Bustleton songwriter celebrates CD release

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Sunday will be a big day for Bustleton’s Matt Roach.

The singer-songwriter and guitarist will turn 40 and will release the compact disc Burning Bridges on Memory Lane during a live performance at Ardmore’s MilkBoy Coffee.

Like all his shows, the performance will be videotaped.

“It will be a nice memory,” he said. “It’s something different. For their fortieth birthday, some people climb Mount Everest. I put out a CD. I like the idea of it. It’s a neat concept. It’s good my birthday fell on a weekend.”

Roach, who lives on Nester Street, does it all. He writes and records his own songs, produces CDs in his home studio and books and promotes his own shows. He has no agent, manager or band.

“I’m always more comfortable doing it myself,” he said.

The most difficult part of producing the CD was picking the songs that made the final cut. Roach worked from a short list of 30.

“I probably have about five-hundred songs,” he said. “How do I pick fifteen songs? I’m happy how it turned out.”

The entertainer got his start as a teenager in sketch comedy. The skits included comedy songs.

He has been in the music business for 15 years. In his song repertoire, some are slow, others are fast. There are happy tunes and sad songs.

The upcoming release of Burning Bridges on Memory Lane will mark Roach’s fourth studio album. He’s pictured on the cover in a hat and a T-shirt with a fire image in a heart shape. He’s holding a jacket over his shoulder.

The shot was taken in late December in a section of Pennypack Park with overgrown weeds and some graffiti.

“Everything was perfect. I wanted something that wasn’t taken care of and looked like it went through the wringer,” he said.

Roach describes the title and content of the album as coming to terms with his past, acknowledging his present and anticipating his future with cautious optimism.

There are 15 songs, and fans will hear them all on Sunday. He’ll also take requests and play from a set list.

The album includes a couple of comedy songs. Some of the songs were written in recent months. Others were written years ago, though none have ever appeared on an album.

“They run the gamut from 1999 to 2011,” Roach said.

The song All the Same features Roach and a ukulele. On Older and Dumb, he plays the guitar.

The other songs include a mix of drums, keyboard, banjo, harmonica and percussion instruments. Roach played those instruments, then mixed them with the previously recorded vocals and guitar sounds.

While in the park for the photo shoot, he recorded a video for All the Same. The video can be seen on YouTube.

“It worked out well. People seem to be enjoying it,” Roach said.

Producing the album took about a month of long days in his basement music studio.

As part of his promotion, Roach is sending the CD to radio stations. So far, All the Same has been played on WSTW (93.7 FM).

In his career, Roach has played more than 200 shows in eight states and the District of Columbia.

The upcoming show will open with a performance by Scott McClatchy, formerly of the popular band The Stand. It will be Roach’s first performance since a Christmas concert at MilkBoy’s since-closed Bryn Mawr location.

“I have to keep going. I’m always sending out booking requests. I have ten shows booked for this year so far,” he said. ••

All about the show…

Matt Roach will perform on Sunday at 7 p.m. at MilkBoy Coffee, at 2 E. Lancaster Ave. in Ardmore.

Scott McClatchy will open with a 45-minute set, followed by Roach.

Copies of Roach’s new CD, Burning Bridges on Memory Lane, will be for sale. Samples of each song can be heard at reverbnation.com/mattroach

Tickets cost $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Food and coffee will be for sale, and guests are welcome to BYOB.

It’s an all-ages show, and Roach recommends it for anyone 18-and-older.

Go to mattroachmusic.com or milkboycoffee.com