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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Detroit blues artist John Latini new album release "The Blues Just Makes Me Feel Good"



John Latini is a 3-time solo Detroit blues champion and award winning songwriter. He has won song writing awards and 2 film music awards for his compositions and recordings in 5 states. 

His first blues record "The Blues Just Makes Me Feel Good" is bursting with flavor and smart songs, mostly penned by himself. The blues champ growls, and in response the guitars and horns howl. In addition to being a serious craftsman of clever, literate songs, Latini is the purveyor of a slick, blues-soaked, economically hard-driving guitar style, but more than anything he’s an intense, incandescent performer, with an emotional, testosterone-charged voice. If this is what the blues feels like, then take a daily dose and enjoy.

Read more about John Latini:
http://www.smokinsleddogrecords.com/bm-artist-john-latini.php

“Recalling the raspy, liquor-soaked growl of Tom Waits, Latini’s soulfully controlled vocals animate the stories of the songs. At once smooth and rough, his singing sounds alternately celebratory, remorseful, seductive and dangerous.” -The Ann Arbor Observer




Marty's review: I think the title of this album very much says it all. The blues are not there to bring you down but rather lift you up when you are down, and John Latini certainly achieves that on the 13 outstanding tracks on this album. John's up front and down to earth approach to his music is what makes this release shine. His songwriting has been honed down to a craft and skill where every lyric comes together to create a story that's makes you want to listen and his musicianship backs it up with some expert guitar playing and a strong, soulful voice.

Album is available for streaming and purchase now through Smokin Sleddog Records



                                    



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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Jack Mack and the Heart Attack Horns new album "Back to the Shack"..funky soul blues



Jack Mack’s sweet, funky soul music has earned a critically acclaimed 30-year legacy of success in the music business that includes ten records, blockbuster movie soundtracks and hundreds of global television and stage performances. They've circled the globe performing concerts, clubs, festivals and some of the world's most outrageous private affairs. Their smokin’, Southern-flavored R'n'B and soul is inspired by the legendary artists who recorded for influential labels such as Stax/Volt and in locations rich in musical history such as Muscle Shoals, with hints of Philadelphia and the Motown sound in the mix as well.

Back to the Shack is their latest album, featuring 10 soulful and bluesy tunes, nine co-written by the band and all performed with a fresh, contemporary approach. The album, coming on the heels of the group's 2014 EP, "Lookin' Up,” which was produced by Grammy-winning blues producer Tom Hambridge, features one of New Orleans’ favorite sons, vocalist and co-writer Mark Campbell, as well as guitarist and songwriter Andrew Kastner and the world- class horn section The Heart Attack Horns.




They're joined by some of the finest studio and touring professionals -- musicians who have worked with successful artists such as Robert Cray, Keb'Mo', Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal. These include keyboardists Mike Finnigan and Carlos Murguia, Tony Braunagel and Les Falconer on drums, trumpet mavens Les Lovitt and Lee Thornburg, and others. Singer Melanie Taylor (who has performed with Aerosmith and John Mayer) adds sparkling backing vocals to the opening track, "Standin' Before the King.”


Marty's review: big, bold, bluesy, soulful and funky are just a few of the adjectives I can use to describe this latest release by Jack Mack. Taking influences from such legends as James Brown, BB King, Solomon Burke, Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett among others, this 10 tracker delivers on all aspects with tight production, soulful vocals and lyrics that tell a story worth hearing. The experience and professionalism all come through resulting in an album that will please all lovers of blues and soul.


                                          

"From jump 'til the final note, this album is nothing short of astounding. It's sure to please the most discerning soul and blues aficionado." - Cleve Baker, Confessing the Blues

"For anyone who grooves on the soul-shakin', groove-poppin', fire-up-your-mojo, party-time sounds of such legends as Wilson Pickett, Booker T., The Blues Brothers, Eddie Floyd, James Brown, and Sam and Dave, this is for you." - iTunes

"I think this is my favorite blues-eyed soul album, ever. Add just a touch of whiskey to it, you'll be listening to it over and over and singing at the top of your lungs!" - Google Play Music

For further information: 

official website http://www.jackmack.com/



                                                    


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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Vin Mott's Rhythm & Blues Band new album "Quit the Women for the Blues"..down and dirty


Vin Mott is a young up and coming Blues artist from New Jersey, USA, and his brand new debut album entitled "Quit the Women for the Blues", featuring 10 original Blues tunes, has just been released.

