Against All Odds, MATTE BLACKE Releases "Bits And Pieces"

Top Quote Denton powerhouse rock group that highlights five veterans of the DFW Music scene, releases new album after loss of member. End Quote
  • Dallas, TX (1888PressRelease) November 16, 2021 - Steve Wilson emerged upon Denton in 1997, fresh out of the 82nd Airborne Division and enrolled at University of North Texas. While performing locally, Steve crossed paths with Grammy-Award-winning producer and bassist Eric Delegard, yet it would be nearly two decades before they would work together.

    Delegard, owner of Reeltime Audio, is no stranger to the North Texas music community. For over two decades, he has served as one of the most prolific producers and engineers in the Southwest. A lifelong musician, Delegard moved to Texas from Minneapolis to study at the prestigious University of North Texas music school. As both a producer and engineer, he has worked on several Grammy-award winning records, garnering the attention of several major labels.

    Wilson, who graduated from UNT in 2000, would return to Denton in 2018 after serving over a decade in the Air Force. Spending the majority of 2019 on the road performing as a solo artist, 2020 was shaping up to be a busy year. Then came the sudden global halt of pandemic response.

    "I suddenly had all of this free time!" says Wilson. "I'd written so many songs over 2016-2020 because it was a really emotional period in my life, but I'd really just focused on recording singles up to that point. I really wanted to record an ALBUM...but more specifically, a ROCK ALBUM. Being back in Denton, there was never any question where I would go to record."

    In the spring of 2021, Wilson booked his first session with Delegard at Reeltime Audio, yet things didn't go as planned. "Sometimes the studio is amazing, and everything goes smoothly. Sometimes the chemistry just isn't there."

    While the four songs they recorded that day would not make the cut, it would not be a complete disaster. At Delegards suggestion, a new session was booked with his former drummer from Shaolin Death Squad, and fellow UNT Music Alumnus Matt Thompson.

    Matt Thompson began playing drums at age 9. Initially turning down a scholarship to the Berklee School of Music in favor of touring, his travels landed him in Denton, and in 1996 he enrolled in the University of North TX jazz program. Two weeks after his graduation in 2000, he was offered the drummer position for theatrical Heavy Metal music icon, King Diamond, with whom he still tours internationally.

    "It turns out, that's exactly what the sauce needed" says Wilson.

    Wilson and Thompson would record 11 songs, with Delegard pulling triple duty as bassist, producer and engineer. With the foundations solidly layed, it was time to find the right lead guitarist.

    "When in Rome!" Wilson laughed. At another of Delegard's suggestions, UNT Music grad and virtuoso guitarist Daran DeShazo signed on the project, providing the iconic guitar sound for which this album will be remembered.

    "I think Eric and I spend most of those sessions just in awe" Wilson remarked about DeShazo's guitar-prowess. "His fingers defy logic!"

    "We started our first session in April, and the album was basically finished by August. Eric and I agreed it needed another voice for background vocals, and so he reached out to his good friend, DFW-area musician Droo D'anna." D'anna, best known for his band Droo's Peace Crush, providing the final bittersweet ingredient to the mix.

    In the last two studio sessions that he would ever record, Droo D'anna sang background vocals on the 11 tracks of 'Bits And Pieces', additionally playing the distinctive keyboard section on the irreverant tune "Welcome To The Show" completely unrehearsed. "He had just finished with background vocals and were listening back (To Welcome To The Show) and he said "It would sound really cool if we put some Wurly (Wurlitzer) in there. Want me to try?" I replied "ABSOLUTELY!...One take later, it was done and awesome. I just had no idea that it would be the last time we would all be the the same room together"

    Droo would tragically pass away from COVID 19 complications within 6 weeks of their last session.

    Containing 11 new songs, including the first single "RED OR BLUE", 'Bits And Pieces' by MΔΤΤΕ BLΔCKE is now available on all online, streaming and music outlets. With chest-thumping percussion, rhythmic precision, jaw-dropping guitar solos, buttery vocals, and rock-solid songwriting, it has firmly placed Denton, Texas back on the the alternative rock map. Upon release, the album was dedicated to the memory of Droo D'anna.

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