Matt Glickman and the "Live from Starks, Maine 10.1.22" Review
There are many things to say about Live from Starks, Maine 10.1.22 by Matt Glickman, but what I really appreciate about it is Glickman's ability to put out very long renditions of songs, bring up Darby Sabin as a guest on two of them, and be ok wholeness of offering a live record as a musician. Making music is difficult, but the way that Glickman slides into this Maine gig, you'll understand the liveness of it too. You will be able to understand that whatever you thought you heard on "FOCUS: Steady As Footprints" was an actual part of the song when it comes around again during the teaser on track six.
You know from the opening track, that you're dealing with the thoughts and appreciation of an accomplished pianist and songwriter. The way Glickman's hands move across the piano lets you openly understand the amount of time he's put into that element of his career. The way he's touted and explained in places like Grateful Web adds to the mythos of someone who performs live shows the same way the rest of us might drink water. The notes and chords become mere pieces toward the greatness Glickman brings to his live tracks.
With tracks number two and three ("Color Fields" and "Secrets of the Sages"), Glickman's voice peaks through to offer up some newer visions of what's going on in his head. He's able to generate this need to understand him more deeply as he creates during his showcase. In the Grateful Web press, he says "The impact of COVID on music and my grief led me to break down a bit and has shaped a lot of the writing leading up to this show and its release." As Glickman tragically lost his mother in 2020, you begin to understand a little more when you listen closely.
Tracks number four ("Leave It To Me") and five ("Maybe It's For The Best") bring in singer Darby Sabin and for me, this is where the record picks up for any of my "jam band pop" fans. Sabin's vocals shine quite a bit on Matt Glickman's record, and almost take him on a bit too much. Sabin is a fantastic singer and tends to outshine Glickman when singing along to these more pop jams. "Maybe It's For The Best" almost sounds like the intro music to Golden Girls and this record from Starks is so live and brings along all the laughter, apologies, and appreciation that really adds to that element for me. It's probably my favorite song on the record. I love that Glickman very much wanted to include his "friend from another band" and I think it's a great thing that he did. Personally, Sabin and Glickman made me feel like I was there to watch the live show myself.
"Best > Steady As Footprints Tease" is a chance for Glickman to dive back into the showmanship on his end. The piano playing on this song and all the others is a truly stand-out part of this live expression. "Best..." takes on that more pop element as Matt Glickman clobbers that piano and presses his words out once again. As he finishes the song, you can hear him announce a break before returning to his keys and diving into the last 19:25 minutes of music during his live show.
Glickman's final track, "FOCUS: Unbroken Chain (Grateful Dead Cover)" you get to truly catch the maestro at his most interesting. He spends the first 3 minutes singing the cover, but once he moves beyond the lyrics of the Grateful Dead, he shifts and allows the piano to take us on the remaining 16-minute journey. I know it dates me, but the first few minutes sound like the ending to the cop show Hunter from 1985 to the last 10 minutes which explores what the song made this piano virtuoso feel. It's very much worth the time spent hearing the Unbroken Chain played in its full 19:25 run time. At the end when the music stops, Glickman finally gets to say that this was the first time he'd ever played it. Regardless of what he does on the piano, I would believe him no matter what he says.
"Live from Starks, Maine 10.1.22" by Matt Glickman will be available soon. I'd recommend you grab a copy and allow yourself to witness his high-quality piano playing. Enjoy Darby Sabin during her pop bits, and learn to appreciate Glickman's songwriting skills and ability to twist a cover song all the way to what it may have sounded like when the original Grateful Dead played it. After all, they were a jam band too.