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Crys Matthews and Julian Taylor

November 2 @ 8:00 pm

Swallow Hill Music presents Crys Matthews, the new generation of social justice music-makers, and Julian Taylor, a unique singer-songwriter.
Doors 7PM/Show 8PM

About Crys Matthews

Already being hailed as “the next Woody Guthrie,” Nashville resident Crys Matthews is among the brightest stars of the new generation of social justice music-makers. A powerful lyricist whose songs of  compassionate dissent reflect her lived experience as what she lightheartedly calls “the poster child for  intersectionality,” Justin Hiltner of Bluegrass Situation called Matthews’s gift “a reminder of what  beauty can occur when we bridge those divides.” She is made for these times and, with the release of her new, hope-fueled, love-filled social justice album Changemakers, Matthews hopes to take her place alongside some of her heroes in the world of social-justice music like Sweet Honey in the Rock and Holly Near. Of Matthews, ASCAP VP & Creative Director Eric Philbrook says, “By wrapping honest  emotions around her socially conscious messages and dynamically delivering them with a warm heart  and a strong voice, she lifts our spirits just when we need it most in these troubled times.”

Matthews began performing in 2010 but cemented her acclaim at Lincoln Center as the 2017 NewSong  Music and Performance Competition grand prize winner. That year she also released two new projects  — her album of thoughtful songs on love and life called The Imagineers, and her EP called Battle Hymn for an Army of Lovers, which tackles social justice themes. Matthews also won the People’s Music  Network’s Social Justice Songs contest at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance. Loyal fans quickly  followed as Matthews racked up performances at large music festivals and prestigious venues across  the country including the Sundance Film Festival, Kerrville Folk Festival, and locally at venues like The  Birchmere, The Hamilton, Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center, and Jammin’ Java. In her TedTalk  about difficult conversations called “Sing, Don’t Shout — An Alternative Approach” Matthews spoke  about being born and raised in a small town in southeastern North Carolina by an A.M.E. preacher, and  how she witnessed the power of music from an early age. A former drum major and classically trained  clarinetist turned folk singer, Matthews is using her voice to answer Dr. Martin Luther King’s call to be  “a drum major for justice.”

“I believe in hope,” Matthews said. “As a social-justice songwriter, it is my duty to keep breathing that  hope and encouragement into the people who listen to my music.” And, from the title track to the last  track, Changemakers does just that all while tackling some heavy topics like immigration, the opioid  crisis, Black Lives Matter, and gun safety to name a few. “Ani DiFranco said, “People used to make  records as in a record of an event,”” said Matthews, “so I hope that these songs will serve as a time  capsule, a record of the events of the last four years and what it was like to live through them.” Crys  Matthews’s thoughtful, realistic, and emotional songs speak to the voice of our generation and remind  us why music indeed soothes the soul.

About Julian Taylor

After 25 years in music, building an unimpeachable reputation as a truly independent artist and entrepreneur, Julian Taylor now owns his legacy. From the formative rock of Staggered Crossing to the genre fusion of Julian Taylor Band, and now his revered work as a solo singer-songwriter, Julian owns the right to it all and it couldn’t have happened at a better time.

It’s rare in this era to see an artist build slowly and reach a new level of widespread acclaim decades into their career. But Julian’s ethos, work ethic, and artistry has always had a timeless quality to it. And so, he’s built things slowly in a DIY fashion, withstanding highs and lows along the way, ultimately reaching the peak of his powers with his latest solo work.

Toronto-based singer-songwriter Julian Taylor has been part of the musical fabric and landscape in Canada for over two decades. Taylor enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2020, when his second solo acoustic album, The Ridge, earned million plays on Spotify, praise from press worldwide, and airplay from America to Australia to the U.K. Loaded with soulful Americana and country twang, the album was produced by Taylor himself and Saam Hashemi, and was recorded at The Woodshed in Toronto. In addition to winning Taylor Solo Artist of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards, The Ridge was also nominated for: two Juno Awards (Contemporary Folk Album of The Year, Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year), the Polaris Prize Long List, a Summer Solstice Indigenous Award (Contemporary Folk Album of the Year), a Canadian Music Week INDIES Award (Indigenous Artist of the Year), and an additional Canadian Folk Music Awards nomination in the English Songwriter of the Year category. The nominations and awards kept coming in 2022, with Taylor winning best male artist in the International Acoustic Music Awards, and scoring five Native American Music Award nominations. He has charted on several Canadian Radio and Indigenous Music Charts.

Taylor, of combined Mohawk and Caribbean ancestry, is a major label veteran, Toronto music scene staple, and musical chameleon. His versatility as a songwriter is signature; one minute he’s onstage playing with his band spilling out electrified rhythm and blues glory, and the next he’s featured at a folk festival delivering a captivating solo singer-songwriter set. Formerly associated with the band Staggered Crossing, he has continued to record and perform as a solo artist and has released twelve studio albums since 2001. With his songs being placed in such TV shows as “Haven,” “Private Eyes,” “Kim’s Convenience,” “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” and “Elementary.”

Taylor is as explosive and captivating a live performer as you’ll ever see. Taylor has toured the Canada and the U.S. countless times, sharing the stage with the likes of Serena Ryder, Blue Rodeo, William Prince, AHI, Rodney Crowell, Keb’ Mo’, and has performed at the Festival d’Été de Quebec, the Mariposa Folk Festival, Ottawa BluesFest, and more. Taylor was also invited to perform at the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City and Vancouver.

How do you follow-up a career high point? If you’re Julian Taylor — you double down on upping your game by striving to exceed the creative fruits that have already blossomed from the artistic spark that got you there in the first place.



November 2
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Event Category:


Swallow Hill Music – Tuft Theatre
71 East Yale Ave
Denver, CO 80210 United States


Folk/Americana, Singer-Songwriter