Vin is 27 years old and is from Pequannock, NJ. It was in high school when Vin began discovering his love of Blues and Roots music, the sound of the harmonica, and began teaching himself to play the Blues harp. In 2007 Vin went on to study music at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA where he graduated in 2011 with a BA in Songwriting. By the late summer of 2013 Vin had returned home to New Jersey. Over the next several years Vin, along with the help of guitarist Sean Ronan, would book countless gigs in local taverns, roadhouses, and restaurants such as the Great Notch Inn, the Robin’s Nest Rhythm & Blues, Hat City Kitchen, and Ruthie’s BBQ & Pizza, as well as branching into Eastern PA and the Philadelphia area. The live band (Vin Mott’s Rhythm & Blues Band) has included some of the areas most talented young Jazz, Blues, and Roots musicians. 




Vin’s debut album was officially released on February 3rd, 2017 and is available on iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby. Aside from singing and playing Blues harp, Vin also works as a drummer in the Bob Lanza Blues Band (Vin played drums and harp on the album Till the Pain is Gone which reached #5 on Billboards Blues Chart in November 2016) and Trudy Lynn Blues Band and teaches music professionally at the School of Rock Montclair (NJ). 

Marty's review: If you like your blues down and dirty then Vin Mott certainly delivers them here on his debut album. A very rootsy production with Vin's expert blues harmonica and slightly husky vocals combined with some killer tone guitar playing and a more than tight rhythm section. With titles like "I'm A Filthy Man", "Ol' Greasy Blues" and "I Wanna Get Ruff With You" what else could this be but THE BLUES. My favourite track is "Freight Train", I just love the sound of a locomotive coming at you played on a harmonica!

Sample tracks on reverbnation HERE

                                             


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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

International Blues Challenge #32 CD from Blues Foundation and Frank Roszak Promotions


Over the past thirty-two years, one of The Blues Foundation's key events, the International Blues Challenge, has blossomed into an industry-leading annual showcase of the best new talent the genre has to offer. What began in 1984 as a handful of acts displaying their talents today stands as the world's largest gathering of blues musicians. The IBC can make careers, forge relationships between artists and industry veterans, and unite blues fans in their love for the music.

In 2016, the IBC featured 257 acts. The nine tracks on this CD, the result of a partnership between The Blues Foundation and Frank Roszak Promotions, were drawn from the 2016 IBC's sixteen Solo/Duo division and Band division finalists.

The Paul Deslauriers Band gets things off to a rocking start with the bold, swaggering “I'm Your Man.” InnerVision harks back to a classic sound with “Hound Dog,” recalling the days when the blues first had a baby and they named it rock 'n' roll. It's followed by Sonny Moorman's “You Make All My Blues Come True,” a deeply felt take on acoustic blues highlighted by cutting slide guitar.

Next up is the Norman Jackson Band, who name-checks a number of the genre's pioneers on the funked-up, sax-fueled “Norman’s Blues.” Trey Johnson & Jason Willmon deliver a blues lesson in the traditional guitar-and-harp duo format on “When The Money Runs Out.” And The Hector Anchondo Band orders up a “Tall Glass Of Whiskey” amid Anchondo's fat-toned guitar playing on their propulsive track. “Drinkn’ and Drivin' Blues” is a slow shuffle that has Bing Futch, named 2016's Best Solo Guitarist, narrating a sad blues story for the ages. Soloist Dave Muskett is joined here by his band on the hard-driving “Can’t Move On.” 

Rounding out the CD are Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons, whose haunting “Black Sheep Moan” shows why they were this year's first-place winners in the Solo/Duo division. 

