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"Ready for Love"

From Behind the Drums: a young Matthew Ames with the George Webber Project in Spring of 1996.

From Both Sides of the Stage

When it comes to listening to music, nothing comes close to a live performance.  Hearing your favorite songs performed live is the kind of experience that can change you.  Music was big part of my childhood and I had the pleasure of enjoying the experience of live music from both sides of the stage.  I played in multiple bands in and out of school as my instrument of choice evolved from piano to drums and eventually bass guitar.  There is a unique exhilaration to look out over a crowd of people and see them up and moving because of a performance I helped create.  As my musical tastes evolved, I was always after making it to concerts to see the bands I loved at that moment – everything from The Allman Brothers and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones to Metallica and Dream Theater.  


My first big concert was in the summer of 1992 to see James Taylor at Fiddler’s Green in Denver on his tour after releasing New Moon Shine.  I was (barely) a teenager and a friend of mine had an extra ticket and invited me to come along.  James Taylor was essentially unknown to me but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see my first live show.  I dove in and became as familiar as I could with his vast catalogue of work before the concert.  I barely remember what James played at the concert (“Sweet Baby James” was the first encore) but I remember being in awe of the whole spectacle; the experience deepened my love of music and those memories come back to me whenever I hear his music.  


At the time, I had no idea that I would end up calling the self-proclaimed “Live Music Capital of the World” home.  I’m thankful that I do because even though I don’t get out as much to see shows these days, there is an energy in our great city that is partly fueled by the experience of all that music.  Which is why I’m particularly excited about this month’s Item of Value – an opportunity for you to score tickets to Austin’s biggest outdoor festival, ACL!  Visit (or click here) to register to win a pair of 3-day weekend passes to this iconic event.  Whether it will be your first concert or your 100th, I hope it will create memories for you that you’ll treasure for years. 



It’s a good life! 

Matthew Ames


Mobile: 512-771-7441

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