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Musician Matt Curran Plays the Commodore Grille in Nashville

by Rich and Laura Lynch

It's been a minute since we have taken in Debi Champion's Songwriters Nights at the Commodore Grille located on West End Avenue in the midtown corridor of Nashville, Tennessee. But, on Monday, August 07, 2023 we had a very good reason to return as we learned that an accomplished performer from New York City was making his Music City debut on this evening.


Musician Matt Curran makes his Nashville debut at the Commodore Grille.

Matt Curran is an established virtuoso guitarist and multi-instrumental musician who was sponsored by Gibson Guitars at eleven years old. Matt has built up a fine array of chops on the six-string and recently determined that he wants to sharpen his song-writing side of the craft. Thus, the trip to Tennessee made perfect sense since the song is so paramount here. Matt landed in town on Sunday, managed an audition with Debi on the same day, and was offered a spot in her high-profile, popular and somewhat competitive rounds on the very next night.

When he took the stage at 6:30 p.m. it is highly unlikely that anyone has ever played a guitar similar to the one Matt brought to the party at Debi's showcase. Curran was sporting a customized auto-tuning Gibson Les Paul. He received the attention grabbing axe nearly 20 years ago from inventor/engineer Neil Skinn whose company Transperformance made the technologically advanced innovation and was looking for exposure with the help of the gifted prodigy.


Darren Deese was an immediate presence who impressed during his 3-song set.

Matt better explains how it works on a Tik Tok video that has received over 270,000 views to date. The guitar - utilizing "The Unit" by Transperformance - will automatically tune to a variety of presets with the touch of a button and more information can be found at selftuning.com. Even though this adaptation has been out there for over a decade with a few high profile advocates (Jimmy Page, Peter Frampton) the manufacturer is still seeking greater widespread adoption through licensing and retrofitting. You listening, Gibson???

Matt excelled in the spotlight with his complex chords and pretty picking on songs like the very good "Great as Gold" that touched upon the spiritual realm while "The News" kept its focus on the more mundane implications of current events. Intently watching his fancy fretwork was Matt's roundmate Darren Deese.


Donna Frost came armed with her latest CD - The Beautiful Unseen.

Deese - who hails from North Carolina has a big booming voice that nearly blew out the monitors during his soundcheck. But, a lovingly sweet song about his departed grandmother called "Every Sunday" revealed his softer, sensitive side. Darren is currently working the acoustic circuit in the south as he preps putting a larger band back together. He is one to keep an eye on.

Also on the bill were two acts who are no stranger to hosting rounds in town over the years. Donna Frost - a much beloved local songtress was convincing with her helping of uplifting Country spirituals many of which appear on her recently released The Beautiful Unseen. Credenda - the darlings of East Nashville made their presence felt with their unusual for a songwriter round four-piece configuration. But, it was just this set-up that made for the delicious harmonies and strong storytelling that was enjoyed by all at the well-attended event at the Holiday Inn watering hole. The Monday night round was just one of four weekly events hosted by the ever supportive, influential and informed Debi Champion. Check her site and stop in the next time you find yourself in Music City.


Credenda was solid during their showcase.

Related Links: For more information on MATT CURRAN and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Matt Curran | Darren Deese | Donna Frost | Credenda | Commodore Grille | Debi Champion | Debi Champion Remains a True Champion of the Nashville Music Scene


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