Enigmatic singer/songwriter Matt Langlois, aka the Welcome Matt, hinted at an early aptitude for music and a knack for crafting melody through an unusual childhood habit: compulsive humming. Even while in kindergarten, Matt distinguished himself by humming to everything, becoming the subject of parent-teacher conferences and causing consternation. One of Matt's grandfathers, a French Canadian from Vermont, was a conscientious objector and progressive activist who volunteered in soup kitchens (a heritage that would later reemerge in Matt's own progressive lyrics). His mother, a product of the 1960's who was into folk music of the Greenwich Village kind, played guitar while Matt was still in the womb. Matt grew up in rustic South Londonderry, where kids got their rocks off by burning boxes of cardboard and paper in the middle of the road and shooting off rounds in the forest. The Langlois kids were of hardy local stock, and though not poor, were of a different demographic than the kids from out of state who came to Vermont to attend private school and ski. Ten-year-old Matt's future took a very specific turn when he and his brother received a red acoustic guitar for Christmas. That, along with listening to 'Abbey Road' and watching the Beatles 'Hard Day's Night,' determined that a musician was what he wanted to be. Meanwhile, his folks divorced. Matt was soon working in a series of after school jobs. Summers were spent in Berkeley, California, with Tom, his guitar-playing uncle who had a tile flooring business. Matt began coming home in zippered shirts with the arms cut off, his attraction to California confirmed. Upon graduating from high school, Matt went out West for good. Matt immersed himself in the San Francisco music scene, playing with the bands Deeper and Miscellaneous M, before joining up with Buddhakowski (a paean to both the enlightened deity as well as the inebriated scribe). Said group released CD, amassed obligatory following, and played uber cool venues such as the Bottom of the Hill in SF and the Viper Room in LA. His songwriting/frontman skills refined, Matt struck out on his own, to favorable early returns. His songs have been aired on two major networks, Fox and NBC. 'In San Francisco,' a track from his second solo record, 'Empire Days,' was picked up by Triple AAA megastation KFOG and featured on their 2004 Summer Sampler, alongside Michael Franti of Spearhead and Matt Nathanson. He has been featured on sites such as SongsAlive.org, and his songs are sold through ITunes, Tower, CDBABY and Aware Records. Though Matt loves to record (and is currently working on a third CD), the stage is his preferred habitat. With a subtly arched eyebrow, thrusted hip, and sideways cock of the head, his persona echoes the greats of yore - Townsend, Davies - without ever descending to the forced or contrived. A natural storyteller, his phrasing punctuates each lyric, drawing in the eager listener to find out what happens next. What is next for Matt Langlois and the Welcome Matt? Whatever happens, it'll most likely turn up in a song. Whether taking umbrage at injustice or reassuring us that it will all be right in the end, the music of Matt Langlois is acompelling benediction to help us along the way.
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