10 Best Country and Americana Songs of the Week

Built around a chromatic guitar riff that spirals downward into darkness, “Until That Echo” is a roots-rocker for late-night drives and haunted hearts. Frontman Matt Szlachetka co-wrote the song with Scott Underwood, Train’s drummer of 20 years, resulting in a track that mixes deep-seated grooves with guitar heroics.

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Heart of Szlachetka’s hometown

Before relocating to Nashville, singer-songwriter Matthew Szlachetka — stage name Szlachetka — found his muse in the small town of Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Since then, he’s become a fruitful songwriter whose pen never runs dry. His vivid musical snapshots of life combined with his warm, earnest lyrical delivery is like the second coming of Jackson Browne.

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Wide Open Country’s Weekly Must-Listen

Wide Open Country names SZLACHETKA’s title track, “Heart of My Home Town” as a “Weekly Must Listen”.

“Heart of My Hometown” is the title cut from [Matthew] Szlachetka’s sophomore album. Shaped by the constant travels of a touring musician, Heart of My Hometown captures the varied emotions sparked by the open road. It’s a double-edged sword. With “Heart of My Hometown,” Szlachetka delivers a rousing Jackson Browne-esque hometown anthem. He reminds you that even though you’re ready to run from whatever small town you’re from, those old stomping grounds are still a piece of who you are. “Don’t look back, just make them proud,” Szlachetka sings on the driving chorus. It’s a windows down, wind in your hair summer singalong.

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Szlachetka Releases ‘Heart of My Hometown’

Nashville, TN – The sophomore album from Rolling Stone “Artist To Know,” Szlachetka (pronounced SLA-HET-KA), is available now across all platforms. Heart of My Hometown is a mix of modern Americana, ’70s California rock, and singer-songwriter sentiments produced by Grammy award-winning producer David Bianco (Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen).

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Hard to pronounce but oh so easy to listen to. Meet Szlachetka.

His name is pronounced SLA-HET-KA. Now on to the music.

Years before he teamed up with Grammy-winning producer David Bianco for the Heart of My Hometown sessions, Szlachetka grew up in Western Massachusetts. Even back then, he was a man on the move. Lacrosse games and jam sessions took him from town to town, paving the way for an eventual relocation to San Diego after graduating college. There, he cut his teeth in a string of beach bars and small clubs before heading to Los Angeles, where he began his career as the frontman of acclaimed roots-rock band the Northstar Session. He recorded five albums with the band and appeared in the second season of NBC’s Parenthood, before kicking off his solo career with 2014’s Waits for a Storm to Find.

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Szlachetka discusses new album 'Heart of my Hometown'

Americana artist Szlachetka, who was named "Artist to Watch" by Rolling Stone chatted with Digital Journal about his new album, "Heart of my Hometown," which will be released on February 16. On his new album, Heart of my Hometown, he said, "I've been on the road quite a bit over the past five years, and typically I play between 150 to 200 dates a year. Most of my inspiration for songs on this album came from observations from the road, between people I've met, towns I've discovered, and the sentiments that have stuck with me. I feel like an interloper sometimes – getting a glimpse of all these great towns and communities and experiencing their uniqueness and character. It's one of the perks that come with being a full-time touring artist."

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'Heart of My Hometown' Video Premiers on TheBoot.com

Written by Carrie Horton, published in theboot.com on October 13, 2016

Americana artist Matthew Szlachetka is debuting the music video for “Heart of My Hometown,” his latest single, on The Boot. The song combines crisp vocals, hard-edged guitars and rhythmic production to create a track that somehow seems classic and innovative at the very same time, and its accompanying video is a perfect homage to the indelible mark our homes leave on us, both in life and in music.

“Heart of My Hometown” showcases Szlachetka’s storytelling lyrics, guitar prowess and vocals that sound raw and polished in the same breath. The artist draws on Americana influences, rock-country qualities and even a few pop tendencies to craft a song that’s rooted in folk and country music, yet raised to new lyrical, musical and even emotional heights.

Read More: Matthew Szlachetka, 'Heart of My Hometown' Music Video [Premiere]


"Wasting Time" Live on Catch A Break at AMS

POSTED BY: THE MIX

Los Angeles based solo artist Matthew Szlachetka (pronounced SLA-HET-KA) is a Rock & Roll/ Americana singer-songwriter who plays between 150- 200 shows a year throughout the United States. He released his debut solo album, Waits For A Storm To Find in Spring of 2014 to high critical acclaim.

In February 2016 Szlachetka will start his sophomore release with Grammy winning producer David Bianco (Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Lucinda Williams, The Black Crowes). The album is slated to be released by the end of the year.

