his writing and performances and perhaps the best description of his work is that it is ”honest, heartfelt and whiskey smooth.” That’s a pretty apt description. When his voice dove-tails with a tight, well-structured guitar solo, it’s a sound you know and love, and not an easy one to pull off successfully. This is a band that sounds brand new and like an old friend, all at once.

Drummer/Vocalist Jim Wesley enjoyed a lengthy tenure with Bryan Adams, from 1979-1984. What followed was an extended sabbatical, until he crossed paths with Kevin Star and Dennis Matechuk and their band Bad Allen and the Muscle Cats, which led to the formation of the Matlen Starsley Band.

Bassist/Vocalist Don Lennox’s love of music began at an early age…at ten years old he played drums, guitar, and bass. Inspired by the bass lines of John Paul Jones and Chris Squire, the bass became his instrument of choice. He’s a veteran of bands such as Infinity, Paris, and The Ray Roper Band.

Guitarist/Vocalist Kevin “Bubba” Starr was a member of the ‘70s power pop band Dick Twacy. In the ‘80s, played with the well-known ZZ Top tribute band Fandango, then formed the country-rock band Good Cowboys Gone Bad with long-time writing partner Dennis Matechuk. Kevin continued to gig and record with a number of local rock and blues bands until the creation of the Matlen Starsley Band.

Multi-instrumentalist (Keyboards, Accordion, Guitar)/Vocalist Darryl Herbert moved to the Vancouver area in the early ‘90s and has since played with an exhaustive list of top-notch west coast musicians and recording artists.

The album confidently glides across the genres named above, from the big, beefy roadhouse opener “Short Ride On A Long Haul” through tracks like “Sweet Touch” that recall the seemingly effortless Southern swing of Atlanta Rhythm Section, and “Your Love Ain’t Special At All” that would sound right at home on a Fabulous Thunderbirds album. When you listen to “Rollin’ Again,” you’ll recognize it as the work of musicians who have gigged aggressively over decades. You don’t get to sound this good until you’ve been road tested, and the Matlen Starsley Band passes with flying colors.