I’ve never really been too interested in popular country music, so I was very hesitant about exploring CMA Fest on Broadway in Nashville last month. However, the Best Buy stage outside the Hard Rock Café was the start to a good time in the country music realm. This is because I got to hear Striking Matches (pka Common Thread) take the stage with for an acoustic set in the heat of a summer afternoon, and was thoroughly entertained. Striking Matches is a country duo from Nashville, TN that combines their talent on guitar with outstanding harmonies and great songs that everyone can enjoy. Their sound and performance at CMA Fest 2011 was awesome! The acoustic guitars sounded so fresh, the punch of the Cajon sounded like a studio kick, and the harmonies were nothing but dialed in. It was somewhere around 95 degrees and the music coming from the stage took my mind off the heat. The group on stage consisted of duet vocals with acoustic guitars, a bass player, and a cajon player. They were tight, and they could play. Check out this song by Striking Matches called “Not the One.”
Striking Matches is made up singers/songwriters/guitarists Sarah Zimmerman and Justin Davis. From Philadelphia, PA, Sarah has played guitar since she was ten and found herself playing alongside legends such as John Wetton, Mike Keneally, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, The Players, and Jon Anderson by the time she finished high school. From N. Georgia, Justin Davis has had a guitar in his hands for as long as he can remember. These two talented musicians met years ago when they were both students at Belmont University. While taking a guitar class together, they found out that their styles blended especially well. Not only that, but when they each pulled out their electric guitars, the duo discovered that they had the same exact Telecaster guitars with matching colors and all! It’s no doubt that Striking Matches was an exciting match from the start. Both of them had been playing guitar for most of their lives, and they each thrived on blues music. Check out this song called “Take Me For A Fool:”
They decided to join forces, collaborate, and begin creating music together as a duo in Nashville. They soon received management from music executive John Grady at Crush Management’s Nashville office, publishing deals with Universal Music, and a growing fan base. With combined skills in guitar, vocals, and songwriting, the two create a vibe that is unmatched in country music. With “lyrics that speak to all,” Common Thread is definitely a band that plenty can relate to. Their show at CMA Fest 2011 was excellent and I can’t wait to see this duo again, especially since they plan to incorporate their Fender Telies into the act. Striking Matches has great potential in music and has already started off with some great shows, co-writes, and new album plans in 2011. Don’t miss their next show August 10 at the Listening Room in Nashville, TN!
By: Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC