Ask Matthews for an anecdote from his early career and he’ll spin better war stories than a Sixties blues boomer. Born in 1992, he still recalls the time when, aged three, he was called up to perform Roy Orbison’s Oh, Pretty Woman with his dad’s band. A sharper memory still is his coming-of-age at Notodden Blues Festival, when John Mayall invited the 12-year-old gunslinger to guest on All Your Love. Then there were the times he cut heads with Jeff Healey, took advice from B.B. King, pushed tour headliners Robben Ford and Walter Trout to the wire: all highlights of a full-pelt ascent that saw Classic Rock salute an artist who “writes, sings and plays like a man possessed”.
A lifetime later, the Blues Boy of Matthews’ 2006 debut album has been around the block, and the experiences he now recounts on Pizza Man Blues are written from a place of hard-won maturity. Running with the partnership that began with 2015’s Scenes From A Moving Window, and deepened with 2019’s Monster In Me, this latest record sees him writing alongside the iconic Pete Brown. “For a while, Krissy has been one of the most promising artists on the blues-rock scene,” says the Cream lyricist. “But he’s grown more caring, intense and exploratory in recent years, leading to a impressive maturity in his playing, production and writing. I believe Krissy Matthews has now arrived.”
The songs he laid down at Buckingham’s Echo Studios in September 2020 for Pizza Man Blues are cut directly from the younger musician’s life and blur genres from rock, soul and blues to country, folk and indie. “I wanted a ‘Krissy Matthews’ vibe to this album,” he shrugs. “I don’t like to box myself into restrictions of where I can and can’t go, so I just write and see what happens. This was the result.”