Live at THE STAGE DOOR
The Suitcase Junket is Matt Lorenz: artist, tinkerer, swamp yankee, one-man band. His is the road-worn voice rising over the grind of a tube-amped dumpster guitar, and the wild double pitches of throat singing. From Lorenz’ penchant for thrift and ingenuity comes this full-length Signature Sounds debut of original rock anthems, mountain ballads, blues manifestos and dance-hall festivity. It is magnificent, rousing, image-driven songwriting, laid out on instruments built of broken bottles, thrift store forks, dried bones, gas cans, shoes, saw blades, a toy keyboard, salvaged instruments, and an overhead compartment’s worth of luggage.
Matt was raised in Cavendish, Vermont, the son of schoolteachers. He learned to sing by copying his sister Kate; the siblings are two-thirds of the touring trio Rusty Belle. Lorenz graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 2004, having taught himself to throat-sing, inspired by a South Indian cooking class. On moving day, he pulled a guitar, filled with mold and worse for wear, from a dorm dumpster. He fixed it up and started pulling songs out of it. That was the beginning.
Since then, The Suitcase Junket has built a powerful fan base in his native New England and far beyond.
The latest album from The Suitcase Junket, Mean Dog, Trampoline is populated by characters in various states of reverie: leaning on jukeboxes, loitering on dance floors, lying on the bottoms of empty swimming pools in the sun. Despite being deeply attuned to the chaos of the world, singer/songwriter/ multi instrumentalist Matt Lorenz imbues those moments with joyful wonder, an endless infatuation with life’s most subtle mysteries. And as its songs alight on everything from Joan Jett to moonshine to runaway kites, Mean Dog, Trampoline makes an undeniable case for infinite curiosity as a potent antidote to jadedness and despair.
Produced by Steve Berlin (Jackie Greene, Rickie Lee Jones, Leo Kottke) of Los Lobos, Mean Dog, Trampoline marks a deliberate departure from the self recorded, homespun approach of The Suitcase Junket’s previous efforts. In creating the album, Lorenz pulled from a fantastically patchwork sonic palette, shaping his songs with elements of jangly folk, fuzzed out blues, oddly textured psych rock. Engineered by Justin Pizzoferrato (Dinosaur Jr., Speedy Ortiz) and mixed by Vance Powell (Jack White, Houndmouth), Mean Dog, Trampoline rightly preserves The Suitcase Junket’s unkempt vitality, but ultimately emerges as his most powerfully direct album so far.