Folk-rock artist Matthew Perryman Jones to play the M-Shop

Matthew Perryman Jones

Courtesy of SUB

Matthew Perryman Jones


Dropping by Ames on his latest tour in his 20-year musical career is independent folk-rock singer-songwriter Matthew Perryman Jones. He will be performing at the M-Shop on Thursday night, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. and will be accompanied by acoustic pop-folk artist, Molly Parden.

Jones started as a musician back in 1997 and released his first solo album in 2000 entitled “Nowhere Else but Here.” He has since released six more albums and a number of EPs and singles. One may recognize a number of his songs from the soundtracks of many well-known television programs and movies. 

The most well-known song of which is “Save You” from his third album, “Swallow the Sea.” It has been featured on shows such as “Pretty Little Liars” and “Bones.” Other songs of his have been featured on “Fantastic Four,” “Manchester by the Sea,” “Shameless” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” 

Jones is also a part of Ten out of Tenn, a collective of singer-songwriters from Nashville, Tennessee.

This latest tour of his, started less than two weeks ago with the release of his newest album, “The Waking Hours.” With only around five shows into the tour, Jones feels good about it and his performances stating the audiences have been great.

“It seems like people are really into it and it’s always encouraging to experience that on tour. They seem pretty excited about the new record and I’ve been really pleased with everyone’s responses so far,” Jones said.

“The Waking Hours” started a year and a half ago when Jones decided that he didn’t want to write this album sitting at home or in a writer’s room. He wanted to try something different this time.

“I kind of had this idea of seeing how different environments would inform the creative process,” Jones said. “I was working with idea, a project I called genius loci, which means spirit of place. I went with this writing experiment to see how this would inspire the songwriting.”

He explained this project took him to different places. He went to a handful of cities from Sophia, North Carolina to Santa Fe, New Mexico where he set up little “writing nooks” to work on songs. Jones said the places don’t necessarily inspire him but that he has certainly been in inspired at the places he visited.

“There isn’t a song that is about any place,” Jones said. “It’s more of what came up while I was I those places. Like the song, ‘Halfhearted Love’ that came up when I was in Santa Fe was a specific song in that place but not about Santa Fe. I got a lot of little bits and pieces throughout the process while I was travelling.”

Jones recorded his songs in EastSide Manor Studios in Nashville with Josh Kalor and Owen Biddle who he worked with on the album.

“We recorded in a really beautiful studio that was kind of hidden,” Jones said about where he worked. “EastSide makes you feel like you’re in the south of France. It’s this big beautiful villa type house with ivy growing all over it, all hidden in a bamboo forest.”

He also described working with Kalor and Biddle, calling both of them incredible musicians and talking about how they worked together.

“Just the three of us,” Jones said. “We sat down in the studio every day and hashed out the songs and I really liked what we came up with. One song in particular that we did together was Lovers in Another Life. I knew I wanted to do a collaboration with both of them and this song was a way for the three of us to create something in the moment, which I thought was pretty cool.”

Jones’s music is lyrically touching and purposeful usually set to a mellow tune with elements of soft rock through the use of electric guitar, bass and the drums. Each song tends to have its own story. Categorized by many into the genre of folk-rock, his music also carries certain pop influences that make his songs easy to listen to and pleasing to the public. His latest album in particular contains a number of love songs.

Jones described his own music as something that “stays true to the human experience” and music that artfully articulates that.

“I think the value of my music and music in general is that it is a vehicle that speaks directly to the human heart,” Jones said. “It helps people feel validated in their own human experience, that they don’t feel alone in their own struggles, in their own heartache or in their own questions and joy.”

He further explained what he wants the album to convey and said that he titled the album after a song written for his daughters.

“It’s the idea of what I wish for them,” Jones said. “Being fully awake and alive to themselves and knowing their own song and being able to follow their own melody in life. So, of course, I thought that it applies to me too. I think oftentimes we can lose ourselves in other people and other things and ultimately, what I hope to convey in the record is waking up to your own self and being present to what’s inside of you.”

Jones anticipates the response to his new songs as the tour carries on and is excited to continue saying, “It has been so fun. It’s been really cool to bring some energy into these songs and seeing how they translate live.”

He also mentioned that it is the 10-year anniversary of his third album, “Swallow the Sea,” so they are playing a handful of songs from that album as well as part of the tour.

It will be Jones’s first time in Ames and he mentioned his curiosity in what the town has to offer.

“Each town has different people and a certain way and character about it,” Jones said. “People tend to bring a certain vibe, so I’m certainly interested in seeing what the Ames vibe is. I want to meet people, so let’s see what you got!”  

Jones will be accompanied on stage by Kalor and Biddle. The show will be opened by Molly Parden who will be featured on some of his songs, as well. Tickets are $10 for ISU students and $15 for the public with a $2 increase on the day of the show. They are available for purchase at the M-Shop box office or online at