Today those influences still hold true, along with the music of Waylon Jennings, Garth Brooks, Merle Haggard and other country greats. Matt's dream of being a singer became stone cold ambitions one summer on a family vacation in South Florida when he talked his father into letting him enter a talent show. In front of a crowd of strangers Matt sang one of his favorite country songs and the reaction was overwhelming and more proof that being a country music performer was what he was destined to do. After this experience in Florida, Matt began to hone his craft even further by playing locally in his home state, and regionally opening for acts like Charlie Daniels, Joe Diffie, Vern Gosdin, Brian McComas, and Mel McDaniel. The spring of 2005 brought the moment Matt had been waiting and working to reach for many years.
He graduated from high school, packed his bags, and made that promising move to Nashville. He learned quickly that Nashville is not a town that hands out free passes to stardom. It takes hard work and lots of paying your dues up and down the musical trail of bars lining Nashville’s most famous street, Broadway. Matt was ready for the challenge and quickly gained local fame at famous bars like Tootsies, The Stage, Legends Corner and others.
It was humbling to play on the stage of Tootsies where many of his heroes had played in their youth, and to know behind Tootsies majestically stands the Ryman Auditorium, the mother church of country music, waiting to embrace a new generation of country stars. Matt wanted to lead that new generation of country stars while always paying homage to his heroes and their influence with his music. His big break seemed to be on the horizon when in 2006 Matt auditioned at the Wild Horse Saloon for a television series called "Nashville Star" on USA network. From among 20,000 contestants Matt was chosen as one of the 10 contestants. Each week contestants competed for America’s vote and the judge’s approval.
Matt’s strong willed, mysterious, and reserved demeanor lead him to be dubbed ‘The Quite Storm” by co-host Cowboy Troy. "You deserve a record deal," proclaimed Anastasia after Matt sang David Allen Coe's "The Ride," and Phil Vassar and John Rich agreed that the young performer was "a certified badass." Matt’s performance of the Georgia Satellites' song "Keep Your Hands to Yourself" was a definite hit with the judges on an episode. Anastasia and Phil agreed that he showed range and ability, and Naomi gushed that it was Matt's best performance to date. "You've got a quality," she said.
Placing fourth overall in the competition secured Matt a spot on the "Nashville Star" Tour that crossed the country and brought Matt a solid following and fan base. Matt’s fan base has stood strong behind the performer over these past years as he has continued to play shows around the country and has spent a significant amount of time in Nashville writing and recording songs. Matt has used his songwriting as an outlet to tell the up and downs from his own life over the years following the show. While continuing to work hard to attain his goals, a friend at renown booking agency William Morris Endeavor Entertainment who Matt had known nearly ten years, recommended him for an opportunity to audition for a new show called CMT’s Next Superstar. Recognized from his Nashville Star days and for his amazing talent and perseverance in this industry Matt once again was chosen as one of the 10 contestants to compete for a major label record deal in Nashville.
After each episode, would travel to different cities re-airing the show, playing an acoustic set and just hanging out with fans which soon paid off. He won "CMT Next Superstar." Since winning the show, Matt has recorded eight master sides. Four with producer James Stroud and four with producer Phil Odonnell. He has written upwards of one-hundred new songs, and played shows with Little Big Town and Blake Shelton.
He also toured three months with Luke Bryan, Lee Brice, and Josh Thompson on the "CMT on Tour" tour. Matt is continously working, writing and touring to become a name that will go down in history. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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