It's an exciting mix that reflects the diversity of styles on display in any given year at the International Blues Challenge.




Available from The Blues Foundation: https://blues.org/

For more information contact: www.frankroszakpromotions.com


The 2017 #InternationalBluesChallenge kicks off tomorrow night in Memphis with over 260 acts from around the world! Visit http://bit.ly/IBC2017 for #IBC2017 ticket and schedule info. Who's coming?



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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Spearman Brewers new album release "Rue Blues"..acoustic blues roots from Florida



A slow brew of pre-war blues, jazz, jug, and gospel, distilled through the mind of a true Southern Brewmaster, where the bottle meets the string. Spearman Brewers, purveyors of pure, undistilled Panhandle. The new old stuff.

Rue Blue, a musical gumbo with notes of Blues, Traditonal Jazz, Cajun, Old-Time, and Gospel, seasoned with a healthy dose of Louisiana.

Stream and download the album HERE https://spearmanbrewers.bandcamp.com/

See previous post on this blog HERE

Website: http://www.spearmanbrewers.com/

Spearman Brewers are:

Scott Riggs - Vocals, Resonator Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Lap Steel Guitar, Dobro, Mandolin, Concert Ukulele, Washboard, Beer Caps 

Jeremy Holcombe - Upright Bass, Soprano Ukulele, Baritone Ukulele, Backing Vocals 


Jeff Glickman - Harmonica




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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Darrin James Band new album release "Strange Storm"..folk, blues, funk and rock



Acclaimed Detroit singer-songwriter Darrin James and his Darrin James Band have recently released their 3rd full length album. It explores themes of today's "climate" of constant violence, blatant greed, religious hypocrisy and political chaos. The title, "Strange Storm," takes on new meanings as his music journeys through eclectic sonic landscapes and diverse influences from Woody Guthrie inspired folk, to Afrobeat, blues, and rock n' roll. The album features Thornetta Davis, Detroit's "Queen of the Blues," on supporting vocals and a stellar line-up of musicians from both Michigan and Detroit.

Stream the album on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/darrinjamesband/sets/strange-storm

Darrin James was born in Kentucky, raised in Michigan, and spent a decade in Brooklyn, New York, where he honed his songwriting and production craft. His gravelly voice, gritty guitar, and thought-provoking lyrics embrace the full scope of American rock 'n' roll - encompassing blues, folk, rock, soul, funk, country - and increasingly more flavors from around the globe.



Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Styles: Folk, Blues, Funk, Rock
Similar to/RIYL: Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Dr. John, Antibalas

Download full bio and album information here..

Websites :
www.darrinjamesband.com
www.facebook.com/darrinjamesband
www.darrinjames.bandcamp.com
@darrinjamesband



Music video links: youtube.com/darrinjamesband





Marty's review: The Darrin James Band serves up a feast of musical styles on their latest release, combining blues, roots, folk, soul, funk and rock with singer-songwriter Darrin James' insightful lyrics on today's climate, which results in a well produced soundscape of tight musicianship that comes at you like a hurricane through the night. Well worth a listen and certainly one to be appreciated for the talent involved.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Teresa James and The Rhythm Tramps new album release "Bonafide"...blues with passion



Originally from Houston, Texas, Teresa James is based in Los Angeles where she has assembled a group of some of the top LA based touring and session musicians in her band, The Rhythm Tramps. They have been working in the LA area and at blues festivals and clubs throughout the US and Europe for many years. For the last 12 years, the band has also been a favorite on Delbert McClinton's Sandy Beaches Blues Cruise.

She has performed live with such legendary artists as Levon Helm, Delbert McClinton, Eric Burdon, Marcia Ball, Tommy Castro, Big Al Anderson, Kirk Whalum, and many others. Her voice is featured on albums by Randy Newman, Eric Burdon, Tommy Castro, Bill Medley, and Walter Trout, among others. She has also sung for television and movie soundtracks; She and her band were featured in the Disney movie and soundtrack for "HOLES".

