Minnesota based Folk-Rock singer/songwriter and active musicologist, Matthew Griswold, is currently playing hundreds of his modern day minstrel-like shows each year. Though a “solo” performer in trade title, he carries a chorus of layered guitars and an array of dynamic vocal themes. Those elements are all then supported by a boot strapped foot stomping on a cigar box foot drum keeping a sacred element to the music.
Griswold’s performances are rugged, haunting, howling, bone-shaking affairs where all of the grit and soul of a man who has seen the war torn battlefields of Iraq, yet still sought hope after the worst of it’s tragedies, are brought forth through one voice and one guitar. He confidently leaves his crowds cradled in subtleties, but rocked with an undeniable presence. Those who witness him live, will experience a musician who inhabits, and is inhabited by, his music as if it were a spiritual transformation allowing him to become a fearless poet calling out through a cadence and dancing in the dragon’s den.
He has crafted an arrangement style of his own (“Hypno-tonic Grooves”), which he employs to reinvent classics, adapt traditional standards, and plug original work that stand in tribute to their deep lineage. With a well-honed talent, ego-less work ethic, and applied insights of ethnomusicology tilting the odds in his favor, Griswold has become one of the country’s most active independent working musicians. He has over ten years of strategic millage marked by thousands of live performances and hundreds of intriguing press features. Just barely in his 30s, he continues to build a dense catalog of works to be preserved by those he proudly refers to as “Witnesses of a Fellowship”.
Griswold has gained both industry notoriety and scholar respect as a Contemporary Folk music maker, and while having had many of his original songs and compositions used in various films, TV shows and commercials around the world through an elite contract with Universal Music Publishing, no matter where you find footing, you’re never far from someone who has likely been spellbound by the sounds that flow beside the howling edge of his hopeful hymns.