Despite the name, Matt is no longer an electrician, focusing instead on a music career that’s now spanned two decades, a dozen records, and literally thousands of shows. His is folk music for a modern age, rooted in lyrics that focus on the realities and challenges of the 21st century as opposed to, say, the old-school thrill of hopping trains. “I don’t generally write mining disaster songs,” he explains. “I tend to write about things that have happened to me and my family … songs about the small things in life, which to me are the big things.” Years before moving to Texas and launching his career as a boundary-breaking, working-class musician, Matt Sever grew up on the West Coast. His parents, a union carpenter and a seamstress, played him John Denver and Pete Seeger songs, and Matt spent his earliest years surrounded by the things that would later fill his own music: acoustic guitars, timeless melodies, lyrics that celebrated the joys and heartaches of everyday life, and above all else a strong work ethic. That work ethic served him well in the mid-1990s, when he moved to Austin in search of new horizons.
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