Born and raised in the Northeast, Ron Matthews has lived in small country towns nearly all his life. The son of a Baptist minister and therefore "always in church when the doors opened," his first memories of music were singing congregational hymns and hearing his mother and father harmonize on gospel songs. He also recalls being fascinated by the vocal harmonies of the Bill Gaither Trio and the high tenor solos of the late Danny Gaither.

At 14, Ron became aware that he, too, had an undeniable desire to perform, and a gift for making music. Music could reach people, touch them, move them, stir their emotions; with its discovery, music became a means of expression and a lifelong passion. His songs often reflect this passion, and speak of his desire -- or perhaps, his need -- to write and perform.

Inspired by the solo artists of the 70's and 80's (Denver, Lightfoot, Croce, and Taylor), Ron began writing folk, country and gospel songs. In recent years, the music and styles of Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks and George Strait have further fueled his desire to share his music and make a name for himself as a singer/songwriter.

Currently Ron is polishing his 2-hour tribute show celebrating the music of John Denver. He performs many of Denver's popular hits, of course, like Sunshine On My Shoulders, Calypso, Annie's Song and Take Me Home, Country Roads, and also includes some seldom-heard songs like Singing Skies and Dancing Waters, Wings That Fly Us Home and Come and Let Me Look in Your Eyes.

"John Denver wrote and sang some high stuff," Ron muses -- an understatement, to be sure. "No one will ever really duplicate his vocal tone and range, his nearly perfect pitch, and most importantly, his unfailing connection with his listeners both as a songwriter and a performer. My goal in singing his music has never been to imitate JD, but to keep his wonderful songs alive singing them the best I can."

Since his first singing performance in church years ago playing his father's Gibson electric guitar, Ron has performed in countless churches, clubs, restaurants, schools, and campgrounds, at birthday and anniversary parties, at funerals and weddings. He has released two CDs of original songs: the First Collection, Cowboy Meant to Sing, comprised mainly of earlier songs he wrote in the 70's and 80's, and the Second Collection, Anything But Typical, most of which were written in the 90's. A Third Collection is in the works.

In the late 90's, Ron brought his talents to Nashville, where he continues to write, perform and pursue his goals.

Ron Matthews biography published in the Nashville Scene newspaper


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