Matt Lorenz’s vision, manifest in The Suitcase Junket, developed in the tension between the grand and the solitary. Grand in its imagery, sound, and staging. Solitary in its thrift and self-reliance. What instruments he requires, Lorenz builds from scratch and salvage. What parts five players would perform, he performs alone. The spectacle of his one-man set bears constant comparison to legends of showmanship, brilliance, madness, and invention.
While audiences are captivated by his solitary form and the show itself, Lorenz, who homesteads with rescue dogs and chickens in rural Western Massachusetts, is most serious about the songs. He has been building a catalog, writing a world into existence. Solitary on stage and on the road, his mind is crowded with characters, narratives, voices, imagery, sounds as wide and varied as mountain throat singers and roadhouse juke boxes, plus newsreels of the planet’s destruction and salvage. With this 2020 release, The End is New, Lorenz’s grand vision for the song overrides the how of it.
“The things I value are under attack,” Lorenz writes. “And writing songs and making art are the methods I have for responding. I have tried to use my observations and reflections of the world bent through my fun-house-mirror mind to show what I see; a planet stressed. … We can do better.”
The End is New was produced by trusted friend, producer Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, who produced The Suitcase Junket’s acclaimed 2018 release, Mean Dog Trampoline.
“Most of the time making records for a living is both fun and edifying,” says Berlin “But every once and a while I get rewarded with a simply superlative experience, and making The End Is New was certainly one of those.” He adds, “We had a blast building these ideas into songs, and Matt’s endless inventiveness made each workday a genuine pleasure. His talent is a unique gift.”