“I listen to a lot of music. A. LOT. I listen to it in the background while I work, and I preview new music on a near constant basis. There aren't many foolproof ways to gauge quality when listening to new music, but when an artist makes me stop everything to listen, that's big. And that's exactly what happened when I first heard Portland duo Matty Charles & Katie Rose. They popped up on my Facebook feed thanks to my friend Leslie Beia of Portland's The Earnest Lovers. I clicked on Matty and Katie's video and stopped cold. Beautiful, simple, haunting country songwriting, gravelly-grit in the vocals of Matty Charles, a kind of Newport folk-revival lilt in the voice of Katie Rose, and a twinge of sadness that works best in the perennially depressed Northwest: that's their winning combination. Part of the reason I hadn't heard of them before is that they seem to be somewhat new to Portland's underground country scene. Matty hails from Portland, but spent years in New York's burgeoning country and old-time scene, before returning home and meeting Katie by chance at the Landmark Saloon in Portland. The duo is based on Matty's songwriting and he has a truly uncanny ear for writing country hooks, but the harmonies they share together are also a key part of their music. This is the kind of album that can break out and truly surprise even the most jaded music critics.”
- (Devon Leger, Kithfolk.com)
Matty Charles was at the forefront of the old-time & folk music resurgence that began in Brooklyn, NY in the early 2000’s. Like the revival that took place 50 years earlier in Greenwich, Village, the scene revolved around several local venues and a handful of musicians. Pete’s Candy Store, a small bar in a neighborhood of old tenements was ground zero and Charles and his trio, the Valentines, maintained a weekly gig there that earned them a devoted following.
While living in New York, Charles released four records, composed the musical score for a film and had a cameo as himself in director, Hal Hartley’s film, Meanwhile.
In 2012, Charles returned to his hometown, Portland, Oregon to be closer to his family and the beauty of the Pacific Northwest where he joined forces with Katie Rose after a chance meeting at The Landmark Saloon, a local country music venue. After discovering a unique magic in their combined voices they began collaborating on the material that would become their debut release, Catching Arrows.
While the duo's country and folk roots are clearly reflected in their close harmony singing, there is also an element of their musical style that places them in a category all their own.
Charles’s undeniable gift for songwriting is the backbone of this dynamic duo. The honesty and simplicity with which he explores themes of love, loss and longing is poignant and captivating.
His lyrics “bring to mind Johnny Cash, ...(and at) other times a less twangy Robert Earl Keen. An instant classic.” (Acoustic Guitar Magazine)
“Instead of songs about sadness that leave listeners feeling alone, Charles’ lyrics and smooth guitar riffs wrap their arms around his listeners and hold them tight.” (SF Reporter)
Katie Rose brings a new dimension to the exceptionally strong foundation that Charles has created with his remarkable songwriting by building upon the framework of these songs with her insightful arrangements and diverse harmonies, often haunting and unexpected.
The duo is honored to have worked on their new release Catching Arrows with legendary musicians, Nick Forster on mandolin, tenor and electric guitar, David P. Jackson and Arcellus Sykes on the upright bass, Joel Savoy on fiddle and guitar and Kevin Major on drums.
David P. Jackson, an original member of Dillard and Clark, and Hearts and Flowers, has played and sung with such luminaries as Kenny Rogers, Hoyt Axton, Jackson Brown and Dwight Yoakam. The California Country Music Association honored Jackson as best instrumentalist.
Kevin Major plays drums in a variety of classic country bands in Portland, Oregon.
Arcellus Sykes plays bass in several Portland bands including, Ural Thomas & the Pain. He also works as a session musician.
"With a mix of songs from their debut album and covers of good old country and folk songs, Charles and Rose proved that they may be among the best duos in the genre."
(Lambert Smits, KeysandChords.com)
"Matty and Katie's warm, clear vocals impress separately but together create magical moments...invariably we get songwork of timeless allure which exudes a rustic authenticity."
(Cis Van Looy, WrittenInMusic.com)
"This must have album, Catching Arrows is...a sublime listening experience."
“This is a lovely couple who take seeming simplicity and turn it into musical magic with compelling lyrics and intuitive musicianship - not to mention great style and tonality.”
(Georgia Montgomery, Castles & Concerts)
“Earns the Pastor Mustard Commendation of Highest Credibility.”
(Dan Sadowsky, Aspen Public Radio)
“That rare blend of resignation and gritty hope one seldom finds this side of Guy Clark”
“Matty Charles’s smooth baritone and articulate guitar work are colorful and authentic.”
(Time Out NY)
“Charles writes with the broadness of his heroes, Nelson, Earle and Waits, but his singing edges towards the gravity of Waylon Jennings, the melancholy of Richard Buckner and the worldly, poetic edge of Kris Kristofferson or Paul Simon.”
(Country Standard Time)
“bring to mind Johnny Cash, ...(and at) other times a less twangy Robert Earl Keen. An instant classic.”
(Acoustic Guitar Magazine)
“Instead of songs about sadness that leave listeners feeling alone, Charles’ lyrics and smooth guitar riffs wrap their arms around his listeners and hold them tight.”
“Matty is a true gem. His songs are instant classics.”
(Greg Trooper - singer/songwriter)
“I didn’t know they still made voices like Matty’s until I heard it. What’s even rarer is such a voice combined with such a writing talent...It blows me away every time!”
(Devon Sproule - singer/songwriter)