Hillbilly Highway – The Reverend Rambler prepares to drop debut



by Sheldon Birnie

Winnipeg’s Matt Colpitts (aka The Reverend Rambler) has been slowly building himself a reputation around the Heart of the Continent as a dynamic performer and an authentic songwriter — not to mention the city’s best one-man-band.

This Saturday, March 9, the Reverend is raising funds, with a stacked line-up, at the Park Theatre for his first solo release. The release has been long awaited by folks who’ve caught his one-man band act around Winnipeg and, recently, outside of the perimeter as far west as Cypress River, Clearwater, and Brandon.

“One of the reason’s I haven’t done recordings up to this point has been the lack of financial resources and time, being a full-time student,” admits the Rambler. “It’s nice to have friends and family come together to make it happen.”

A veteran of many stages in Winnipeg — from community centers, basements, bars, and festivals — since high school, the Rambler has been performing on and off under his current moniker since 2009. However, this will mark his first serious attempt at nailing down the songs he’s been performing for years in an official capacity.

“It’s a range of songs,” Colpitts explains. “The majority of them are stuff that I’m currently playing live. Like ‘Jenny Lee,’ which I played with the Red River Ramblers. That’s gonna be on there. Two more acoustic songs that we sort of just did off the cuff, to sort of switch it up to give it some depth, so it’s not just too much of the same thing.”

“Everything that I did was live off the floor,” the Reverend continues. The Rambler holed up in the basement studio of Adam Young, a local soundman and singer-songwriter in his own right, this past winter to grind out the album. “A couple tunes I did in one take, and we didn’t really do more than three takes. One good aspect of that is it’s going to have that real live, raw sounding honest recording of what you’d hear me do live.”

With this weekend’s fundraiser, the only things to complete now are the mixing, mastering and release of the album (which is as of yet untitled, though I anticipate the Rev will go the self-titled route myself). Upon it’s release, Colpitts looks forward to taking the Reverend even further a field, and playing to larger and larger audiences.

“Apparently I’m playing Countryfest,” the Rambler replies when asked what’s up for the summer in terms of gigs. “I did Festivale last Sunday and that was just a great time. We’ll see what happens as soon as the album comes out.”

For a sneak peak of the album, as well as a download code for when the album officially drops, get ye to the Park Theatre on Saturday. Show starts at 7pm, with Waywiser opening and Greg Arcade & The Electric closing the night.

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