In 2010, Matt mustered up the courage to call one of his long-time musical heroes, Cowboy Jack Clement, and ask him if he’d like to come perform at a musical variety show he was hosting at Nashville club, 3rd & Lindsley. After a very brief conversation sorting out how Matt had obtained Cowboy’s phone number for the cold call, Cowboy invited Matt to come by his home later that day to discuss the show in more detail.
What was to be a brief meeting that October afternoon, turned into two and a half hours of wine drinking, cigarette smoking, and listening to old country albums that were favorites of Jack’s. As Matt was leaving the house, Cowboy agreed to accept Matt’s invitation to perform in his variety show as the guest of honor, and thus the first Renaissance Rodeo Show lineup was solidified. Two months later, Cowboy, along with Mary Gauthier, Jonell Mosser, RB Morris, Derek Hoke and many other artists played to a sold-out audience, and a friendship was born.
The next morning, Cowboy invited Matt back to his home and gave him a tour of the legendary, Cowboy Arms Hotel & Recording Spa. While Matt was fawning over the wall-to-wall shelves of reel-to-reel master tapes lining the studio, the pair cooked up the idea to record Matt’s next album in the studio with Jack in the producer’s chair. Two weeks later, on a snowy December weekend, 14 tracks were cut live and Out Of The Ashes was born. 5 months later, as the album was being mixed, a tragic fire claimed Jack’s studio, along with all the albums within it. For more info in how this album rose out of the ashes, watch the video here: