Not everyone can pull off the one-man-band gambit without lapsing into schtick, but Matt Lorenz has it all down to an art[…]The songs are what you remember.
-THE BOSTON GLOBE
Lorenz’s singing voice comes from somewhere at the fringe of guttural and hummingbird nectar-sweet. There’s a tinge of Waits and a hint of Dylan, in both vocal styling and social consciousness — the way his songs are crafted and honed, not strewn about.
– No Depression
Artist, tinkerer, tunesmith, swamp Yankee, Matt Lorenz is a one man salvage specialist singing into the hollow of a Dumpster guitar, slipping a broken bottleneck onto the slide finger, railing on a box of twisted forks and bones, rocking till every sound is ragged at its edges, till the house is singing back. Then, unplugging all the amps and letting one mountain ballad soar over the raw strings on that guitar.
Every night is a hard driving, blues grinding, throat singing search and rescue junket. Sooner or later everything rusts, busts, and gets tossed into the junk heap: iron, bones, leather, hot rods, muskrats, the night, the heart. The goal is to recover it. To waste nothing. To create new ways from old. This is The Suitcase Junket.
“The band” is built around a resurrected dumpster-diamond guitar, an old oversized suitcase, a hi-hat, a gas-can baby-shoe foot-drum, a cookpot-soupcan-tambourine foot-drum, a circular-saw-blade bell and a box of bones and silverware that operate much like a hi-hat. He pounds out rhythms with his feet and his twang-and-buzz guitar growls through a couple of old tube amps. On top of all this is the ethereal edge of his overtone throat-singing. This act is unique and not to be missed.
Matt Lorenz was raised in Vermont, and graduated from Hampshire Co
llege in 2004. On moving day, he pulled his guitar, filled with mold and worse for wear, from a dorm Dumpster. He fixed it up and started pulling songs out of it. That was the beginning. The Suitcase Junket is filling rooms and drawing festival crowds all over his native New England and beyond. He caught the attention of National Public Radio who chose his video session for Earth Apple from his 2015 album Make Time as one of the year’s favorite sessions.