Matt Mays, formerly a member of Halifax’s best alt-country band, the Guthries, is a fully paid-up member of the Wilco/Jayhawks melodic country-rock school of music. Mays is a gifted songwriter. He constructs pleasing melodies and writes evocative lyrics. His self-titled record sounds fine too, live and lush with plenty of swelling pedal steel and vocal harmonies topped off by his warm and pleasant vocals.

Songs like the driving “Where Am I Going?,” the rollicking “Lonely Highway Night,” and sadly waltzing “Your Heart” are nice and catchy. The only problem is that Mays’ gift doesn’t extend to creating a single original note. The entire record sounds like it has been done before and with more energy by Old 97’s, with more daring by Wilco, with more passion by the Jayhawks, and with more ambition by Whiskeytown. You get the picture. Mays’ album is for the kind of rabid fan of alt-country who needs to get every record by everyone performing the style. Anyone one else will find the record to be pleasant and professional but not very essential.

Matt Mays is available for corporate events, private shows, milestone celebrations (birthday, anniversary), fundraisers, festivals, and more.