“And each town looks the same to me, the movies and the factories
And ev’ry stranger’s face I see reminds me that I long to be,
I wish I was…..” – “Homeward Bound” by Simon and Garfunkel
The lyrics of Simon and Garfunkel’s road-weary classic must be ringing true with Andrew Morris right now.
The Warsaw native is one half of the neo-bluegrass outfit, The Matchsellers. Three months ago he and bandmate Julie Bates, who grew up in Kansas City, Mo., set off on their longest tour to date.
The duo went to the bayous of Louisiana, the mountains in Tennessee – not to mention Music City and Memphis – they went to Arkansas, maybe met a mountain momma in West Virginia, played to a soldout house in Springfield, Mo. and they were all over Texas. They saw the birthplace of bluegrass when the visited Appalachia and Jimmy Martin’s hometown, Sneedville, Tenn. They even made the evening news a few times.
They played in barns. They played in strangers’ homes. But one thing these two rolling stones certainly didn’t do was gather moss.
Of course, The Matchsellers haven’t spent much time in one place since forming the group. The two players were Fulbright scholars teaching in Germany just a couple of years ago. Morris caught the band bug, and Bates was willing to rent a fiddle and accompany him.
The Matchsellers built a little buzz across the pond. When they’re scholarships expired, they decided to try to make a living with their music. So they headed back to the states and booked some dates.
The duo have since become the real deal. They’ve played venues in roughly half of the continental US. And they’ve put together their debut album which is slated for release later this month.
Kosciusko County, due out Dec. 27, is full of songs inspired by Morris’s upbringing in Kosciusko County, including references to Burket, Mentone and Claypool. To celebrate the release of the album, The Matchsellers will be playing an album release show in Warsaw. Providing accompaniment for the evening will be 2014 National Mandolin Champion, Ethan Setiawan, and one of southern Indiana’s finest banjo pickers, Jeff Wise.
The Matchsellers will be at Tourmaline, 208 S. Buffalo St., Warsaw, at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 27. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased at picatic.com. Purchase of a ticket includes a copy of Kosciusko County and refreshments at the show.