Musical royalty coming to Twain Center
When it comes to musical legacies, Matthew Axton’s is pedigreed.
Many know his mother, Donna Axton, from her phenomenal classical abilities with Sierra Nevada College, a soloist with Toccata and as the year-round accompaniments to Tahoan events.
On his paternal side, the 28 year-old Tahoe City resident’s roots belong to his father, the legendary singer-songwriter Hoyt Axton and his grandmother Mae Boren Axton. Their musical wordsmithing skills gave the world classics such as “Joy to the World” and “Heartbreak Hotel.”
Axton, along with with his mother’s piano accompaniment and Ed Platt’s talents on the bass and guitar, will offer a “wonderful mix of music,” according the Center’s owner McAvoy Layne this Friday night, April 29, at Incline Village’s Mark Twain Cultural Center.
Regardless of his background and the praise, Matthew Axton is not content to rest on others’ efforts.
His homage to those musicians who carved the path he follows includes singing not only family written songs, but those of troubadours such as Van Morrison whose popularity began before Axton was born.
Performing older work does not bother Axton’s output of bluegrass, country and original music.
“Good music does not have an age,” he said.
Establishing his own foothold along the musical trail is a challenge he acknowledges with wisdom gained performing with area bands in a variety of genres from jazz to rock and starting as youngster touring with his parents.
He is a troubadour, one who creates lyrical poetry and finds the audience to support his work.
Attempting her view is prejudiced Donna Axton has no doubts on his ability to conquer any tests to his success. She has seen his talents develop and evolve.
At age 4, due to his ability to dance and tunefully sing his grandmother’s best known song, he was hailed by a Calgary newspaper as having a future career in the arts.
“There was always singing around the house when he was growing up,” she said. “Once he decided football was not his future, he focused on his music. He has his own style.”
Matthew Axton kept his songwriting output secretive until his late teens.
Then an impromptu concert for cousins coupled with a stint in a recording studio proved to Donna Axton while he was as vocally powerful as his father.
“He also had his own style and it was clear music was in his soul and it was an old soul at that,” she said.
Combining words with music can be intimidating he admits in addition to being therapeutic at times. His inspiration can be current or something he experienced days, weeks even years before.
As his melodic journey continues he is buoyed by his belief in the far-reaching abilities of music.
“It is the strange fabric that keeps everything else together,” he said.