PRAISE FOR THE COYOTE'S CALL Matt Koger "THE COYOTE'S CALL" ©2008 Independently Released Review by Lucky Boyd Matt Koger's sophomore offering redefines his entire career and reclassifies him as a serious songwriter and performer. Koger's writing has matured as has his vocal delivery and composition skills. Still relatively young at all this, Koger is ready to stand with those who have come before him. Lyrically, this album showcases Koger's developmental symbolism and sets him apart with respect to diversity. Still adept at comedic cuts and of-the-moment poignancy, Koger sounds much more relaxed on this album, gleaming with the knowledge that he has the qualities required to be successful a this music thing. An impressive list of pickers don the album and John Kent is back in the producer's chair. Kent knows Koger and how to record him and surrounds each of his stories with the needed character to deliver a stellar recording. "The Hangover Song" uses a built chorus as many bar songs do, and Kent captures it well giving the song a memorable outro that will make Koger endure requests for the song. I typically frown on what I call 'text message titles' so I wasn't sure about "Me&U" but Koger will get a forgiving nod from me because the song is just that good. (even though the song's tag is "you and me" [twice] instead of "me and you") Koger's subject matter and Kent's use of the lamenting banjo makes the song a keeper. Okay, now I don't usually laugh out loud listening to anything, mostly because I've pretty much heard it all before, but the song, "The Poultry Judgement Day" made me laugh on several levels. Now follow me here, I don't want you to get lost. First, Koger is a physician. Yep, a real doctor, and he's written a song about the bird flu. Now every doctor I know will tell you that there's really no such thing as the bird flu in America when it comes to human casualties. As a matter of fact, in my research I couldn't find a single case. But, in Koger's song, his relationship is indeed a casualty, and I laughed. Now wait. I don't know if it was intentional or not, but Koger's spelling of 'judgement' is the British, or overseas spelling of the word, and not the traditional American spelling. [judgment] This made me laugh again knowing that the very title of the song inferred that the subject matter was not one for Americans to really worry about. Sorry, but my brain just works that way. Get yourself a history lesson in "Mobile Bay." "Monday Morning Blues" uses great symbolism to get a point across and the modern arrangement is fitting. By far, this album represents Koger's best work to date and is just a glimpse of things to come from this talented performer whose stock is definitely rising. You'll like the story of Nick on the hidden track, but it's just the cherry on an otherwise tasty dish. Stats: 13 tracks, plus hidden track; all written by Koger, Musicians: Koger, Kent, Barry Compton, Joe Butcher, Jason Andrew, Tony Kent, Matt Shaw; Produced by John Kent; Mastered by Jerry Tubb; single fold digi-pack, full color disc, replicated, liner notes; Running time: approximately 60 minutes TEXAS MUSIC TIMES- Keith Howerton Matt Koger may be an artist of some obscurity but he shouldn't be. From the evidence in The Coyote's Call, Koger is a force to be acknowledged. Great songs and great musicianship are abound on this record. Koger may not the best vocalist but neither are Neil Young or Bob Dylan and his vocals fit perfectly with the folk driven style of Americana that he writes. The record rocks and "humms" at the same time with roots and style. It is a delightful collection of tunes with historical and social context. MILES OF MUSIC- Jeff Weiss Texan Matt Koger writes stories of interesting, funny, and strange life encounters. Koger's lyrics flow with a warm bouncy cadence. He draws from the falling-off-the-bone Texas bbq of Townes, Earle, and Clark with a mix of Robert Earl Keen's humor. His band and production provides unadorned country that skillfully pushes his vocals out in front. Koger's day job will keep him from ever pursuing music as a full time career. His talent as a songwriter points to an artist, not someone merely dallying with music as a sideline. -- Jeff Weiss, Miles of Music VILLAGE RECORDS- Bill Lavery When his debut album was released a couple of years ago we heralded Koger as another in a great line of Texas singer songwriters. As usual we were right. This new recording drives that point home and then some. In an age where it's easy to come up with bloated cliché ridden albums Koger opts for the old fashioned way. He actually has something to say and can say it without beating you over the head with it. This new one serves as a the perfect companion to his debut without copying it. Na het uitstekende debuut Blackland is de Texaanse huisarts Matt Koger terug met zijn tweede CD. Op The Coyote's Call (eigen beheer) levert Koger wederom sterk werk af. Hij rockt iets harder deze keer. Daarbij speelt zijn band met een lekkere vierkante beat. The Hangover Song, dat onbeschaamd begint met wat reclame voor het biermerk Shiner, eindigt met het mee laten zingen van een heel café, waardoor het qua sfeer het werk van Jerry Jeff Walker benadert. Op het zwalkende humoristische lied The Poultry Judgement Day neigt Koger naar de pesterige toon van Todd Snider. Maar Me&U, geschreven voor zijn vrouw, is dan weer stoer en sentimenteel tegelijk. Fraai slepend ook. Back To The Sea is een demo met een minimale begeleiding op een enkele gitaar. Opgenomen met een diepe echo, waarmee Koger zich ergens ophoudt tussen Rodney Crowell (op een van zijn laatste uitstekende platen) en Darden Smith. (John Gjaltema) The Coyote's Call is verkrijgbaar.