Erie’s Matt Boland Reunites With Dirty Pickles For Original Song Set

For musician Erie Matt “broken” Bolandthe move was spontaneous but necessary.

Within four days right after Christmas, Boland made the decision to move to Austin, Texas to explore the music scene and continue to develop his career as an active musician by honing his skills as an original artist.

A cup of coffee over the holidays with Pat “Shaggy” Welsh, a friend visiting home for the holidays, sparked the idea, Boland said. Welsh, executive producer of a film, television and video production company called 360 Studios, has lived in Austin for 16 years and persuaded Boland to rent a room in his house.

“He said, ‘I’m leaving on Thursday if you want to (join) for the trip.’ I had four days and I was like, ‘I gotta do this, man,’ said Boland, who has been performing in Erie and area for 18 years as a guitarist and vocalist, starting with Matty B and the Dirty Pickles.. “Everything lined up perfectly and I had to take it.”

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Boland, 36, has spent the first seven months of this year making a name for himself in local clubs and spots around Austin. He left Erie knowing he would be back to play dates booked for several summer concerts, including an original song reunion show with the Dirty Pickles at Basement Transmissions, 145 W. 11th St., on the 12th august.

“I was very lucky on my second day (in Austin); I played open mic and had a booking agent. I play about four nights a week, mostly doing my solo band,” said said Boland, known primarily for his 50s rockabilly and rock and roll. “While I’m here, I’m going back and forth and building my band…when I get back to Austin, I’m going to be really focused on original music and make a name for myself with a band.”

Even if he always plays with picklesthe new group will bear only his name, Matt “Broke” Boland.

“Bands come and go. I just have to keep my name and go,” said Boland, whose nickname, “Broke,” has stuck with him since he’s been playing.

“I break strings all the time. I’ve been doing it since I was a kid and I still do,” he said. “There was a saying in Erie that if Matty didn’t break a string then it wasn’t a good show. That and there’s the obvious ‘starving artist’ part of that.”

Building on its beginnings

Before leaving for Austin, Boland was planning a marketing campaign to begin promoting himself as an original artist.

“Everyone knows me for doing 50s rock and roll, and I’ve been typecast over the years,” he said. “But I have six albums of total original material and I’m still writing and evolving that way. And I’m trying my best to get out of that.”

Boland started the Dirty Pickles when he was 18, with Ben “Jammin” Roemer on bass and Mark Grzywinski (Marky G) on drums. The group of friends played originals, performing at places like the old Sherlock from 2004, then added covers due to the money involved.

Back to 2014:Matty B and the Dirty Pickles reunite at Kings Rook

Boland then performed and toured in a more political band, gaining new fans and losing others, he said.

Later in his career when he lived and played in New York in 2018 – “I was doing pretty well, but I didn’t like my living situation”, he said – he decided to bring back a version of Matty and the Pickles, not the original Dirty Pickles, but a five-piece band with horns who would do covers as a tribute to ’50s rock and roll. Boland said he wanted to prove he could “assemble something of this class and start looking at casinos and cruises as a show band”.

It worked, and that’s what he does with Paul Sontheimer on bass, Mike Russell on drums, David VanAmburg on keyboard and guitar, and Phil Papotnik on saxophone, plus a sound guy, a pro sound system, costumes, and more.

“I (feel) it’s a really good retirement plan, but I have so much more in the tank as an original songwriter,” he said. “I was getting really frustrated; it was difficult because I had the golden ticket and I know it will work wherever I take it. I can make money and be a professional, but I need to over (my career).”

Present your multi-genre music

Boland said his biggest hurdle with the original music is describing it to the uninitiated. He says his shows can “take people for a ride”.

“I write 50s-sounding songs with a lot of blues influence. And I have other songs that are on the border of punk rock, country and folk,” he said. “I would call myself a rock ‘n’ roll revivalist. There’s blues, folk, Americana, 50s rock and roll and modern. A lot of things sound like White Stripes and a lot of things sound like The Avett Brothers. It’s nice all over.”

Matt, Erie musician

It’s a sound that Boland has been developing since his teenage years with the Pickles. He had no other occupation to distract him from this goal of honing his craft.

“Now I can take everything I’ve learned and put it into my original stuff, character and everything,” he said. “I feel like I made a name for myself (in Austin) and now I can focus on original music. Once I get it together there, I can start pitching it to labels. This next push will be kind of make or break.”

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Original Pickles, more summer shows to come

“The Pickles never stopped playing,” Boland said. “We played every year, several shows. We just had different members, but I kept going for 18 years. I tried to understand and ask people, ‘when can I say we’re the Erie band? the oldest? “

With Schroeder back from Portland and Gryzywinski living in Pittsburgh, a reunion show was an easy decision for Boland and the band.

“We haven’t played our first album ‘Picklebilly’ since those early days,” said Boland, who includes “Digg It” Dave Schroeder as original member of Dirty Pickles since playing drums and guitar. bass in the past. “We probably haven’t played a show with just our original songs on an Erie stage in over a decade, which excites me because those are the songs that got me started and got Erie going. to support us.”

The all-ages show at Basement Transmissions on August 12 begins at 7 p.m. with the opening of Brooke Surgener and Brewer and Friends.

Boland will also have other projects in the works in the coming weeks, including his line, which includes Sontheimer and Russell.

Performing band Pickles, who play a gig in the Lake Erie Community Park Concert Series on August 3, will perform at CelebrateErie in late August before Boland returns to Austin.

“The reason this band works so well is that they’re all experienced jazz musicians,” he said. “We’ve been doing the show for two years. We’ve all got the show and we’ll probably do a rehearsal (before a performance). But everyone’s so professional, it just flows.”

Erie native Matt

Boland will also have the Pickles joined by Rodger Montgomery on guitar and Ron Yarosz on harmonica as part of Broke Boland’s Blues Batch performance on Saturday starting at 2 p.m. at the Erie Blues & Jazz Festival in Frontier Park.

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Boland counts Montgomery and Yarosz as influential artists who helped develop his game. He said he used to sneak into the beer mug at 1108 Liberty St. when he was underage to watch Montgomery play during his blues jams.

“Rodger Montgomery was kind of my mentor. He woke me up and I knew if he wasn’t giving me a mean look I was doing good. So we developed a really great friendship over the years because I think ‘He’s as good as he gets, at least for that area as far as the blues goes,’ Boland said. ‘And the same with Ron Yarosz. He gave me a lot of opportunities when I was young to get on stage and perform, even when I was terrible. This show (Blues & Jazz Fest) can’t be bad if I have these guys on stage, no matter how wrong I am.”

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