Ron Greene – Matchbook


Ron Greene – Matchbook


Ron Greene’s latest single “Matchbook” commences a new chapter in the Indianapolis native’s career when he makes a move from the folk, blues, and funk driven sound of his most recent efforts. Instead, Greene is attempting to broaden the commercial potential of his artistic approach with a step towards a more pop orientated direction. He does so, however, without sacrificing much, if any, of the gravitas distinguishing his material. Green’s co-writing credit with fellow Pacific Northwest based talent Jerad Finck is a big reason for the wide-open appeal the track exerts and the song is one of the better constructed efforts you’ll hear in this vein during 2018. Greene’s trip from his early days playing spiritually minded music into his later incarnation as a folk/blues and funk revivalist, and his current turn as a pop minded singer/songwriter, is characterized by an idiosyncratic authenticity different from anything else on the scene today.


Many of those differences boil down to an individual spirit emerging from this song despite the collaboration going into the performance. Every note, every line, sounds like it exists in Ron Greene’s universe alone, an universe sharing similarities with our own but ultimately expressive of him in a signature way. Many of the dynamics manipulating traditional songwriting are in place with this song and used quite well, but there’s an unique approach coming across from the first and the contrast of light and shadow is quite powerful without ever overwhelming listeners. There’s a darker mood surrounding this song than what we customarily associate with numbers aspiring for pop relevancy, but it’s balanced out against an often buoyant vocal. The running time of a little under three minutes means that conciseness is a quality highly valued by Greene and his collaborators, but never at the cost of cheating the listener – instead, the musical arrangement for “Matchbook” is fully realized.

His vocal has a cool confidence you’d expect from a longtime seasoned stage performer while still containing the necessary element of both soul and surprise helpful for winning listeners’ over. There’s a lot of imagination in his delivery as well and the phrasing he employs explores the full gamut of possible emotions while still playing closely to the instrumentation and never getting too gaudy. The spirit in this song is palpable. Every second of “Matchbook” comes alive with fiery conviction and there’s never a sense of overstatement dragging this song into hamfisted territory; instead, everything is woven together in a convincing and coherent fashion where the whole is greater than the sum of its fine individual parts. Ron Greene’s new single “Matchbook” is a powerful track that gets under the skin from the first and stays there without ever overstaying its welcome. The next phase of Greene’s career promises to be compelling indeed and he doesn’t sound so much like an artist in transition as he does someone consolidating newfound power and authority.


Michael Rand

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