Barton born singer songwriter, Iain Matthews and guitarist/singer/ songwriter/producer BJ Baartmans met in 2003, shortly after the former had relocated to the south of Holland.
BJ was accompanying touring American singer songwriter, Eugene Ruffolo in a local music cafe and the two were introduced after the show. A mutual respect for each other’s talents developed and they have been playing and recording together more or less since then mostly in the all Dutch line-up of Matthews Southern Comfort, which they formed together in 2005 releasing three albums and touring extensively throughout Europe.
It’s a natural habitat for both musicians who each have a long and rich history in the music world, as a solo act or bandmember:
Matthews worked with Fairport Convention, Matthews Southern Comfort, Plainsong, More Than A Song and Baartmans worked with a long list of Dutch and international acts like Oh Susanna, Jeff Finlin, David Corley. Amy Speace, Cara Luft
When last year’s pandemic forced all performers off the road, the two began writing together in earnest and made plans to record and tour as a duo once curfews were lifted. Calling themselves The Matthews Baartmans Conspiracy, a year and half and 17 tunes later, their new album titled Distant Chatter and its accompanying EP Close Call is now available.
It’s a collection of rootsy Americana songs with an adventurous, gritty and colourful side to it with intriguing harmonies and ear catching hook lines. Matthews and Baartmans call it “an album that had no other option than to be made”. And there it is.
Beginning in November 2021, playing both new and old material, the pair can be seen on stages across Europe in support of their lockdown album. Home away from home.
Date of event:12th February 2022