Teresa's band is an eclectic mix of Los Angeles based musicians who have worked with a wide range of artists including: Jimmy Reed, Eric Burdon, Jackson Browne, Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt, Jennifer Warnes, Was Not Was, Johnny Nash and many, many others.


Marty's review: On this latest release, Teresa James delivers the blues with power, soul and passion. Backed up by her stellar band, The Rhythm Tramps, the 13 killer tracks on "Bonafide" pick you up by the scruff of the neck and won't let you go. It's blues that is full on, up front and tight with no holds barred. Teresa's voice is strong and slightly raspy and her experience in singing the blues certainly comes through on each and every track.

Find out more on the official website:

Sample and stream on Soundcloud:






"Teresa James is a true original. When she sings you can feel it in your bones."... Levon Helm, "The Band"

"Jump on this band-wagon while there is room..." ... Blues 411

"Teresa James has a voice that comes from deep down in the soul, as real and authentic as it gets When she sings, you know she means it."... Graham Clarke for Blues Bytes

"I haven't heard pipes of this caliber in a long time... this is an amazing body of work...this lady has star written all over her." ... James "the Blueshound" Nagel,  producer/programmer KPFT Houston



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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Derrick Procell - Why I Choose to Sing the Blues...Blues that Sizzles



When Derrick Procell began writing songs with Grammy winner Terry Abrahamson, he hadn't planned on releasing the music under his own name. But as overwhelming positive feedback from other blues artists came back -- all of them wondering who the singer/producer was -- it became clear that Procell needed the world to hear his versions of the songs before they became hits for others.

After releasing self-produced CDs under the Americana banner, "Why I Choose to Sing the Blues" is Procell’s debut blues album. Most of the 12 original songs were co-written with Abrahamson, while the others are solo Procell compositions.

Stream and download the album on Bandcamp HERE

"Blues fans around the world who are seeking smart, powerful modern blues songs that honor the legacy of the genre’s masters will find it here. ... It’s refreshing to hear an album that is entirely devoted to the service of the song. Highly recommended!" - Chicago Blues Guide




Marty's review: Derrick Procell takes the blues by the horn on this release and gets down and dirty with 12 sizzling tracks that come out at you with power, force and passion. Derricks vocals are more than suited to singing the Delta blues and the production and backup on this album are tight, bold and brassy. Blues aficionados will eat this one up.

A fiery live performer since his early days covering blues classics with his college band, Parchman Farm, Procell brings his full energy to the proceedings whether he's playing piano or harmonica. What really sets him apart, though, is his soulful, passionate, gritty vocals. Procell has become a sought-after studio singer for television and radio ads, and his songs have been included in such high-profile programs as "The Office," "Boston Legal," "True Blood" and "Criminal Minds."

"Some of the best songwriting I've heard in a long time; great lyrics, great melodies, great grooves. A record that's good enough for musicians to enjoy, but also really musically accessible. ... His singing style reminds me of Marc Cohn, Gregg Allman or Delbert McClinton. It's a refreshingly different blues record because there are a lot of styles, not just a bunch of 12-bar blues songs. Smart songwriting, great singing, playing and arranging." - Amazon.com

More on his official website http://www.derrickanamerican.com/



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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Australian New Blues duo HPKNS new single release "Amy Spencer Blues"



Australian New Blues duo HPKNS (James Deville and David Lovegrove), have just released their third single "Amy Spencer Blues". 

"Amy Spencer Blues" ties together the riff-driven blues of their first single "Soda Man" and the melodic pop sensibilities of previous release "LA Andy." HPKNS trademark pounding bass heavy beat and grooving guitar lines are prominent throughout , whilst sections of focused vocal harmony stand-out and add an extra dimension rarely seen among other riff based rock."

Stream the track on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/wearehp kns/amy-spencer-blues

James and David are from Bayside Melbourne (Jet, British India) and have been writing and performing together for over 10 years. Sending demos back and forth whilst traveling in 2013 and 2014, they ultimately made the decision to quit their full-time careers and follow their passion for music, culminating in their new Blues based project HPKNS. 




