Wasn’t it Edward Albee who once said an artist must create from a private place, and let the chips fall where they may?
It’s a paraphrase, of course, but it underscores the sometimes deep incentive a creator feels towards his material, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to Kristian Matsson.
The Swedish-born independent folk rock singer, who’s somber nasal-ish vocal quality and lazy diction are frequently compared to Minnesota legend Bob Dylan, isn’t even 6 feet tall, but that didn’t stop him from calling his, until recently, fairly solo act The Tallest Man on Earth.
This giant, with a hefty international fan base, will be setting down his musical stilts in First Avenue’s main room on Saturday night at 8, and this time around, crowds can expect a very personal viewpoint via his craft.
That’s because his most recent album, “Dark Bird Home,” is a surprisingly upbeat spin on his real-life divorce from fellow Swedish singer/songwriter Amanda Bergman. Unlike past Matsson tracks, this one features a fully-arranged band.
Important, because all too often, Matsson appears solo with his guitar, eschewing any pretense of working within an established musical tradition, Dylan or otherwise. He’s so confident of the sound he produces, for instance, that he’s often recorded both instruments (voice and guitar) on the same track, almost unthinkable in today’s record perfect, pitch fiddled-with, high tech slick dubbing magic of the pop music studio world.
Forget all that. Matsson means to deliver, and deliver big when he rolls into First Avenue, this time with Lady Lamb on the bill.
As dark of a soul as he may be, Matsson has taken pride on stripping out the aesthetics of the typical touring sound, focusing instead on the intricacies of his voice and the music.
And, as he’s proving with his latest round of gigs, even divorce won’t stop his musical bird from taking flight.