New Jersey’s best kept secret is about to make some noise. Over the past few years, The Matt O’Ree Band has done what most area bands do. They’ve played their shows, developed their sound, released their records and very quietly built a local fan base in the process.
What makes this band different from all the others is that their local fan base includes Bruce Springsteen, David Bryan and John Popper (all of whom have volunteered to perform on the band’s last album several years ago) which broke the band globally. Bruce Springsteen contributed vocals and lead guitar on O’Ree’s song “Black Boots” and David Bryan from Bon Jovi co-wrote and produced the album’s second single and played on numerous other songs on the record. Matt’s talent was finally recognized globally when he got the nod to join rock legends Bon Jovi as one of their touring guitarists in 2015. When some of your biggest contributors and supports have sold a collective 240 million units, you know you might be on the right track.
The band is currently touring to promote their new album, Hand in Glove, to be released on November 3, 2022. This latest album shows the influence of each of the band members, featuring more songs written by the band as a whole and including more songs where Eryn sings lead vocals, as evidenced by the first two singles, Whole Lotta Nothin’ and Better as I Go. What hasn’t changed is that the songs are true blues rock n’ roll featuring Matt’s ripping guitar and gritty vocals, Eryn’s powerful wail and impressive range, both technically and stylistically, the pair’s off-the-charts vocal chemistry, Layonne Holmes’ soulful back-up vocals, Lex Lehman’s smooth bass tones, Matt Wade’s colorful keys and THE John Hummel’s behind-the-beat Bonhamesque drums.
An early career accomplishment that opened up some doors for Matt was when he won a guitar contest hosted by BB King and John Mayer through Guitar Center and Guitar World Magazine. Matt beat out over 4,000 guitar players in that competition to win him the grand prize, multiple guitars and an endorsement from Gibson guitars, shopping sprees with Guitar Center, and a car from Scion. This major accomplishment really sparked his career and the momentum for the future of the band. “It was one of those moments when after all those years of slugging it out, I felt like I finally got someplace,” O’Ree said of Guitarmageddon. “It was a great moment. It was like, wow, I finally accomplished something. Getting to meet B.B. King was fantastic!”
The Matt O’Ree Band is something truly special. These are serious professionals who are proving that Blues and Rock are still alive and well. From their collaboration with Bruce Springsteen and David Bryan of Bon Jovi, to their outstanding live performances, killer vocals, and top-flight musicianship, this is a group with a bright future. Check out these links to find your new favorite band.