Matt Conable is a rare breed of musician. “I decided 20 years ago that I didn’t want to try and make a living in music,” he says. “If it happened, fine, but music’s too close to my heart. It’s the thing I love the most. I realized if I make this the mechanism by which I try to pay the rent, then it’s going to quickly become about that, and not what I love about the music itself. I didn’t ever want to fall out of love with music, so I’ve always kept it as a very serious hobby.”
Conable, who sings and plays guitar in the Matt Conable Band—formerly known as The Spokesmen—is very good at his “hobby,” as evidenced by the band’s new EP, High Noon. The six-track release includes straight-ahead country rock numbers like “Low to High,” plus a Jimmy-Buffett-style track called “Fairy Tales.” But the bluesy, rocking title track stands out the most. As it happens, it was the easiest track for Conable to write. “The song wrote itself in about an hour and a half,” he says. “A lot of times those are the good ones, the ones you don’t really fight for, the ones you don’t have to obsess about. Those are the good days, those pure creative moments that are just golden.” The band will perform multiple sets at its upcoming show at Davenport Roadhouse on July 16, which will feature original material and a wide range of covers—from The Beatles to Jason Mraz. The band has the talent and onstage charisma to book shows more regularly, but Conable’s love affair with music will always trump paychecks. “I’ve never regretted that decision,” Conable says. “It’s frustrating at times, but I still love the hell out of it. It’s a privilege to me.”
INFO: 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 16. Davenport Roadhouse, 1 Davenport Ave., Davenport. No cover. 426-8801. Visit mattconableband.com.