Matthew Morgan and the Lost Brigade is a hard-working band that has made its mark on the Chicago music scene, and is now pushing into the Midwest. With the diversity of banjo and mandolin alongside a female rocker that has shared the stage with Joan Jett, this band blends hopeful and upbeat rock with the deep reality of folk roots. Neil Young, Paul Simon and R.E.M. are among influences for the five-piece outfit that is poised to take on new musical territory with its follow-up to 2011’s Red Silhouettes.
With songwriting led by Matthew Morgan, the group rotates as backing musicians and a full-fledged collaboration. Morgan is a visual artist and musician, as is bassist Kavin Lahvic. This connection to Chicago’s Wicker Park art scene is another factor that sets the group apart, as MMLB carved a niche with well-attended shows at local art galleries including Chicago’s renowned Flat Iron Gallery.
MMLB is as “intense as whiskey with all the flavors of fine wine. Bombastic, upbeat pop/folk grabs audiences by the hand. It’s a sweet slow dance…” (OnAxis Music). With each show, responses from fans of both music and art have been overwhelmingly positive. CAUDog Records of Chicago, IL recognizes the band’s solid reputation and is partnering to produce and release the group’s first professional EP, expected in Fall of 2012.
The group began carving a niche in 2009 as previous members of Black Bottle Junction, who joined as recruits to support Morgan’s album project. The home-spun DIY album shines with quirk and charm, as acoustic guitars are paired with distorted electric guitar, accordion, driving drum beats, banjo, bells, keyboards and atmospheric gems which work together in surprising ways.
2011’s Red Silhouettes nods to stories from Civil War letters and victories from personal battles. Morgan (lead vocals, guitars) was diagnosed with a rare disease which he fought against and won. He now brings his zest for life and pursuing dreams to the fullest to the table. The experience gave Matt “a better idea of how important life is and how lazy we are when we think we have all the time in the world to do things."
The band is not a group of hobbyists. “I’ve wanted to do this since I was a little kid,” says Matt. The band met through a wide variety of means, from chance encounters to friends that “forgot” to mention they were wildly talented. Each member brings strength to the band adding harmonies, multi-instrumentalist skills and a plethora of life experiences. Their energetic live shows are a sonic feast. MMLB satiates the hunger for honest roots music mixed with fresh, fun creative rock. Matthew Morgan and the Lost Brigade make music we're glad to find.