2 December 1976 (age 40)
Pforzheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
After the international media and commercial success of his previous album “Five”, Mathis Haug has extracted himself from his Mathematiks in order to record an album whose style could be described as folk/blues. “Playing my Dues” contains 10 subtle songs and confirms the musical inventiveness of this artist. The minimalism of the arrangements leaves space for a voice with a very particular colour, which touches the heart and soul from the very start.
With « Playing my Dues », Mathis Haug finally delivers his first album under his own name. At age 35, this composer and musician of French and German origins returns to the roots of his inspiration: folk and blues.
Listening to the music, you will come to the conclusion that this very talented and many faceted artist has finally found his path, after having shared his life and creativity between the two countries close to his heart, where he developed different projects in parallel: Fanda BoomBoom, Mat Robert and The Space Foxes for Germany, Spoonfull, Mathis and The Mathematiks, The Headcutters, and l’Orchestre Evariste Bouchardeau for France.
In the course of time, Mathis took advantage not only of the cultural and linguistic opportunities of his origins (and on top of it, his neighbours in Germany were English!) but also of the experience gained from many concerts with the MATHEMATIKS, on which he shared the bill with French stars like Moriarty, Jacques Higelin but also with Chris Whitley, Anis and Bjorn Berge, amongst others.
At the time of the release of his previous album « Five”, the Spanish and French media had succumbed to the charm of this modern day dandy, and the concert professionals had offered him the “Jazz Talent” prize at the very important Festival de Jazz at Vienne, France, on two occasions.
Shortly afterwards, Mathis was back on stage as singer and guitarist for French star Emily Loiseau on her first tour entitled “Pays Sauvages”; he then co-arranged her second single, a version of the title “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics. All of those experiences define the artistic universe of “Playing my Dues”.
The ten titles of this album evoke the melancholy (Baudelaire would still call it « le spleen »), the complexity of love, and life as a daily and a fundamental experience; all of this on a foundation of airy acoustic guitars, of gentle slide themes, of a sparse but efficient acoustic bass and of subtle rhythms, as delicate as the flight of butterflies.
If Mathis bears the responsibility for the realization of this new experience, he once more has the lyricist Seamus Taylor, a friend of many years, by his side for nearly all of the texts except two, which were written by the artist, as well as the musicians Julien Capus on bass and Benoît Nogaret on the second guitar.
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