Get this crazy baby off my head!


Matt Schofield (The Matt Schofield Trio)

Matt Schofield (The Matt Schofield Trio) - Ear To The Ground - 2007 - Nugene

The UK has produced the best blues guitarist from any country in decades. Schofield's fourth and best CD is packed with the sort of blues-meets-funky r&b that recalls a golden era when genuine, intuitive rhythm sections roamed the earth and solos came from the heart. © LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS

Schofield elevates himself above easy comparison with legends such as Stevie Ray Vaughan by actually showing a greater musical range than late Texan guitar icon. Indeed the best thing about the album is its sheer variety. © HMV CHOICE

Born in Manchester, England, in 1977, British singer/guitarist Matt Schofield was not around during the British blues-rock explosion of the '60s (as in Cream, Ten Years After, and the Yardbirds). Schofield isn't old enough to remember when Eric Clapton was with Cream, and he was only three when Led Zeppelin broke up in 1980. But thanks to recordings, he has been able to absorb many of the great blues, rock, soul, and jazz artists who came from previous generations — and this excellent CD demonstrates that the recordings of Schofield's predecessors have taught him well. Ear to the Ground, like his previous release, Siftin' Thru Ashes, is full of healthy influences ranging from Chess Records to British blues-rock to Robben Ford to Stevie Ray Vaughan. Schofield is blues-oriented, but he is far from a blues purist and does not try to hide his appreciation of rock, jazz, soul, and funk. In fact, one of the great things about Ear to the Ground is the way Schofield is able to draw on both the toughness of blues-rock and the sophistication of blues-jazz. Schofield packs a muscular blues-rock punch on "Heart Don't Need a Compass," "Troublemaker," and "Someone," but his jazz chops assert themselves pleasingly well on "Searchin' (Give Me a Sign)" and the instrumental "Move Along." And from a jazz standpoint, the fact that Schofield leads an organ trio on Ear to the Ground is a definite plus; the organ trio, after all, is a format that is synonymous with Hammond B-3 icons like Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, Jimmy McGriff, and Richard "Groove" Holmes. Those who enjoyed Siftin' Thru Ashes will be glad to know that Schofield is equally captivating on Ear to the Ground. © Alex Henderson, allmusic.com

Another name that may be unfamiliar to many rock/blues/jazz fans. Only thirty two years old, Mancunian, Matt Schofield plays like a blues veteran. This is a wonderful album of blues rock and jazz. Matt is a sublime guitarist, and "Ear To The Ground" is a sublime album. Matt's small back up band are also superb musicians. The following quote is taken from the Nugene record label, - "Schofield’s guitar tone and distinctive phrasing have become highly influential, culminating in Guitar & Bass magazine (3/07) listing Schofield in their Top Ten British Bluesmen of All Time, an accolade that places him alongside the likes of Eric Clapton and Peter Green (although some 30+ years their junior!)". This quote cannot be argued with, and it goes some way to explaining Matt Schofield's importance of as a musician today. There is no need to say any more about Matt Schofield, or "Ear To The Ground". This great album should be heard by anybody remotely interested in great music. If you only buy one album this year, buy "Ear To The Ground", or his 2009 "Heads, Tails & Aces" release. "Ear To The Ground" is VHR by A.O.O.F.C


1. Pack it Up - Chandler
2. Troublemaker - Schofield
3. Ear to the Ground - Schofield/Whittick
4. Heart don't need a Compass - Henderson/Schofield/Whittick
5. Once in a While - Schofield/Whittick
6. Room at the Back - Henderson, Jenkins
7. Someone - Schofield, Whittick
8. Searchin' (Give me a Sign) - Schofield
9. Move Along - Henderson, Jenkins, Schofield
10. Cookie Jar - Henderson, Schofield, Whittick
11. When it all comes Down - Jennings, Sample


Matt Schofield - Guitar, Vocals
Jonny Henderson - Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer Piano, Clavinet
Evan Jenkins - Drums, Percussion
‘Big Pete’ van der Pluym - Harmonica (on Track 7)


With this internationally distributed album and a North American debut at the Montreal Jazz Festival (July 2007), Matt Schofield is the new ambassador of blues guitar and is being talked of as the finest blues guitarist to have emerged in Europe for several generations, perhaps even in the world. Britain's guitarist magazine describes Schofield's guitar playing as 'dynamite', picking him as the only non -American in their review of the future of blues guitar. From the start of the first cut I understand all this favourable reviews about this new blues guitar sensation. Let's get straight to the point. Matt Schofield plays the blues like the blues should be played. Pack it up immediately blows your brains out while Troublemaker is already one of my all time favourite bluestracks after listening to it once. A hammond player (Jonny Henderson) giving it that sleazy texture while holding down left hand bass lines and a drummer (Evan Jenkins) shuffling the groove. This Manchester born artist definitely knows his blues roots giving me hints to the great Stevie Ray Vaughn and the legendary Robben Ford. Schofield however keeps his authenticity. Anyone with a heart for blues music ... I can tell you without doubt. I've seen the future of the blues, and it's name is Matt Schofield. Go and buy this record ! © A Teach review , © www.jazzandsoul.eu

