SHREWSBURY – The sounds of Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings will soon come to Shrewsbury thanks to singer-songwriter Matt York and a grant from the Shrewsbury Cultural Council.
Based in Pembroke, York will perform at the Shrewsbury Public Library on Tuesday, May 10 at 7 p.m.
The concert will be free to all via a sponsorship from the Cultural Council. It will showcase the music of Cash, Nelson, Kristofferson and Jennings, who performed as the Highwaymen supergroup in the 1980s.
“These guys were the big heavy influences on my writing,” York recently told the Community Advocate.
York is a two-time nominee for the New England Music Awards best male Artist award. His 2019 album Bruisable Heart was also named one of the year’s 10 best rock albums by Boston.com.
York had a corporate day job going into the COVID-19 pandemic. But he lost that job as the pandemic took hold.
So, he became interested in applying to various cultural councils for performance grants to support his Highwayman tribute shows. He has received around 120 such grants so far.
As there are many people around who love this music, York noted that the songs are also being increasingly forgotten as they age.
In Shrewsbury, York plans to highlight some of his favorite songs by the Highwaymen while also selecting interesting stories about the band members’ lives to tell to those unfamiliar with their music.
“They all had really interesting lives outside of just the songs that they did,” York said. “If it’s an hour-long performance, twenty minutes is probably spent talking about their careers and the remaining forty is performing songs by them.”
Bringing their music to life, York also recently wrote a book about the Highwaymen, entitled The Highwaymen – Songs and Stories. He has started selling copies at his performances of Highwaymen music.
Learn more about York and his Highwaymen show by visiting https://mattyorksongsandstories.com.