Blues Phenomenon: MATT SCHOLFIELD!

Today's Elevenses Throws Eleven Quick Questions At 'Blues Phenomenon' Matt Scholfield!

Inspired by the Blues, infused with the funk rhythms of New Orleans and topped-off by virtuoso musicianship, Matt Schofield is being talked of as the finest Blues guitarist to have emerged in Europe for several generations, perhaps even in the World, and has received rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic.

So what’s your drink of choice at 11am in the morning?

A long black espresso.

Which song/album really made you want to play guitar?

A rendition of Texas Flood featuring SRV, B.B. King and Albert Collins all jammin’ together, that I saw on a video when I was 12 years old. It was the coolest thing I’d ever heard or seen and still is!

Who’s the world’s greatest guitarist?

It’s an unanswerable question, even if I only use my own opinion as the standard of judgment. There are many “greats” but no single greatest.

Who’s the world’s most underrated guitarist?

There are so many brilliant players out there to choose from who deserve more recognition, but the first guy that springs to mind for me is David Grissom.

So what are you up to at the moment?

I’m spending Xmas in Canada with my girlfriend, followed by some gigs there with my friend Shawn Kellerman and his band. And then back to Europe in the new year for a tour with my own Trio, including The Netherlands, France, Ireland, Denmark and eventually England again.

What was the last gig you went to (as a member of the audience)?
Who would be in your dream line-up?

The Allman Brothers Band, and they were great.

Hmm, choices! Narrowing the choice to living musicians, and it really depends on what we were going to be playing, but I could be very happy with Steve Jordan on drums and Willie Weeks on bass to start with. Then maybe I’d add Jim Pugh (from Robert Cray’s band), or Larry Goldings on keys. Perhaps bring out the Tower of Power Horns for a few tracks. Yeah, that would be fine for me!

How many guitars do your own and which one is ‘your precious’?

I own six guitars, and my “precious” is definitely my original 1961 Fender Stratocaster. It’s my benchmark by which all the others are measured.

What’s the last great album that you bought (or were given)?

Well, even though I’ve got quite a few “good” new albums lately, the most recent truly “great” one would be the re-released and remixed version of Jimi Hendrix: Live at Monterey. Even though I’ve had a copy of it in one form or another for years, it’s still “great” all over again!

Do you suffer from stage fright?

No, never have.

So what’s your drink of choice at 11pm in the evening?

Depends where I am and what I’m doing. A Grolsch sometimes, but usually just a Coke or water.

(Interview - December 2007)