The Matt Schofield Trio’s fourth CD and undoubtedly the best so far, packed full of their trademark blues-meets-funk-and-jazz. There are also some great songs and catchy melodies. In the intervening eighteen months since his first studio album, Schofield’s guitar tone and distinctive phrasing have become highly influential, culminating in Guitar & Bass magazine (3/07) listing Schofield in their Top Ten British Bluesmen of All Time, an accolade that places him alongside the likes of Eric Clapton and Peter Green (although some 30+ years their junior!). Both Schofield’s earlier releases, The Trio Live and Siftin’ Thru Ashes gained a maximum four star rating in the Penguin Book of Blues Recordings – one of only two UK artists to achieve this distinction (and one of relatively few out of the 1,000+ artists worldwide included in the book). © 2005 Nugene Records. All rights reserved

Arguably the Most Influential British Blues Guitarist Since the Sixties, this Fast Rising Guitar Star (Top Ten All-time British Blues Guitarists Guitar and Bass Magazine) Releases his Finest CD to Date. Power, Emotion and Exemplary Musicianship by Schofield and his Regular Line Up of Jonny Henderson (Hammond Organ) and Evan Jenkins (Drums). The Trio's Trademark Blues and Funk with a Touch of Rock is Here in Spades with Nine Original Numbers and Re-workings of Classic Freddie King and Bb King Songs. © 1996-2009, Amazon.com

Matt Schofield is a comparatively young guitarist/vocalist whose star is most definitely on the ascendant. In recent years he has garnered some amazing press from all over the world, and has been hailed by fans and critics alike as British Blues' great new guitar hope. Crucially, though, the word on the street is that Matt has a real chance of breaking through in the States as well as Europe. Musically, The Matt Schofield Trio are highly unusual in not having a bass player: instead, the bottom end is covered not only by Matt's sophisticated chordal approach, but Jonny Henderson's classic collection of Rhodes, Hammond and Clavinet keyboards. Whilst 'Ear To The Ground' is only Matt's second studio, such is his stellar reputation that expectation are indeed high: so has he delivered? 'Pack It Up' opens the album with some funky clean guitar riffing, Hammond stabs, groovy clavinet and stinging lead. Right from the off Matt lays his cards on the table and we are you know we are in for a deeply groovy, funky journey through a jazz blues musical landscape. Matt's vocals are firmly rooted in the tradition of SRV and stateside blues vocalists and he has an authoritative voice that belies his comparatively tender years. Over some cool jazzy changes, Matt unleashes lashings of hot rodded strat tones, and his eloquent blues lead lines exhibit an uncommon harmonic sophistication: with his almost Robben Ford and Larry Carltonesque approach combined with a fiery SRV attack and singing vibrato Matt lays claim to a genuinely original guitar voice in a genre where much tends to be rehashings of players gone before. Great stuff! 'Troublemaker' is an up tempo almost big band shuffle with loads of Jonny Henderson's Hammond C3 organ trading with Matt's relaxed improvisations creating a track that will no doubt go down a storm live. Title track 'Ear To The Ground' is another up tempo jazz-blues fest with some great syncro lines and a melodic chorus that moves through several different moods and grooves - and with a great, tight and economical solo the high standard continues. Matt's definitely one of those players who doesn't indulge in mere show boating - rather he has a more considered approach that doesn't waste a single note and, with a 'very in the pocket' sense of timing and liquidy phrasing, throughout the album his playing is a veritable master class in modern blues guitar. 'Heart Don't Need A Compass' is a cleverly arranged mid tempo track with lots of emphasis on Evan Jenkins tight and airy drums, a great question and answer solo section, and more of those great changes - some very Robben Fordesque double stops in the solo here, and with a nice light feel rhythmically this is great example of band dynamics places. 'Once In A While' strats with a lazy back beat, nice mellow Hammond and some of those 'Need Your Love So Bad' almost Charlie Parker style chord changes (I am sure there are some diminished floating around in there): this is a text book example of using harmony and changes more commonly associated with trad jazz but applied in a wholly cohesive fashion to create a modern blues ballad. 'Room At The Back' is more up tempo, with lots of those synchronised guitar and keyboard lines, and Matt stretches out over this tight and effective instrumental weaving in and out of the changes like the seasoned pro he is. Track number seven - 'Someone' has 'Big' Pete van der Pluym laying down loads of Blues Harp over a driving rhythm in a stomping straight ahead Texan blues style track that sees some aggressive soloing from Matt and a fine climax with trade offs galore. 'Searchin (Give Me A Sign)' takes us back into that late night in a bar ballady territory, and with a nice melodic chorus showcases some great tone filled guitar again. Special note must be made to Matt's tone throughout the album-a combination Fender and Two Rock amps that produce, in combination with his vintage Fender and Gibbos, a wonderfully woody tone that lives and breathes through a variety of moods and feels - from mellow to fiery - but all with a sheer authenticity that is a joy to hear. Have to check this out on his forthcoming tour, methinks... 'Move Along' is a more obviously jazzy instrumental with changes galore, brushes on them ol' drums, and lots of very clever guitar - a great study for anyone trying to get a handle on playing over changes - not for Matt being stuck in minor pentatonic land, here he weaves in and out utilising arpeggio and scale substitutions in a relaxed and authoritative manner. Another vocal number with 'Cookie Jar' sees Matt and band following the template established earlier in the album, groove based verses, uplifting bridges and melodic choruses with plenty of band interplay to keep the muso's happy - and with a great climatic SRV style solo to boot. Finally 'When It All Comes Down' rounds up proceedings with a traditional bluesy swing, a nice melodic reflective chorus, lots of sweet guitar fills, and a groovy melodic end of gig guitar wig out, before ending on a relaxed note. I was speaking with Richard Pavitt (Matt's executive Producer and main man at Nugene Records) about how Matt and US star Joe Bonamassa are undeniably the new hot guitarists on the block. Richard pointed out a fact that had hitherto gone unnoticed by this scribe in that they've both traversed the Atlantic in terms of primary influences: Englishman Matt has a very Stateside take on this genre with Robben Ford and SRV being arguably his main terms of reference, whilst Joe has looked to Blighty and is very much taken with Eric Clapton and Robin Trower to name but two. Either way, they both represent the very best of the Blues genre in 2008, and every guitarist and blues fans should consider these as essential listening. 'Ear To The Ground' is an expertly crafted modern blues release that definitely delivers on his early promise - UK readers make sure you go and catch him on tour in this Spring; the rest of you seek out and buy this excellent album post haste! © Owen Edwards, Thu, 13/03/2008 - 11:13, All content © 2009 All Out Guitar

