Local pianist joins Rev. Horton Heat on ‘psychobilly’ tour
As Rev. Horton Heat heads back out on the road with his rockabilly band, he’ll be bringing along a piano player with connections to the Pittsburgh area.
Matt Jordan, a Maryland native living in West Virginia, will head out with Heat for a run of mostly Midwest shows through Aug. 18.
Jordan, who performs under the name Matt’s Blues, first learned about Heat while shopping at a bookstore in the North Hills area.
“I found one of his albums, and I really fell in love with the music,” Jordan said.
He ended up meeting the band backstage after a 2016 performance, giving them his business card and a CD of his music.
“Later on, they called and said they needed a piano player,” he said.
While many live bands employ a keyboard player, Jordan said he is most interested in the organic quality of the music he makes with Heat.
“We actually take my piano on the road, and I try to play upright piano as much as possible,” he said. “It’s music in the most raw form, being generated right there (onstage) and not pre-packaged in any way.”
Jordan is also a student of Pittsburgh pianist Tom Roberts, who he met during an appearance on the Saturday Light Brigade radio show.
“He heard me play, came over and said, ‘I want to teach you!’” Jordan said. “I went over to his house, and as soon as I heard him play the piano, my mind was sufficiently blown and I started budgeting for regular lessons with him.”
While his solo work has focused more on blues music, and he cut his professoinal teeth during two years on the road with the Dennis McClung Blues Band, Jordan said he’s excited to be back on the road playing Heat’s signature “psychobilly” sound.
“His music has all the elements of country, jazz and blues, and you just can’t beat the style: the hair, the pompadours and the suits,” he said.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.