Americana rockers Matt Monta & the Haymakers have been grinding in Columbus for some time, but the unpredictable job market might be changing how Monta (guitar, vocals and harmonica) and his band record music in the foreseeable future.
With Monta planning to move with his family to Richmond, Virginia, in September, a long-distance relationship will need to blossom if the Haymakers want to produce more original cuts. Citing the Postal Service's intriguing -- at least for the early 2000s -- concept of exchanging and creating music via mailed CDs, Monta explained how far music technology has advanced since then. In turn, being able to send a demo to his bandmates to have them add on and critique makes the move to Richmond not seem far at all.
"I imagine that that's probably something we'll start exploring here so we can keep things going," Monta said.
But in the meantime, with a residency still in Columbus, Monta is plotting another Haymakers album months after the release of the reflective "Restless Disposition" in April. Continuing a relationship with Joe Viers at Sonic Lounge Recording Studios in Grove City, Monta has a few singles in mind that he has been meaning to get recorded.
Face-to-face collaborations like studio sessions are something Monta has reminded himself not to take for granted. The ability to sit down and jam with his bandmates on a whim will be missed, but the impending lack seems to have heated up Monta's creative juices, prompting a visit to Viers.
"I've been writing a lot in the last year and also hanging on to older songs I never recorded," Monta said.
The time is coming when Monta temporarily will have to part ways with Columbus, meaning his music will have a new home and new ears to explore it. No matter how big the challenge, Monta is up for it.
"It's tough because you're going from a place you've been at for 10 years, you know everybody and you're comfortable to a place where you don't know anybody and nobody knows you and you're starting from scratch," Monta said.
However, his soulful storytelling, backed by folk- and blues-laden harmonies, has a way of reaching people.
Reminiscent of such greats as Bob Dylan and Jeff Mangum, Monta's ability to convey emotions through his instruments, and his voice can transcend residency. Poetic verses cut through powerful choruses on "Restless Disposition" and such songs as "I Won't Be Scared."
Catch Monta in a free outdoor performance at the Dublin Market at Bridge Park from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 4.
Zak Kolesar is executive editor for In The Record Store. ThisWeek publishes a weekly feature from the organization, which focuses on central Ohio music discovery and involvement.