Rocky Votolato (left) and Matt Pond PA
The two indie singer/songwriters went from sharing the stage to sharing songwriting duties on Votolato's latest album, recording new songs for a split 7-inch and preparing a 40-date tour through the fall. The business of touring with other artists is often hit-or-miss, the road being a delicate place for social idiosyncrasies, sleep depravation and general annoyances to unravel, but for Rocky and Matt, it has only proven to strengthen their collaborative skills in a deeper way. Or as Tiny Mix Tapes put it: "Sensitive dudes with guitars need to stick together."
For two prolific songwriters, it would be safe to assume the whole touring thing has been conquered. Things get easier over time -- more efficient, more courageous, even. But just recently, however, Matt Pond suffered a broken leg while in Pontiac, Mich. He decided to continue the tour for the sake of the show, though. And for an artists who's been at it for more than a decade, that shows real dedication.
In fact, both of them have been performing for more than a decade. Votolato is the former frontman of the acclaimed Seattle band Waxwing and has been writing introspective, softened folk for awhile. His most recent record, True Devotion, came out on Barsuk in 2010 and was considered hopeful. It came out after a reclusive stretch of three years, during which he stopped songwriting altogether and dealt with stirring anxiety and existential study. On True Devotion, he manages to get dramatic while maintaining simple instrumentation with sweetly plucked guitars and singable choruses. There's a sincerity to Votolato's work, enen after seven studio albums.
For his part, Matt Pond PA has eight studio albums under his belt, including his last release, The Dark Leaves, which was made in a reclusive cabin (naturally); what emerged was ripe with lush instrumentation. The collection was mournful, with the added comforts of a cello, organ and acoustic guitar.
Here's what makes their tour even sweeter: They're offering up a chance to win free tickets to their show via Facebook. All you have to do is RSVP to a show, leave a comment and share the event on Facebook. Not only that, but Votolato is giving away his Gibson guitar to those who vote to pick his setlist. A sly way to get a little audience participation with social media, but a great idea! Try your luck for their show on Tuesday night at the Casbah.