The Matchsellers are Kansas City grassers with an interesting backstory. For the past decade they have offered original bluegrass music to midwestern audiences, but the two principals, fiddler Julie Bates and guitarist Andrew Morris, first met while both were on Fulbright Scholarships in Leipzig, Germany. Morris and Bates were serving as cultural ambassadors overseas, and despite both being acoustic musicians from the same part of the central US, had never met. The two have been together ever since.
With a new album, The Wishful Thinker’s Hall of Fame, due to hit October 28, we are pleased to debut a live performance video today for one of the tracks, Time to Get a Straight Job. It finds Julie and Andrew with their touring group, Brian McCarty on mandolin and Brandon Day on bass.
Now anyone who has even entertained the possibility of being a full time musician has probably come to grips with the theme of this song. When you are in your late teens and early twenties, it may not take a whole lot to keep body and soul together, and the thrill of being dedicated wholly to your art is impossible to discount. But eating regularly and paying bills on time has its own allure.
Andrew offered a somewhat cryptic answer when asked to describe the song’s intent.
“I think a time comes in a lot of bluegrass musician’s careers when they consider leaving the music to find more stable work. A home and financial security are very appealing after years of roughing it out on the road. At least that’s what it was like for me… This is a song about getting a straight job and then dying, and dying again, and being reincarnated as a frog. Not much more to it than that.”
Brandon, who also works as a jazz bassist in Kansas City, was more circumspect. “I had the exact opposite feeling, to get to where I am in music.”
Without regard to frogs of any kind, here is the video. See what you think.
The full album was recorded mostly live in only two days, and The Matchsellers have scheduled a pair of secret record release shows for October 29 and 30 in Kansas City. It’s not a complete secret, as the location will be revealed when you purchase tickets online for $20, which includes a digital copy of The Wishful Thinkers Hall of Fame album.
For more information about The Matchsellers, visit the band online.