BIO (Wikipedia)

Matt Schofield (born 21 August 1977) is a UK blues guitarist and singer whose music blends blues with rock and funky jazz rhythms. His band, The Matt Schofield Trio, play their own material, which is a blend of blues, funk and jazz, along with covers of blues classics such as Albert Collins' "Lights Are On, But Nobody's Home". Schofield's guitar playing is often likened to Robben Ford in reference to his melodic and fluid style, and jazzy lines. However, Schofield was also majorly influenced by B. B. King, Freddie King, Albert King, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, Albert Collins, Jimi Hendrix, Billy Gibbons, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Vaughan. The influence of funk bands such as The Meters and Soulive can also be heard in his music. Schofield has two studio albums and two live albums. The first of the live discs, The Trio, Live was recorded at the Bishops Blues club at The Half Moon, Bishops Stortford in 2004 and, funded and released by Richard Pavitt on his Nugene record label, gave the band their first breakthrough. The first studio album, Siftin' Thru Ashes was released in 2005. This album showcases not only Schofield as a virtuoso contemporary blues player, but also as a very competent songwriter, writing or co-writing eight out of eleven of the tracks on this album. AllMusic.com calls Schofield's approach "an enjoyable demonstration of what can happen when blues-rock and blues-jazz are united". The second live album, Live At The Jazz Cafe! was recorded at the London Jazz Cafe in April 2005, and was made available as a web only release. Schofield is one of only two living British artists to be given a four star (excellent) rating in the Penguin Book of Blues Recordings. The release of The Trio, Live prompted Schofield to be featured in a Guitarist magazine article listing the nine notable up and coming blues guitarists, Schofield being the only non-American. Of the album they said 'britblues meets jazz via N'Orleans - all played with the kind of sizzling guitar that just doesn't often surface in Fairford, Gloucestershire'. In 2007 Guitar & Bass Magazine picked Schofield as one of the "Top 10 British Blues Guitarists of All Time". Schofield performs with an organ trio (guitar, organ, and drums), which is an unusual format for blues bands. Organ trios are mostly associated with the 1950s and 1960s U.S. jazz groups led by organists such as Jimmy Smith. Blues bands more commonly use trios of guitar, bass and drums, quartets (guitar, keyboards, bass, and drums) or quintets (guitar, rhythm guitar, keyboards, bass, and drums). In Schofield's organ trio, organist Jonny Henderson plays a Hammond organ, performing basslines using his left hand, and playing chords and lead lines with his right hand. The trio's drummer is Evan Jenkins. Jeff Walker played bass on the final track of Siftin' Thru' Ashes. In 2009, as of the recording of 'Heads, Tails & Aces', The Matt Schofiled Trio became The Matt Schofield Band, a four-piece, featuring Jeff 'The Funk' Walker on bass, and also replacing Evan Jenkins with Alain Baudry.


