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Ever since I picked up my sister’s abandoned guitar, I knew I wanted to play music for a living. To make a career as a guitarist, I’ve ended up wearing different hats: I play traditional Irish music in a duo with my wife, singer/flute player Shannon; I have a surf band called Matt Heaton and the Electric Heaters; and if you see me before noon, I’ve got a whole other identity playing music for kids. I owe it all to some selective early listening.
The Planxty Collection
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If you want to like Irish music, listen to Planxty. The arrangements on this album still blow my mind. I first heard it on an unlabeled cassette given to me by a friend, and it took me years (and many random purchases) to find out what it was. The sport of pre-Internet listening…
Back in the day, U2 was one of a bunch of bands mining the same territory. My money was on Big Country to be the one to conquer. They didn’t. But their debut is still a great piece of majestic ’80s earnestness.
It’s Only a Movie
An odd collection with four of my favorite surf/instrumental tracks ever recorded. I first heard the Raybeats on a Guitar Player flexi record. They remain one of my favorite instro bands and inspired me to play surf music. Finally available on iTunes!
Follow Matt Heaton on Twitter @matt_heaton and at the following URLs:
Which records inspired you to become a musician? Let us know and you can be featured in a future column. Email [email protected] for more info.