Matthew Skoller

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Matthew Skoller is one of Chicago's most respected harp blowers and blues bandleaders. For the past 20 years he has played in all of Chicago's heaviest showcase venues and toured much of the world with his super tight
ensembles. Deeply rooted in the tradition of the Chicago blues elders with whom he worked and studied, Skoller has  developed a unique style that conjures the past while being firmly planted in the present. His blues wardrobe
clothes a range of original songs whose subject matter comments on many of the issues and realities of life during this age of technology, information and upheaval. Skoller, known for his fiery and engaging performances, combines passionate harp playing and singing with original song writing and prodigious production skills. He has self  produced 4 of his cd's and the critically acclaimed, award winning Let's Talk About Love by Lurrie Bell.

Most recently Matthew collaborated with his brother Larry Skoller (producer and guitarist extraordinaire) on the Grammy nominated, historical project, Chicago Blues A living History. He lent his production experience, deep
knowledge of Chicago Blues history, and his harmonica to this project that is now being hailed by critics as one of  the greatest Chicago Blues events of our time. Matthew has emerged as one of Chicago’s most accomplished blues-based artists.

HISTORY
As with many blues performers of his generation, Skoller has been influenced as much by Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Jimi Hendrix and the Allman Brothers as he has by Little Walter , Muddy Waters, Percy Mayfield and other legends of the blues. Skoller's take on the blues tradition is about letting his own voice come through – his culture, his experience. Skoller moved to Chicago in January 1987. His already mature harmonica playing led a number of
musicians to take him under their wings. He paid his dues backing up a "who's who" of creative and passionate musicians, including the legendary Jimmy Rogers, Big Time Sarah, and Deitra Farr. Skoller's emotional, high-energy
style caught the ear of veteran bassist/vocalist J.W. Williams who invited Skoller to join his band, the Chi-Town Hustlers. The next year, Skoller became a member of Big Daddy Kinsey and The Kinsey Report, recording and touring
with the band throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Despite his success working with others, Skoller heard the crying of an inner voice and since 1992 has led his own band. Like a tornado, he's blown through the Chicago blues scene. During the 1996 Democratic convention, Tom
Brokaw's NBC Nightly News In-Depth Report featured the Matthew Skoller Band performing live at B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted St. in Chicago. Also in '96, the band was awarded an artist-in-residency position at the Disney Institute
in Orlando, Florida.

RECORDINGS
1996 also saw the release of the first Matthew Skoller Band CD, Bone to Pick with You, which Vintage Guitar Magazine called "a strong debut." In 1999, the band released Shoulder to the Wind, for which French Blues magazine
Soul Bag noted Skoller's "excellence as an instrumentalist, but also as a composer." TapRoot followed in 2003. Tongue 'N Groove Records released the fourth Matthew Skoller Band album, These Kind Of Blues!, in January 2005.
This album was picked as one of Mojo Magazine's Top ten blues albums of 2005. It received rave reviews from nearly every blues publication in the business. Skoller's harmonica sound continues to be much in demand. In February
2000, Alligator Records employed him to play harmonica on Koko Taylor's CD, Royal Blue. Skoller's harmonica is featured on 11 songs on the CD, Knocking At Your Door, from guitarist John Primer. He's also played on albums by
Bernard Allison, Larry Garner, Big Daddy Kinsey, Big Time Sarah, Michael Coleman, Harvey Mandel, among others and has recorded a number of television jingles.

NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL APPEARANCES
The Matthew Skoller Band is a highly skilled, highly professional organization with extensive regional touring experience, gigs at prestigious national venues, and national and international festival appearances. For the last
15 years, The Matthew Skoller Band held a regular gig at Buddy Guy's Legends, perhaps the world's best-known blues club. This helped them build a large and enthusiastic following throughout Chicago and the Midwest. Skoller and crew had an 8-year run every Sunday at the House of Blues in Chicago and still play the venue on an ongoing basis. Other highlights have been performances at at the 2004 Lucerne Blues Festival. The Mawazine World Music Festival in Rabat Morocco in 2006 and again in 2008. Matthew also has performed at numerous festivals and club gigs in England, Italy, Norway, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, Greece, Chile, Holland, France, Normandy, Germany, Finland and China.
Matthew Skoller Band

 
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