His youth belies the experience that infuses his songwriting and performance. Minnesota native and Alternative Folk singer, songwriter and practicing musicologist, Matthew Griswold is currently playing over 200 of his “Modern Day Minstrel Shows” each year. Though a “solo” performer in trade title, he carries the sound of two dueling guitars and an array of dynamic vocal personalities to include a mastery in the art of whistling, which are all then supported by one boot strapped foot, stomping on a wooden cigar box, and keeping a “chain gang” like cadence through it all.
Griswold’s performances are rugged, haunting, howling, bone-shaking affairs where all of the grit and soul of a man who has seen the war torn battlefields of Iraq, but still found hope in even the worst of tragedies, are brought forth through a voice at once. He confidently leaves his crowds cradled in subtleties, but rocked with an undeniable presence.
Listen to him live, and you will witness a musician who inhabits, and is inhabited by, his music as if it were a spiritual transformation that lets him dance with his own demons instead of grappling with them.
He has crafted an arrangement style all his own which he employs to reinvent popular classics, traditional standards, and plug original songs that pay a strong tribute to a deep rooted heritage. With a well-honed natural talent, an ego voided work ethic, and an applied practice of Musicology tilting the odds in his favor, Griswold has become one of the country’s most notable independent working musician-songwriters.
He has over ten years of strategic millage marked with thousands of live performances and hundreds of intriguing press features, all while building a dense catalog of significant works to forever be preserved by groups of people he refuses to misrepresent by using the word “fan fanatic”, and more accurately refers to as fellowship witnesses.
Griswold has gained both industry notoriety and scholar respect as a “New Folk” era music maker, and while having had many of his original songs and compositions used in various films, TV shows and commercials all around the globe, due to an elite licensing contract he has with Universal Music Publishing, no matter where you’re at in the world you’re never standing far from someone who has likely been under his musical hypnosis or spellbound by one of his voodoo-ish hymns… which is why they may not even know they have been.