Photo courtesy of Eric Overstreet
The Güeyfarers (pronounced Wayfarers) are Jimmy Hartman on bass and harmony vocals, Brandon Custer on drums, Matt Cain on keys, Sylvia Kirk on harmony vocals, tambourine and shakers, Eric Demmer on saxophone and Matt Kirk on lead vocals, guitars, mandolin and harmonica.
Matt Kirk grew up in the hill country of Texas with a talented musical family. He has been playing music for as long as he can remember and was more than likely listening to his mother sing in the womb. His mother Sylvia is a long time musician and singer in the San Antonio area and they regularly play gigs together to this day. Their album "Matt and Ma" was released in 2022.
Matt's influences span from folk and country to blues and classic rock to Tejano to Americana and western swing. Individual influences include the great Levon Helm, Jimmy LaFave, Leon Russell, Doug Sahm, Auggie Meyers and Flaco Jimenez, Monte Montgomery, and Scott Byers among several others.
His debut album displays many of those influences in the music and the lyrics. From the first soulful track about hanging out in a sleepy, river town to the heartfelt ballads about love shaping your life and love lost, the listener is taken through some of Matt's own life experiences. He writes about dreams, he writes about being ok, and he writes tranquil instrumentals. The accordion (Josh Baca), the mandolin, the washboard (Kevin Russell), steel guitar, violin, and an all-star horn section (Grooveline Horns) all make appearances on the album. Ron Knuth and Jackson Parten are featured on two tracks.
"River" is a solid rocker on the album, and the blues influence is evident in "Poor Man's Blues". Tommy Detamore's steel guitar guides you through "Drowning in Sin". Gene Elder and Steve Katz provide a euphonious backdrop to "Take My Heart". The incomparable Monte Montgomery plays guitar on "Dreams Are Never Lost".
And certainly not the be left out is the family affair with Sylvia Kirk, sister Katie, niece Maddie Kirk, and Tracy Wenzel singing back up and harmony vocals on a couple of tunes - the masterful "Weight of the World" and the aforementioned rocker "River".
Matt Kirk and the Güeyfarers are an exceptional live act in a musically abundant area of Texas and are a can't miss if anyone has the opportunity to catch them in person.