THE SUITCASE JUNKET
Between two full-length, solo rock albums of 2017 and 2019, The Suitcase Junket [solo multi-instrumentalist Matt Lorenz] released a surprise EP, Live With Others, in May 2018. The EP consists of six tracks recorded live in concert with special guests from the New England music scene, including Boston string band Twisted Pine, bluesman Tim Gearan, Kate Lorenz of Kate Lorenz and The Constellations, James Rohr and Mike Castellana of the Blue Ribbons, Isa Burke of Lula Wiles, and wildcard Barry Rothman who plays turntables and musical toys.
“Without any doubt you expect to hear the skeleton” are the first words to hit your ears and it’s a wild ride from there into the spaced-out, psychedelic slow jam of “Sandman,” which was improvised on the spot when performed, like most of the tracks on the EP, at Atwoods Tavern in Cambridge, MA. A fierce and punchy punk tune cranks up in the irreverent “New Undertaker,” which tells of a corpse falling in love with its mortician. Matt Lorenz, the human behind The Suitcase Junket, alleges that the chorus of this song was heard in a dream and woke him up laughing. “In My Name” was recorded at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY, and is the only track without other musicians sitting in, though Lorenz credits the crowd at Lena’s in the album notes, and they do shout out here and there between the growling slide guitar lines.
“Once I had folks up on stage for the song we had decided to do together,” says Lorenz, “I usually tried to keep them there to see what would happen. Being a one-man-band, I get pretty pumped on the energy of playing with other people, and the spontaneity of it made for some pretty interesting moments.” Tim Gearan brings his formidable blues chops to bear on the song “She Got” and it all wraps up with a spooky, laid-back version of “Spell on You” by Jay Hawkins, featuring Matt’s sister Kate Lorenz on vocals. “I’ve been playing more with other people lately and I wanted to get a little snapshot of these collaborations out into the world without a lot of fuss and fanfare. So here it is.”