Bustleton musician releases album to honor his late father

A melody of memories: Singer-songwriter Matt Roach will release his latest album, The Ghosts of Aldine St., on the 30th anniversary of the passing of his father.

Matt Roach looked ahead to March 12, 2015, the 30th anniversary of the passing of his father.

“I was trying to think of a way to honor him,” he said.

Roach, 43, is married and lives on Nester Street in Bustleton, but his roots are on Aldine Street in Mayfair.

A veteran singer-songwriter and guitarist, he decided to release his latest album, The Ghosts of Aldine St., on the anniversary of his dad’s death. It’s his seventh album.

On the cover, Roach is leaning against a telephone pole, with an Aldine Street sign above. One of the songs is titled, The Best Man I Never Knew.

Roach was 13 when his dad Jim, 51, died suddenly of a heart attack. His older brother and sister had more years to spend with their dad, and the singer included the words, “The best man they ever knew,” in the song.

“It brought tears to their eyes,” he said. “I made them cry, and that was the intention.”

Roach has fond memories of growing up on Aldine Street. He lived right across the street from St. Bernard Elementary School.

“I was still late for school almost every day,” he joked.

The Roach family home was sold after his mom died in 2006, and St. Bernard closed in 2009, but he maintains good memories of the house and school. One of the songs is the cover track, The Ghosts of Aldine St., written about a time, seemingly long gone, when people knew everyone on their block.

Roach will tour in the tri-state area in support of the new album, and already has four dates lined up. His first gig will be April 24 at Coffee Works in Voorhees, New Jersey, though he might schedule something earlier.

At the shows, fans can buy his album and Aldine Street T-shirts.

The artist plans to tour through the fall, then concentrate on his popular Christmas shows. The year 2015 is shaping up to be a good one. In addition to the album tied to his father’s anniversary, this marks the 10th year of doing Christmas shows and the 10-year anniversary of his first album.

Roach doesn’t enjoy the booking and marketing aspects of the business, but gets pumped to go into the recording studio and to play in front of live crowds. He especially enjoys being able to make people laugh and cry in the same set with his mix of sad and goofy songs.

“I still love performing,” he said.

In advance of the album release, Roach has put three songs on www.reverbnation.com/mattroach, and the reviews have been positive.

“People are responding,” he said.

In all, the album contains 14 songs. All of them are originals. A couple of them are comedy. On the album, Roach played all the instruments.

“It has a live sound,” he said. “I’m happy how it turned out.”

The music business isn’t easy, Roach said, but he’s along for the ride.

“It gets more fun as time goes on,” he said. ••

To order the compact disc, visit www.mattroachmusic.com