Monday, March 27, 2023

Hamilton Guitarist Dylan Matthews Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Hamilton guitarist Dylan Matthews. He was currently in the band Doctor Tongue and was also a member of Torque Hound and Hammer of the Gods. Our condolences to his family, friends and fans. We'll post more information on this page as we learn more.

Social Media Reaction

George Panagopoulos (Doctor Tongue)

A little over a week ago, I recorded what I consider to be one of the greatest guitar performances I have ever heard from one of the most talented, soulful and caring people I have ever met.  I’m not sure why things like this happen to the best people, but I can tell you firsthand that Dylan Matthews was the best musician I’ve ever played music with. Above that, he was a best friend. Dylan had that quality. He made everyone around him feel counted and recognized. 

Dylan, I will never forget how you elevated a room, a rehearsal, a recording session, a party and our friendship. Love you, brother. 

Tom Bigas (drummer)

Today my heart and spirit is broken. Almost a year ago, this beautiful soul welcomed me into his band with open arms and an open heart. He crafted some of the most memorable musical experience’s that I had the honour of being a part of. Dylan Matthews, you are one of the greatest musicians I have ever worked with. You’re creativity was genius. My deepest condolences to all your family. You are my musical brother and friend… you are loved and I will miss you.

We met when we were so young. You were starting out at Mohawk College's elusive music program. Circa 2005. We were crossing paths. I was graduating and you were trying to get accepted into the program. 
I became your Mohawk mentor. I showed you Blue Monk and (probably) So What. Made you learn your triads up and down the neck. Taught you jazz voicings. You wanted to learn it all. Then I sat in on your audition. I remember it well. Dave McMurdo was doing the audition. He's tough on guitarists, but I was pretty close with him by then. Anyway, you nailed your audition and was accepted.
You moved in with me. Remember that apartment? Down the street from the Cat N Fiddle. I introduced you to JJ Cale. You couldn't get enough of Troubadour. You leaned all those country licks and taught me them, plus many other killer licks. Good times. 
However, we were on different trajectories: You we're just starting out, opening doors, I was closing doors, searching for new ones. 
Ultimately, you finished school, and I spent the next 6 years playing original heavy rock. 
Then it ended. By now it's Jan 2015, and I just announced I left RFU. After 4 intense years of single-pointed hard work, I was musically exhausted. I had nowhere to turn. I had no clue what was about to come my way.
The day after I made my announcement you reached out, inviting me to join Torque Hound. This would be the greatest favour anyone could've offered me. Suddenly, I was introduced to these funky exciting musicians. We played Frontier Town and opened for the Fatties on Halloween. Bucket List gigs. Everything that's happened to me since is a result of you throwing me a solid. 
Dylan, I've been thinking about you all night. Can't stop wondering what would've happened had you not reached out. Had you not invited me to join your band. Where would I be now? Anyway, I don't know how you died, but I hope it was with a smile on your face and a guitar close by.
Thanks Dylan. Thanks for everything.
Your smile was warm and infectious. You carried an energy that would radiate around a room. Always welcoming, always greeted with a big hug. 
Your presence will be missed by many in the Hamilton/Ontario music scene. 
Another real good human gone way too soon. 
Love ya buddy! I'm very sad to know that our last conversation last year was the last time we'd ever share a laugh.

Lou Molinaro (booker/promoter)

I met Dylan years ago via This Ain't Hollywood.  The 1st time we brought Johnny Winter into the club, Dylan FREAKED!  He asked me if I could hold two tickets for him until the week of the show.  Johnny Winter was an artist that both Dylan and his dad loved. 

So, the deal was that he was going to tell his dad that they were going to come to TAH to see watch "some band play".  I think Dylan's dad had no idea that we booked Johnny Winter. Imagine walking into the bar and then finding out that Johnny Winter was playing??  Nicely orchestrated! 

Over the years, Dylan, always thanked me for holding those tickets for him. That Johnny Winter show was a paramount moment for the both of them.  Having the opportunity to watch a guitar player that he and his father admired so much in a joint like This Ain’t Hollywood. Memories like these are forever precious and important.

I will always remember Dylan for having such a big heart and always being respectful.  I never got tired of his thanks because he always got so excited about telling me the Johnny Winter story.  Everyone knows that I am a huge Johnny Winter fan. Dylan and his dad attending the show is my greatest memory about having Johnny play This Ain't Hollywood twice.

Man.....So young and so talented

"You can't put your arms around a memory."

Links: Doctor Tongue, Video above courtesy of Doctor Tongue

Links: Torque HoundVideo above courtesy of Angelo NotoCampanella

Links: Hammer of the Gods, More Led Zeppelin Covers/Stories, Video above courtesy of Angelo NotoCampanella

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