January 30, 2023

Singer-songwriter Matt Hillyer will perform at Launchpad on Friday, January 27th. He will open for Dale Watson. (Courtesy of Shane Kislack)

Matt Hillyer is touring the west coast for Dale Watson on a 10 day tour.

Along the way, he absorbs the beauty of nature.

“The rides have been really good so far,” he says. “The landscapes are so beautiful.”

The Texas-based musician will wrap up his run with Watson at Launchpad on Friday, January 27th.

Hillyer is preparing his new album Glorieta, which will be released on February 24th. The single of the same name was released last fall.

For Hillyer, it was a trip to Glorieta.

He began writing the material for the album in August 2020.

In 2021, Hillyer ended his stint with honky-tonk band Eleven Hundred Springs — a journey that spanned 23 years.

But for lead singer-songwriter Hillyer, the end of his beloved band didn’t mean the end of his own musical path.

He had already begun writing material for what would later become Glorieta.

The album is produced by The O’s’ John Pedigo, who has also produced albums by The Old 97’s and Joshua Ray Walker.

The album took shape in November 2020, a full year before Eleven Hundred Springs would perform their final notes together.

During that time, Hillyer says he flexed his songwriting muscles in a new way after joining a songwriting group that strategically challenged his “process” on a weekly basis, providing a new source of inspiration and vulnerability he concluded.

“In this group we have to write a song every week and it’s due on Wednesday,” he says. “If you don’t submit a song, you’ll be kicked out of the group. Today is Wednesday, I have a new song to finish.”

The album’s title track and first single is captured with a folksy, upbeat rhythm from the pages of Hillyer’s family photo album.

Glorieta is a truly postcard-perfect New Mexico place that his mother has owned for years and has since become a sort of retreat for him and his family when it’s time to turn off the amps and the phones.

“I’m actually going to spend some time there when this tour is over,” he says. “During the pandemic my family packed up and we took a trip to Glorieta where we went hiking and just staying away from everyone. It was an unforgettable experience.”

Hillyer’s set consists of songs he’s written throughout his career as well as some from the new album.

“To me, these are all just songs that I helped create, whether it’s an Eleven Hundred Springs song or one of my solo songs, and I’m really proud of them,” he says. “These songs went places and took me places. I’m also excited to see where the new music will take me as I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.”

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