Like many independent artists, singer/songwriter Matt Shockley embraces the “DIY” ethic, from writing and performing his engaging acoustic-guitar-driven songs to booking gigs, maintaining a website, doing all his own promotion and marketing—and yes, even setting up the PA. His HARMAN JBL EON515XT portable, powered loudspeakers and EON518S powered subwoofer help get him through a busy schedule no matter what the venue.
Shockley has produced four albums including his latest, Love Like This. “I was born in Georgia, moved to California seven years ago and it’s felt like home ever since,” said Shockley. “My original recordings reflect the journey I’ve been on, which like many artists has been full of twists—including moving across the country for a girlfriend, getting dumped, and finding my wife less than two months later! The diversity of people in California has shaped me as a person and as a musical artist.”
The diversity of Shockley’s gigs has played an equally influential part. “I’ve performed in clubs, bars, indoor and outdoor events, colleges, weddings and even on yachts, from a handful to hundreds of people, solo and with a band,” he said. “I need a PA system that’s as flexible as I am. Sometimes I just need a single EON515XT, for example, if people want a background vibe at a party. Other times I’ll be doing a show for hundreds of people and need both EON515XTs and the 518S.”
An acoustic guitarist/vocalist with a subwoofer? “Although I play originals, as a full-time musician I’m asked to do a lot of covers, everything from classic rock to Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga and hip-hop,” Shockley noted. “When I perform, I use a looper pedal and play percussion on my guitar. I can bang on the top of the guitar with my fist and get a bass drum sound, loop it with a higher-pitched tap for the snare and get a really powerful groove going. The 518S subwoofer is great for deep, punchy bass impact and for getting people dancing! The setup has tremendous dynamics and headroom.”
“I have to admit that what first attracted me to the EON515XT wasn’t the sound, though, it was the looks,” Shockley added. “When I first laid eyes on them I thought, ‘Wow, those are some sexy speakers! If they sound half as good as they look, I’ll take them!’ After using my previous speakers for nearly 500 events, I wanted something that looked modern and new and was portable enough for one guy to transport and set up easily, yet delivered quality sound that wasn’t compromised by size or weight.”
Shockley uses his EON515XT’s with the EON518S 99 percent of the time but whether he’s using one, two or all three of his speakers, the sound is always clear and crisp and Shockley knows I’ll his music will get across to his audience. “At a recent gig I had little space and had to set up quickly, so I just took one EON515XT, plugged my mike and acoustic guitar into the built-in inputs without even needing a mixer, and was ready to go in minutes,” Shockley said. “I love the fact that I have all the options I need with these speakers.”