Following in the footsteps of the foot-stomping style made famous by Lightnin’ Hopkins, John-Lee Hooker and others while incorporating a bass heavy underbelly and their penchant for melody and harmony, HPKNS aim to develop the Blues in their own unique style.

HPKNS previous 2 singles “Soda Man” and "LA Andy" received airplay on MMM’s Homegrown and JJJ's Roots and All as well as numerous positive reviews on Australian and International music blogs such as semplesize.com and blackbullblues.com .

Find out more: wearehpkns.com // soundcloud.com/wearehpkns






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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

American Blues Guitarist Landon Spradlin album release No More Blue Mondays



Landon Spradlin’s blistering guitar solos come through no matter what style of blues he is playing. From the Louisiana delta to B.B. King’s in Memphis, from jamming in Texas to recording sessions in London, his throaty, gut-wrenching vocals, songwriting, and guitar work communicate the heart and soul of the blues like few musicians can. No More Blue Mondays, recorded with members of Eric Clapton's band and originally released in 1995, is available now.

Spradlin has shared his musical gift with countless fans over the years, playing on street corners, in bars and music houses, at festivals and churches, and even at Madison Square Garden in New York City. He has been a featured artist at the International Guitar Show, in Dallas, for many years and has shared stages with The Kentucky Headhunters, Lee Roy Parnell, Anson Funderburgh, Buddy Whittington, Rick Derringer, Cyril Neville, the Nighthawks and many other artists.

Spradlin and his band won the Piedmont Blues and Preservation Society's Blues Challenge in 2009 and went on to represent the society at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, where they made quite an impression. For Spradlin, being soulful isn't limited to a specific sound; rather, it's simply a natural part of who he is. His guitar playing and his voice, deep and full of emotion, are powerful in a soul-stirring way. No More Blue Mondays is definitive proof that he belongs in the company of the greatest artists the blues genre has to offer.

"Landon Spradlin is a blues treasure, a force to be reckoned with. He's like Ray Charles meets Johnny Winter." - Jimmy Wallace, Dallas International Guitar Show





Marty's review: emotion and passion are the 2 key ingredients on this most stirring album by preacher, blues guitarist and singer Landon Spradlin. Taking all the elements of traditional blues and adding a bit of soul and gospel, the 9 amazing tracks on this album will certainly wake up something inside you and open your eyes and ears to the talents of this very unique artist. The production is tight, the songwriting is from the heart and the delivery is just exceptional. My favourite track is his soaring gospel version of Dobie Gray's "Drift Away".


Find out more on his official website: http://www.landonspradlin.com/

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Friday, December 30, 2016

An Interview With Australian Blues Influenced Guitarist and Songwriter Matty T.Wall



A young man with an old soul: Matty is connected to music with a wealth of history as he distills a diversity of genres into his own blues-influenced soul, jazz, and rock signature. For Matty T.Wall - a guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and bandleader – it is the supernatural sound that crossed the ocean to Perth, Australia to ignite his imagination and give power to his art.

His points of references are wide; he has studied and played a spectrum of styles including flamenco, swing jazz and funk, and he attests to a love for “heavier things” in his youth, bands like Metallica and Sepultura among them. But he remembers how the musicians he admired would honor the blues masters who came before them. And following the trail of Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan backward, he was hooked.

Matty T.wall has been featured previously on this blog (see original post here). I recently caught up with him (via email) and fired a few challenging questions....

