Midnight Wal-Mart Self-Portrait
December 28th, 2014
Artificial Flower Isle, Wal-Mart
St. Clairsville, Ohio, America
Matt Moore was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, America in 1988. He grew up surrounded by relatives. Their eight homes speckle a former dairy farm on 120 acres of shared land. To this day, five generations of his family live within 100 yards of each other in the Captina Creek Watershed of Appalachian Ohio. He is the first of two sons born to Michael Moore, a banker and artist, and Michelle Moore, a laboratory technician and artist.
Matt Moore attended Ohio University where he studied Finance, Marketing, Photojournalism, and Sales. He attempted to drop out of college in the first weeks of his freshman year, but his parents insisted that he continue long enough to make an informed decision. During his sophomore year, Moore was found to be running "a business" out of his dorm room which was against university guidelines. The business was an art studio and alternative clothing line inspired by abstract impressionism and religious themes. Moore's projects would often extend into common spaces and across the West Green of campus during seasons of high activity/sales. He would be seen using paint, bleach, and unconventional dyes outside the dining halls, then hanging the garments to dry in trees around campus.
The university asked Moore to discontinue the project or be removed from his free housing, so Matt stuck a pin in his sewing and fabric pursuits and began crafting songs.
Threading together the rawness of Steve Earle, the illusions of Iron & Wine, and the folksy humor of Michael Hurley, Matt began quietly creating one of the most unique songbooks in the region. Continuous experimentation led to his debut album “First Songs!" which drew on the talents of a dozen rural musicians from Ohio and West Virginia. The record was an extensive effort, 20 original compositions, all recorded to tape. This first collection has earned great reviews from its earliest listeners and flies in the face of a “hit single” era of commodity music. Unapologetic, unrefined, and unconventional… it is young folk art at its finest.
In 2018, Moore spends his days working at a Food Bank, connecting farmers with excess crops (or busted markets) to neighbors with nothing in the fridge. He walks a path between tie-wearing corporate foundations and the hard-hit families who have little more than the shirts on their backs.
This is also where his music lives. Striking a blur between fine art and folk art, $70 dinner clubs and street corner busking.
The themes of his work draw from life's dichotomy. Hailing from the corn and coalfields of Appalachia, Moore sings of love lost and found, beer, God, and cows. His current setting in the rust belt city of Cleveland, USA has brought new tones, rhythms, and cultural critique to his songwriting. Whether he’s performing around a trailer park bonfire or at the Midwest's newest hipster music festival, his rare live appearances are somehow fun, sharp as a blade, and beautiful all at once.
Hometown : Cleveland OH / Wheeling WV
Label : Airloom
Genre : Folk / Songwriter
Sounds Like : Shakey Graves, Jimmy Buffet, Gillian Welch