After a solid four years travelling and performing, guitarist/songwriter Matt Zarb recently married the love of his life and wants to put down his roots in Crowdy Head.
Matt Zarb is well known in guitar circles from Tennessee to LA, where his ‘Aussie bush-grass’ style and virtuoso guitar skills led to invitations to play on the renowned ‘Acoustic Guitar Masters’ concert series in Kentucky alongside a string of major artists, from our own Tommy Emmanuel to Willie Nelson.
On his return to Australia, Matt based himself in Tamworth and toured extensively throughout the Eastern seaboard, but the one thing missing was the sea.
“I love Crowdy! There’s nothing better than walking barefoot on the beach. Tamworth is great and a perfect country town, but it’s not close enough to the ocean!”
Matt admits that the next year will be busy, with the recent release of his CD ‘Rose Matilda’ and regular engagements from the Harrington Hotel to Airlie Beach. But the most anticipated event on next year’s calendar will be the arrival of his third child with his soul mate Lesley.
> What prompted you to base yourself at Crowdy Head?
I spent a lot of my childhood here fishing and on the beach, and it has always been one of my favourite places in the world. Lesley and I recently got married at the lighthouse and it was the happiest day of my life to date. My dad and step mum have lived here for a long time, and we love living here. It’s so easy to walk around and be totally on your own and find space.
> You’ve clocked up about 9,000 km in the last few months. What do you enjoy most about touring and performing?
It seems crazy to think about, but the last year, particularly, has been mayhem. I have travelled to all sorts of amazing places, as far out as Lightning Ridge and as far north as Airlie Beach, all in our trusty Hiace van. I have really enjoyed the lonesome goat tracks and quiet places on the way to wherever. I have enjoyed playing my tunes to people in remote communities and tiny towns. But I certainly enjoy coming home when it’s all done the most.
> You’ve been accepted in country music circles, but you wouldn’t really describe your music as country?
No. I often say at a show, “I grew up playing classical music.” I love classical music, but can’t read a note! But I couldn’t separate Mozart from Led Zeppelin as sure as I don’t separate Bluegrass from John Denver or Tommy Emmanuel … If it’s good music, it’s good music! I love country music and love to play an old country song as much as I like to play a crazy instrumental!
> Where do you get the inspiration for your songs?
My song writing did not come until later in my career, after I had lived some life and seen some miles. I never really tried to write a song … they seem to turn up out of thin air. I am a great fan of John Denver (my reason for picking up a guitar in the first place), and when I was young I got to see him play. He said that when a song was due he would just, “Reach up and grab it”.
I never understood that then, but I do now. I may not write a song for a year and then write one after another. I never worry, “Is this my last song?” I just know that the songs that turn up are real and honest.
> Thank you Matt.