What was your first exposure to the blues?
I was actually exposed to blues without realising it when I was younger. My dad would always be playing Eric Clapton in the house, so that blues influence was always there. When I was in my teens, I heard Gary Moore's "Still Got The Blues" album and was absolutely BLOWN AWAY. I was into Metallica and Joe Satriani at the time, so hearing Gary Moore play blues in this way was very appealing to me. My first "real" USA blues influence was a video that my older brother had called "Blues Alive" - It had some incredible performances by Buddy Guy and Albert Collins. That's where I really got to know how blues music worked.
Are there any guitarists that have influenced your style?
Way too many to list, so I will just name a few - maybe. Eric Clapton's phrasing always impressed me. Stevie Ray Vaughan's intensity blows me away. John Scofield's 'out there' note choices are great, whilst maintaining that blues base, Django Reinhardt's swing feel combined with his attack is very appealing to me also. Albert Collins awkward but fiery style is a favourite too. I was mostly attracted to very intense styles of playing though. These are just a few influences, however there are many. As a teenager, I obsessively studied James Hetfield's (Metallica) approach to rhythm playing and that has become a part of my style also. I can't finish this paragraph without mentioning Jimi Hendrix though - talk about innovation.
Do you like to emulate other guitarist styles or do want to be totally original?
Ideally, I want my own voice on the instrument. These days, I am not trying to play like anyone. I would rather try new things that are interesting to me and try to keep them sounding cool within the feel of blues, to create a personal style. There is a reason I play SG customs - I don't want to play Stratocasters or Les Pauls like everyone else. Picking a different instrument that most other blues players use goes a long way to playing the guitar in a different way. Albert Collins was very outspoken about this, and I agree with him wholeheartedly. Find your own voice.
I can't 100% say that parts of my playing don't sound like other artists. That is just part of the journey when trying to find your own sound.
Did leaving Perth expand your musical knowledge and help to hone your talents?
Touring in other cities and playing with other artists DEFINITELY makes you realize how good you have to be in this industry to get heard. It was quite a reality check playing alongside some incredible musicians and discovering that I have a long way to go. You are forced to get better or accept a certain standard. Motivation is one of the most important things when it comes to working on your instrument, you have to use everything as a source of motivation, stay positive and not let it bring you down.
What other music do you listen to when you are not playing?
All sorts. Could be Tchaikovsky, could be Pantera, anything that gives me goosebumps! I always try to keep my blues roots though, so I might come back to John Lee Hooker or RL Burnside etc. to make that happen if I stray too far! Right now I am listening to a lot of Jeff Buckley. Damn, he is a great vocalist!
How would you compare the blues scene in Australia to other parts of the world?
The blues scene in Australia is really quite strong and there are always blues festivals in Australian happening all throughout the year. Many different types of blues are popular here, however due to the vast distances needed to tour this country, the "solo artist" - acoustic, or electric with loop pedals seems to be pretty well represented. As per normal, there are 'blues purists' who prefer a very authentic style, however, the Australian mentality is very laid back and open-minded which is good when playing blues that pushes the boundaries. As I like to do.
Do you have 5 favorite albums you would take to a desert island?
Stevie Ray Vaughan - Texas Flood
Van Halen - Van Halen
Jimi Hendrix - Band Of Gypsys
Jeff Buckley - Grace
Pearl Jam - Ten
I can think of quite a few more, but this would be a start.
What would you say any aspiring young guitarists who are also passionate about playing music?
Listen to music that you are passionate about - don't care what other people think. Play music that you are passionate about - don't care what others think. Work on your instrument daily - even if just for 10 minutes -make it a routine - these days the standards are pretty high, so you need solid skills. Once your playing technique is good, then "phrasing" becomes THE most important thing - it is how your music communicates with the listener.
There is always something new to work on in the music industry, whether it be stage presence, marketing, song writing - embrace it all and don't let it get you down. There is no such success like "X-Factor". Opportunities will come up - just work to be the best you can be and you will be rewarded with the satisfaction that comes along with it. Things started happening for me when I decided to really pursue music because it makes others happy when I play, rather than for personal reasons. Play music to make this world a more interesting and enjoyable place for others - detach yourself from the ego and things become so much easier and fun.
Is there any one special place you would like to do a gig at?
Coming full circle to talking about that "Blues Alive" video I used to watch as a young boy, it would have to be Buddy Guy's "Legends" bar in Chicago. That is where Albert Collins and Buddy Guy were filmed in that video, and really is the ultimate blues venue that I would like to play at. I hope I can get there someday.

Check out more on Matty T.Wall:

Websitehttps://www.mattytwall.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/mattytwall/


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