There have been a few current break throughs for Waits For A Storm To Find which include the current single “Come Home For December” being added to regular rotation on Pat Monahan’s (singer of TRAIN) SIRIUS XM The Pulse radio show Train Tracks. One of the other singles off the album, “Wasting Time” is currently in regular rotation on WFUV FM in New York City.

From 2006- 2013 he served as frontman for The Northstar Session an acclaimed Los Angeles-based roots-rock band. During his tenure in the band they released 5 albums.

Szlachetka’s music has been heard on various movies and TV shows, including the hit NBC show Parenthood (Season 2, Episode 2) where he performed in a scene with actor Dax Shepherd.

Artists he has opened for and/or shared the stage with include Chris Isaac, Brandi Carlisle, Huey Lewis & The News, John Waite, Tommy Emmanuel, Albert Lee, Doyle Dykes, Chris Hillman, Laurence Juber, John Jorgensen, Lee Roy Parnell, Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven, Matthew Sweet, Greg Laswell, Johnette Napolitano, Hanson, Fishbone, The English Beat, Madi Diaz, The California Honeydrops.

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Interview on shakedownnews.com

by Jackson Truax, published on shakedownnews.com on September 6, 2016

This past July at Hotel Café, I had the great pleasure of seeing Matthew Szlachetka opening for The Dirty Knobs, the side project of Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s lifelong guitarist Mike Campbell. Szlachetka’s set succeeded in delivering all of the things that make a set of music memorable, trenchant, insightful, and fun. But there was something else in Szlachetka’s writing and showmanship that made his music special and his show especially life-affirming. While I wasn’t sure if I could have articulated it at the time, I knew I wanted to spend more time with what Szlachetka offers audiences locally and across America. So I immediately bought his debut solo album, “Waits for a Storm to Find,” and his new single “Heart of My Hometown,” (now available on iTunes), which also serves as his next music video (released later in September 2016), and is also the title track for his upcoming sophomore solo record.

Szlachetka invited me to two full band shows he played at the now defunct Piano Bar in Hollywood and an upcoming show at Hotel Café on Friday, September 9th, where he’s sharing the stage with his occasional co-writer Jeff Silbar, who won a Grammy in 1990 for co-writing “Wind Beneath My Wings.” I was also offered an early opportunity to hear Szlachetka’s forthcoming album, which is both a definitive statement in and reinvention of the sub-genre of “Americana Roots Rock.” Szlachetka was born and raised in New England, is based in Los Angeles, and often works and writes in Nashville. The singular aspect to his forthcoming album and the title track that makes them special might be the extent to which it’s profoundly and equally influenced by all of those locations and the musical lineages associated with them. Because Szlachetka is mused by such an incredible melting pot, it makes sense that he could wear all of those influences proudly and still maintain an entirely original sound and voice. The other thing about the forthcoming album that’s uniquely compelling is the way that Szlachetka is constantly able to imbue his music with the exaltation and resilience of a classic Bruce Springsteen record, while also delivering the humanity and warmth of John Prine’s best songwriting. After appearing in the second season of TV’s “Parenthood” playing with his old band The Northstar Session, Szlachetka’ last single “Come Home for December” and “Heart of My Hometown” have been among his songs added to regular rotation on SIRIUS XM The Pulse’s “Train Tracks,” and these songs and others have been played on radio stations throughout the Northeast including WFUV 90.7 FM in New York City and WRSI 93.9 in Massachusetts, with his music playing in what’s appropriately known as the “Pioneer Valley.”

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'Heart of My Hometown' Reviewed on Nooga.com

By JOSHUA PICKARD - Published on September 2, 2016

The music of Los Angeles singer-songwriter Matthew Szlachetka draws your gaze back to a simpler time, a time when music was less about stylized production and more about its experiential nature. That's not to say that the production on Szlachetka's songs are lacking in any measure—the exact opposite is true, in fact, and each one reveals itself slowly and deliberately. The production is always crisp but never distracting. He's able to combine alt country tendencies with a more pop-oriented approach to create something that borrows liberally from both genres while carving out its own density and appearance.

On his new single, "Heart of My Hometown," Szlachetka raises up his Americana influences and forges a new direction for this noise, one that owes an unimaginable debt to the past but still sees the future as capable of such wonder. The guitars glisten and glide along on the back of his rebounding melodies—it's all covered in a shimmering pop blanket that sparkles in the morning air. But this track is still rooted in the rustic narratives that folk and country music all but invented. The way that he shapes this song reveals that he has a deeper understanding of what makes these rhythms really connect on an emotional level, more so than most of his peers who only see and respond to the superficial personality that lives within these sounds.

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