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The Blues and Way Beyond

B.B. King and Matthieu Brandt


My little corner on Wholenote is filled with a few lessons on Swing and Jump Blues. If you'd like to know more about this style or if you are an aspiring Swing and Jump player, check out

My Bio

Matthieu Brandt from Amsterdam, Netherlands (b. 1961) has been strummin' a guitar since 1983 when he traded his first P.C. for his first Alfa Guitar.

Starting out as an acoustic fingerstyle blues player and studying with Irish Blues Virtuoso Martin Hutchinson, he quickly got an appetite for electric blues.

He started out in his first blues band "Bealestreet" in 1985 - a band that was to exist for five looooong years.
Although of questionable level the band was to be a good jumping board for his later career.

Strough studying at the biggest private musicschool in Amsterdam, The Muziekpakhuis - where he became a teacher in 1987 - he was turned onto Wes Montgomery.
He quickly formed a Jazz Qartet "The Half Nelson Octet" and started performing in the area.

In 1990 he went to Berklee College in Boston, U.S.A. for a summer course. Meeting local pop composer/musician Jack Starkey and feeling at home in the competitive American music, he decided he wanted more.

In 1991 he moved to Northern California, where he toured with local musicians and tried to establish himself as a working musicain.

Through some "misunderstandings" with the Immigration and Naturalisation Service he was forced to go back to the Netherlands, where he picked up his teaching practice.
In that period he built himself a studio and started "No Can Do", his first rock-blues band.

The band started playing national festivals and clubs and was gaining some momentum whem the lead vocalist left the band. No Can Do lived up to its name in 1995.

foto7.jpgM.B. and Robben Ford

In the meantime Matthieu had been playing in Run Baby Run for a number of years, a Rhythm & Blues band with a full horn section, lead by Wim Heuperman.
It's members were all seasoned pro's and the chance to play with the cream of the crop in Dutch R & B left an important mark in Matt's playing.

From '92 till '98 he visited the U.S. a coupla times a year and studied at the National Guitar Summer Workshop for a number of years. He assisted Paul Rishell in '97 in his Acoustic Fingerstyle Blues Class.

In 1995 Matthieu started working with Frits Veheij, a local multi-instrumentalist.
As a harp player and vocalist he turned out to be the right match for Matthieu, and in that year they formed "Too True To Be Blue". This acoustic bluesduo performed all over the Netherlands.

From '94 till '98 Matthieu organised several Masterclasses (Robben Ford, Ronnie Earl, Duke Robillard, Jimmy Rogers,...) through the music school in Amsterdam. In this period he also started "Next Door to the Blues" a swing & jump band, featuring Ton van Bergeijk (check out his records through Stefan Grossman's label).

In '97 he started working on Swing and Jump Blues Guitar, in close cooperation with many collegues and students.

In '99 Matthieu spent another year in Boston, where he teamed up with local harmonica and slide virtuoso David Massey. He also had the chance to back up Paul Rishell and Annie Raines (W.C. Handy Award Winners '99) at the House of Blues in Cambridge.

He got a taste for playing the streets by frequenting Harvard Square, where Ronnie Earl witnessed his first outdoor performance.

After returning to Amsterdam in 2000 he started giging with "Too True To Be Blue" and has recorded a solo cd called Back Log available at cdbaby

But can he play?:
Next door to the Blues
Per Hanson, M.B., Ronnie Earl, Rod Carey
M.B. and Duke Robillard

Example from

Click here for Audio Turnarounds nr.4

Musical Influences

  • John Lee Hooker / B.B. King / Duke Robillard / Ronnie Earl
  • Wes Montgomery / Miles Davis / John Coltrane / Robben Ford
  • Kelly Joe Phelps / Tim O'Brien / James Taylor / Tom Waits / Charles Bukowski