Matt Minglewood Band coming to Port Hawkesbury

PORT HAWKESBURY: Local music fans will have the chance to catch a veteran East Coast crowd-pleaser in Port Hawkesbury next month.

Matt Minglewood and his band are set to perform in the Bear Head Conference Room at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre on May 26.

“I love playing anywhere when I have people that are into it and last time I played that room, it was a great time,” Minglewood told The Reporter. “So bring your dancing shoes and we’re going to have some fun.”

Minglewood’s eclectic style was influenced the music he heard around him while he was growing up in Cape Breton. His parents were Celtic music fans, and Minglewood started playing the fiddle at a young age. As a teenager, he fell in love with the guitar and enjoyed every style of music, from country and blues, to rock n’ roll.

“I started up listening to the radio in Cape Breton back then, which pretty much had everything on it,” he said. “You’d have country tunes in the morning and the top 10 in the evening. We listened to a lot of radio stations from New York and got influenced by a lot of other artists.”

Minglewood has never wanted to limit himself to one style of music. In his nearly five decades of recording and performing, he has incorporated all of his favourite genres to create his own unique repertoire.

“I’ve always been known as somebody who got around musically,” he said. “It keeps me interested. I couldn’t picture myself playing one form of music my whole life.”

With 14 albums, three gold records, and numerous awards to his credit, Minglewood continues to record new music. His most recent album, Fly like Desperados was released last year. Although the album consists mainly of original music, it includes a cover of the song “Closer to Heaven” which drew praise from the original songwriter, country artist Rodney Crowell.

Minglewood is already planning his next recording project. He said the idea came to him while he was taking part in a songwriters’ circle with fellow musicians Bruce Guthro, Matt Anderson, and Myles Goodwin.

“They convinced me that I should do a Christmas album, so hopefully in the middle of the summer I’ll be in the studio doing Christmas songs,” said Minglewood.

Joining him onstage at his upcoming show will be drummer and vocalist Moon MacInnis and his son Nick McInnis on guitar. Emily Dingwall will provide bass and vocals with Jeff Stapleton on keyboards and vocals.

“We have some really good vocals in the band now, which we’ve never really had, so it’s great,” said Minglewood.

In addition to their upcoming shows in Halifax and Pictou this spring, the Minglewood band is looking forward to taking the stage at the 2018 Stan Rogers Folk Festival in Canso in July.

“We’re opening up the first night, the opening bash at the arena to get it all started,” said Minglewood. “So it should be fun.”