Talented openly gay singer/songwriter Matt Alber is returning to Chicago and this time it’s at the Jackhammer. Bringing with him is a song set from his new album entitled Constant Crows. Nunn on the Run talked to him before his arrival.
Jerry Nunn: Hi, Matt. Where are you calling in from?
Matt Alber: I live in Seattle.
JN: I remember now on Vashon Island.
MA: We have been jealous of your weather there. It‘s cold here.
JN: Well, you will be in Chicago soon. The new album is acoustic so very stripped down. What went into the decision to do that?
MA: After touring for so long with just my guitar and piano I just got used to the songs being simple and acoustic. I really like them that way. When I was writing the new ones I guess I just had that in my ear. I started with a guitar and a vocal. I added around it with piano and what was necessary.
JN: I liked the opening track “Velvet Goldmine.”
MA: Oh, thanks! My boyfriend and I wrote that song together. It was one that I had written but hadn’t completed yet. He liked the song and suggested we finish it together. We sat down at the kitchen table with a grocery sack and a sharpie then we finished the middle section.
JN: You are collaborating together like Sonny & Cher.
MA: More like Sonny & Sonny!
JN: You covered Madonna’s “Take a Bow” on the record. Are you a big fan?
MA: One of my very first CDs was Bedtimes Stories. I have always loved that song so much. When I get tired of working on my own songs it is nice to sing someone else’s songs for a change. I sat down with that one and it came together really fast. I did that recording on the last day before I finished the record. It was a last minute decision.
JN: It is a nice take on it. It sounds more Matt than Madonna.
MA: That is good!
JN: Your brother is on this record as well.
MA: Yes, I have wanted to sing with him for so long. I sent him a plane ticket and told him to get off work and come here to write a song together. We did it in two days. He’s releasing his solo stuff right now. His name as a musician is Lou Jane. That is his music name.
JN: Why did he change his name?
MA: You will have to interview him about that. There was some girl he was dating that wanted to name her first son Lou. I don’t know where he got the Jane from. He’s a ladies man.
JN: Fans can purchase the album on iTunes correct? It debuted at number two there.
MA: Yes, or they can go to www.mattalber.com there is a link to buy the actual CD.
JN: You have played Jackhammer before and packed the house.
MA: This is my third time. This is the anniversary for The Flesh Hungry Dog Show.
JN: It was great seeing you perform at Schubas last time so looking forward to seeing you at Jackhammer.
MA: See you then!
More of Matt can be found at www.mattalber.com.