Shenandoah, Iowa, native Matt Cox self-released his debut album Folker’s Travels in 2007 and established himself as a vibrant part of the emerging Omaha, Nebraska singer/songwriter scene. While local and regional stages allowed him to bring his foot-stomping, old-time country and blues to a steadily growing fanbase, Cox began to define his singular style and road worn vocals by touring a good part of the western United States and reaching new audiences in places like Denver, Phoenix, LA, and San Francisco, as well as Austin, TX (where he was invited to perform at SXSW). In 2009, Cox released his second group of songs entitled My Last Dollar and spearheaded another grassroots-style tour with stops in music meccas like St. Louis, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, and again at Austin’s prodigious SXSW festival.
After returning to Omaha, what started out as a trio consisting of friends Seth Ondracek (bass) and Ben Zinn (guitars/pedal steel), soon became a full-steam ahead five-piece known as The Matt Cox Band with the additions of piano man Nick Semrad and Andrew Tyler on drums. Cox and his band quickly gained the attention of heartland concert promoters and club owners, and began sharing stages with well-known national acts like Son Volt, Railroad Earth, and William Elliot Whitmore. During the spring of 2011, the well-oiled MCB went to Lincoln, Nebraska’s Fuse Recording Studio with engineer Charlie Johnson, and recorded (over the course of two days) what would become Tracks In The Sound (Slo-fi, 2011) before the band’s short lived time together ended as members pursued opportunities and families outside of their home state. This transition allowed Cox to refine his skills as a guitar player and songsmith while continuing to perform as a solo artist for the next two years until introducing a new cast of players in 2013, including longtime friends Walker Gerard (drums), Vern Fergesen (bass), and Colin Duckworth (guitars/pedal steel). In 2014, Nishnabotna, the fourth album from Matt Cox, was released on Sower Records and nominated for Album of the Year by the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards.
The Cost Of Everything And The Value Of Nothing is the fifth studio album from Matt Cox released July 15, 2016 on Sower Records. The self-produced album was recorded live on December 19, 2015 at Hidden Tracks Recording Studio, in Omaha, Nebraska by Jeremy Garrett and mastered by Doug Van Sloan at Focus Mastering. The performances, featuring longtime friends Colin Duckworth (pedal steel, guitars, mandolin), Vern Fergesen (accordion, piano), and Josh Dunwoody (upright bass), are a nearly untouched portrayal of what the songs would sound like in a live setting, or living room, with no use of scratch tracks and very few overdubs. The mood is steeped in old time traditions of American roots music with tracks “Jumping’ River Blues,” “Little Lucy,” and “Nighttime Drifter” highlighting Cox’s abilities as a slide guitarist as well as his signature harmonica style, while stripped-back works like “Drama Queen” and “The Charcoal Grill Song” offer a more introspective glimpse at the songwriter’s personal life.
Now a six-time Omaha Entertainment and Arts Award winner for Best Country/Americana and Best Blues, the caliber of artist Matt Cox has become in the studio and on stage is being recognized regionally, and across the nation. Cox continues to play shows with an ever-changing lineup of the area’s top talent and a raw energy that reveals the passion and experience that friends share with each other on stage and off.
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