Matt Heckler / Outlaw Ritual
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Veering from Appalachia to Romania, Ireland to the Catskills, his music is definitively unsafe and entirely his own.
The Catskills, where he grew up and the Carolina Appalachians he calls home are old mountains, but the kids there are more likely to be raised on punk than old time string bands. Heckler took both with him when he left and sharpened a distinctive sound on banjo and fiddle the scientific way, as a street performer who could measure the days artistic growth in single dollar bills. Attracting the attention of musicians, as well as passers-by, he spent half a decade touring and releasing three albums with the band Deep Chatham. Since then his room silencing solo act has become an exciting yet poorly kept secret in DIY music scenes around the country. After The Flood will be his first full-length release showcasing a songwriting ability that audiences, distracted by his casually virtuosic musicianship, might have previously overlooked. Don’t wait for his next reinvention, find Matt Heckler now and remember what music should be.
Outlaw Ritual is the creative rendering of Mat Hagar, a multi instrumentalist & songwriter from Georgia & Olivia Garriga, an upright bassist & artist from Rhode Island. Their music is a crude blend of heavy rock & roll with folk & country music undertones.
They officially formed in 2012 while Mat Hagar & Olivia Garriga were traveling westward across the United States.
While living in Brooklyn NY, where they met, they lived in a fetid, open air trailer park. Hagar had been in several horrible bands in the area & was a full time one man busking band, drinker & pill-popper, & Garriga was working as a street vendor, jewelry maker & part time lot lizard.
Leaving behind the bitter cold & chaos left by Hurricane Sandy, In the fall of 2012, they threw their money together to buy a water-damaged upright bass & a small school bus from a kindergarten in Long Island. They took off with their dog Emma-Tikka, bound for warm weather, the desert & westward glory on a trip that would last for 2 years.
They busked together for the first time in Charlottesville VA, out of the necessity to make money in order to eat, drink, be merry, make nice with the locals & earn enough gas money to move on to the next town. They were able to repeat this process in every city they stopped in along the way.
They returned to Brooklyn in 2014 & formed a larger acoustic busking band, but decided to scrap that idea in favor of a sound that would give them more volume on stage. They recruited one time neighbor, friend & drummer Liam Crill in the winter of 2015. Soon after, they recorded their first studio album & started touring & playing larger shows around the North & Southeast.
Hagar & Garriga decided to leave the grind & the matrix of New York City once more, & moved to Tennessee in the fall of 2016, & along with their new drummer Will Croucher, they currently reside in Knoxville TN, which they proudly call home… For now.
117 West Main Street
Durham, NC, 27701