Matthew Ryan carries a torch for Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros

Matthew Ryan and Joe Strummer

Matthew Ryan and Joe Strummer

Matthew Ryan’s recommendation: “I love a lot of music from all across the landscape past and present. But Joe Strummer always ignites me. Years ago I was in a bar with some friends in London. It wasn’t very long after Joe Strummer had died. It was late and the bar was packed. A couple guys sat down with us. It was a couple of The Mescaleros. I had always dreamed I would one day meet Strummer. That wasn’t to be. So I asked those fellas the questions I could, and they were kind enough to answer what they could. Joe Strummer as I’m sure you know was in The Clash. It couldn’t have been easy gearing it all back up with the legend that becomes an albatross. The guys in The Mescaleros had a real spirit about them. They had that innocent servitude to rock n roll about them even when we sat there that night. I felt that vibe gave me some sense of why Strummer committed to a new musical adventure with them. To MEAN IT, to be earnest, is one of the most dangerous things to do with your heart and your art; it’s possibly the most PUNK ROCK thing you can do in a western world of messaging and constant deluge of want, pre-occupation and irony. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros were really getting their feet under them when Streetcore was being made. Although their earlier records were no joke as well. Check out Ramshackle Day Parade off of Streetcore, if that doesn’t get you swooning with wild hope and ambition and usefully nuclear indignation, nothing will.”

Matthew RyanAbout our guest author, Matthew Ryan: Rocktorch first learned about Matthew Ryan in 2006 when The Star Ledger’s Jay Lustig put Ryan’s From A Late Night High Rise album in his top 10 of 2006 list. We then dug a little deeper and found that he’s has some other very high profile resume bullets: he’s appeared on Conan and Letterman, recorded with Lucinda Williams (she actually sang on his record!) and he’s toured with heavyweights like Tommy Stinson and Steve Earle. Ryan’s last release came in 2009, the ultra-personal Dear Lover but we figure that new material must be coming soon judging by his upcoming tour dates. Do yourself a favor and check one of his shows or lock yourself away with one of CDs. It will be time well spent.