"Young Schofield's playing on this debut is dynamite! And the guy knows how to pick'em, no rehashed SRV licks here, just a blindingly fine selection of material" © Guitarist Magazine.

Inspired by the Blues, infused with the funk rhythms of New Orleans and topped-off by virtuoso musicianship, Matt Schofield is being talked of as the finest Blues guitarist to have emerged in Europe for several generations, perhaps even in the World. His latest album "Siftin Thru Ashes" (Nugene Records) has received rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic. Britain's Guitarist magazine describes Schofield's guitar playing as "Dynamite", picking him as the only non-American in their review of the future of Blues guitar; while America's Blues Revue calls him "The entire package – a singer with range and soul, and a guitarist who delivers with devastating tone and superb dynamics". BBC Radio 2 presenter Paul Jones picked Schofield as one of his highlights of 2005, commenting "I think it's time he became a big star." The LA Daily News describes Schofield as "Head and shoulders above the herd" while music bible AllMusic.com marks Schofield's approach "an enjoyable demonstration of what can happen when blues-rock and blues-jazz are united". Music magazine, MOJO, gave Siftin' Thru Ashes a four star (excellent) rating, something rarely given to UK Blues artists. In 2006, just two years after his debut CD, Schofield gained the distinction of being one of only two living British artists to be given a four star (excellent) rating in the Penguin Book of Blues Recordings. The band line-up harks back to the classic organ trios of the fifties and sixties. Jonny Henderson on Hammond organ gives sleazy texture and dynamics while holding down left hand bass lines, and "drummers' drummer" Evan Jenkins provides compelling grooves. But that's where any comparison with a traditional organ trio ends. With their huge sounding, multi-layered and rhythmically infectious delivery this band redefines the meaning of "power trio" and are unlike anything else on the Blues scene today. In the Beginning… Born in Manchester, Matt's family moved to Fairford in Gloucestershire when he was a youngster. He first started playing guitar seriously at 12. It was not the guitar heroes of that period (the late-eighties) that inspired him. Rather it was seeing a video of BB King, Albert Collins and Stevie Ray Vaughan playing together that fired Matt's imagination. The call of music was strong. As soon as Matt finished college he ventured to London to check out the music scene, visiting the Blues jams around town, and was soon playing professionally. After touring and recording with the Lee Sankey Group, Matt was recruited by British Blues Diva, Dana Gillespie, to form part of her 'London Blues Band'. While all this was happening Matt consciously avoided being labelled a teenage wonder. "When I started playing on the Blues circuit I was never comfortable with the 'hot young guitarist' label. Instead of being 'good for my age' I just wanted to be 'good'. So I decided to learn my trade first. I learned so much by backing other artists. What to do, and not do".Working in the house band at many international festivals, including the Mustique Blues Festival for several years (often an exhausting 6 hours a night for 14 days) saw Matt backing a long list of artists, providing tremendous experience. "The Trio came together almost by accident. Not having a bass player for a gig one night, we thought we'd give it a go with Jonny doing left-hand bass on the organ, and from the first note we knew we were onto something. People kept coming back to hear more and asking if we had a CD and where else they could see us. One of those 'if it feels good, it is good' things. "The unique format of the organ trio allows an unusual freedom of improvisation and interaction. It's exciting because it's different every time! It's a very collaborative, sum of the parts thing. "Jonny's extremely talented and the perfect keyboard foil for me. He has learned from many of the same musicians as I did, so he knows how to back me up perfectly, but can also really tear it up in his own right. His left hand bass gives The Trio such a distinctive groove plus, like me, he's a real 'tone' guy and has nailed that vintage Hammond sound. "I'm very proud to have Evan involved. He's one of my favourite drummers anywhere. I have played together with him more than any other drummer, in many different situations. His feel and timing are second to none. Evan can play it all - Jazz, Rock, Pop, but he also has a natural feel for blues, and he always does it his own way." © 2005 Nugene Records. All rights reserved