Bio

MATTHEW SCHARPF

Singer/Songwriter

Chicago, IL

Matthew’s musical odyssey was cast at the age of 13, while a freshman at Detroit Catholic Central High School in Michigan, when he taught himself to play drums in the attic of his house.  While listening to a boom box and sitting behind a $30 black-trimmed, orange-sparkled, four-piece drum kit with a homemade kick pedal, Matthew broke down the patterns in Night Ranger's "Sister Christian".  It was at this auspicious moment that Matthew had an epiphany that music was to be an irrevocable part of his life.

 

Music continued to shape Matthew’s life throughout high school and into college where he attended the University of Dayton in Ohio.  At Dayton he began to craft his songwriting skills while playing in cover bands and honing his musical prowess.  He could often be found playing to crowds at the many front porch parties sharing his heartfelt lyrics with his growing fan base.  In 1993 Matthew made the move to Chicago to further pursue his musical career where he released his first solo EP, “Emotional Baggage”.  He then formed the band Jamestown which made a splash on the Midwestern music scene with their full length debut effort “Handful of Sand”.  Behind Matthew’s powerfully reflective lyrics the release garnered the band many positive reviews and some critical initial momentum.  The success of Jamestown’s debut album allowed for a bigger band and the 1995 release of their sophomore self-titled record, bringing more critical acclaim, over 10,000 units in sales, a movie soundtrack, and greater aspirations.  The band, fueled by Matthew’s continually evolving songwriting abilities, continued to build momentum while touring extensively throughout the Midwest and Southeast US.  A final Jamestown album, “Take This As You Will”, was released in 1997.  Once again this critically acclaimed album brought more success for the band with larger shows, an ever-expanding fan base, and talk of record deals, but in 2000, Jamestown’s run of headlining throughout the Midwest and opening for nationally recognized bands such as Tragically Hip, Cracker, and 10,000 Maniacs sadly came to an end. However, for Matthew, writing songs and playing music never did….

 

Fast-forward to the present and Matthew’s New Folk sound today is much like his background: willing to take a risk yet always accessible and musically disciplined with lyrics that are introspective, observant, and meaningful. As a singer-songwriter telling stories, Matthew plies the trade, knowing the rules well enough to occasionally break them in a way reminiscent to the Beatles or Elvis Costello.  Whether in bands playing to tens of thousands of people, to solo shows for adoring fans, to intimate performances on a front porch with friends, Matthew takes the craft of songwriting seriously and the proof is there for all to hear.  He continues to share his efforts, however flawed, and hopes that you will enjoy the work and join him on his musical odyssey as he continues to discover his passion. Just listen…