Records That Changed My Life with Matt Heaton

Records That Changed My Life 
by Matt Heaton

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

Planxty the Collection 1976

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…

Big Country
The Crossing

big country
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.

The Raybeats
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: (Irish) (surf) (children’s)
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.

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