Wertz uses the melodies of his Missouri childhood as a springboard into an exciting new realm of modern musical possibilities, interpreting his influences in a striking, singular way. As Wertz himself would say, these are the songs he’d want stuck in his head. And that’s a good thing for everyone.
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Matt Wertz: Hi. My name is Matt Wertz, and this is my bio. Usually these aren’t written by the artist, at least at this level- but as I was trying to decide who could tell my story the best, I felt like that person was me. So, I’d like to be the one to tell you where I come from, why I write music, what I’ve seen happen along the way, and where I see things going according to my finite vision.
I’m from Liberty, Missouri, but have called Nashville, Tennessee, home for the last seven years. It seems fitting that I would be writing my own biography on the cusp of my first major label release, just as I did eight years ago before releasing my first independent album. This time, though, I’m not trying to play it off like I didn’t write it.
I grew up in a home where I was encouraged to explore and dive into whatever grabbed my attention. Sports? Sure. Art? You bet. Girls? Yep. Music? Obviously. There was no expectation other than to do my best “and let God do the rest,” as my Mom always says. With that kind of freedom end encouragement, I did just that—I played sports for the fun of them, made art because I loved to create, and eventually, I wrote and performed music… because I had to.
My love for visual art led me eight hours from home to the University of Illinois, where I studied Industrial Design. As a result of that experience, music became my respite—my escape from the responsibility of class work. Dorm life served to provide a small, built–in audience who graciously embraced my first attempts at songwriting. Before I knew it, I was recording versions of those songs on my roommate’s computer and burning copies for my new cohabiting fans. Eventually I started playing concerts outside the walls of Scott Hall and made the leap to register my name as a dot-com. That may not seem like a big deal today, but at the time, those were the early, shaky steps I took toward a full-fledged career in the music industry.
Feisty Folk is the best description cooked up thus far to describe L.A.based singer- songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sara Dee. Her incomparable and vintage vocal stylings are reminiscent of high-profile artists such as Amy Winehouse and Melody Gardot. In 2011, Dee produced and released her debut album, "In Joy," and in 2013, "Born Curious," with over 500 albums independently sold. Dee has since gained an international fan base and shared the stage with Golden Globe and Emmy winner Vonda Shepard and 3x Platinum Billboard Artist Anna Nalick. Her most recent album features fellow Los Angeles-based artists, including piano man Aaron Beaumont (of Mots Nouveaux, Milan Records), who LA Weekly calls "a new Elton John." Dee's melodies range "from beautiful and soft to severe and raw" - a 1920's speak-easy flare with flavors of an acoustic/gospel-based sound.
Dee has enjoyed radio play on KRUU FM with her two singles "We Can Be Love" and "Make Believe," (In Joy, 2011) also catching the attention of Dirty Hippie Radio who wrote, "beautiful, retaining a twang of the rawness she possesses... an almost eerie polka gives way to a piano- and organ-based jazz-blues beat. Straight from the go, Dee makes it clear she's got pipes. A voice strong enough to clean the rust off nails... Pretty meets gritty. Tribulation finds hope."
Tyler Lyle: Growing up, Tyler Lyle vowed never to go into music when he got older. "As a kid we were always taking family trips to Nashville so my dad could play the Bluebird Cafe or attend some songwriting symposium, and I resented the city for stealing my vacations away," recalls the West Georgia native. But at age 15, he haphazardly picked up his father's guitar, quickly mastered a few chords, and soon started writing his own songs. In 2011 Lyle released his indie-folk debut "The Golden Age & The Silver Girl," solely through Bandcamp—then re-released the top-five seller the following year to find it named one of the top 10 albums of 2012 on NPR's World Cafe. In 2013, he was awarded the Abe Oleman Scholarship for songwriting presented by ASCAP and the Songwriter's Hall of Fame. He is currently at work on a new full length album.