The Influences in 2020

The Influences in 2020

Well, that was interesting, wasn’t it? I think the last thing anyone needs right now is another long story about the pandemic or personal reflections. So, while the world was upside down, The Influences somehow had a pretty good 2020! Sure, I miss filming sessions and seeing live music as much as the next person, but this year gave me a chance to finally post some of the sessions I’d already recorded.

In 2020, I published 33 sessions.

You watched my videos 1.844.659 times.

You spent 75.700 hours watching The Influences sessions.

The Influences’ YouTube channel gained 4.600 new subscribers.

All that is still a little bit crazy to me. But I hope that all these sessions have given you a way to relax, enjoy and recharge this year. To discover new music and the brilliant artists I was honoured to film. All 33 sessions are listed below, in chronological order.

If you – like myself – are fortunate enough to not have been too affected financially by the pandemic, please consider buying records or merch by any of the artists you’ll find below. I can highly recommend all of them, or else they wouldn’t be on this website.

I don’t know when I’ll be back to filming again, but I have plenty recorded to keep publishing sessions for a good while into 2021. I hope you’ll keep enjoying watching them as much as I enjoy producing them.

Stay safe and have a calm 2021.
Matthijs.

Sofie Winterson

January 9, 2020
Learning and development are recurring themes in my conversation with Sofie Winterson. As a songwriter she continously seeks new methods and inspiration. That is probably what makes her music so interesting: a fresh mix of traditional folk and indie pop, with lyrics that are often darker than the sound suggests. Watch her play ‘Love Me Less’ and a cover of Unknown…

Tim Easton

January 16, 2020
About ten years ago, Dutch drummer Kees Schaper (from Tim Knol’s band) toured with American songwriter Tim Easton. A perfect chance for me to film with Easton I thought. We did and it was great. Now, a decade later, I’ve taught myself to film and Easton is still the amazing songwriter he already was. Last month, he performed at The…

Michael Cassidy

January 24, 2020
The first time I heard Benbecula by the Scottish songwriter Michael Cassidy was in Amsterdam when Ryan Joseph Burns played me a mix on his phone. It sounded incredible already. But nothing could have prepared me for the mindblowing live take Cassidy recorded during his session at our live show in The Glad Cafe in Glasgow. He also played a Miley…

Erin Rae

January 30, 2020
I’ve been filming sessions for this website for twelve years. In all those years, there isn’t a singer I’ve heard more peers express their admiration off than Erin Rae. The Nashville based songwriter’s work is loved by many musicians I’ve filmed, and for years now, I’ve joined them. From 2015’s Soon Enough to 2018’s masterpiece Putting On Airs, there’s simply too much…

Arborist

February 6, 2020
Two years ago, Dutch comedian and radio dj Dolf Jansen asked me to film a show he was doing with a band from Belfast, Northern Ireland. That night, the band blew me away. Dolf was pretty damn good too. But I just had to make sure Arborist would record a session before they finished their first ever Dutch tour. And…

Andrew Combs

February 13, 2020
It was January 29th 2015, when I first met American songwriter Andrew Combs. I was in the upstairs room in Paradiso Amsterdam and Justin Townes Earle had just finished his sound check, when all of a sudden, I heard this special voice over the PA. It was Combs, getting ready for his support slot that night. Combs released several great…

Farmer & Lewis

February 20, 2020
Some time in the Spring of 2017 I flew to Glasgow Scotland to film Ryan Joseph Burns’ album launch. That night in Saint Luke’s, I single-handedly filmed with six cameras. To compensate, I got up (too) early the next morning and met up with Farmer & Lewis to film at the viewing platform of The Lighthouse museum. With just one…

Robert Ellis

March 5, 2020
I have so many fond memories of the first session Robert Ellis recorded for The Influences years ago, I jumped at the change to do it again. In the fall of 2019, Ellis and guitarist Kelly Doyle joined me in Job Roggeveen’s living room in Utrecht and recorded impromptu covers of Joni Mitchell and Gene Wilder’s ‘Pure Imagination’, and ‘Let…

Job Roggeveen

March 12, 2020
Job Roggeveen is an interesting and versatile artist. As a musician he played in several bands and started his own band Happy Camper, winning an Edison. As an animator, and one third of animation company Job Joris & Marieke, he was nominated for an Oscar and won an Emmy. In the last year, he focused (musically) on his solo project:…

Alela Diane

March 19, 2020
The first time I heard Alela Diane was live at the Motel Mozaique festival in Rotterdam, back in 2008. ‘The Pirate’s Gospel’ got a European release in 2007. Here was this folk singer, encompassing everything I love about traditional folk music in modern day folk songs, sung with her brilliant voice. Her latest record ‘Cusp’ had a similar effect on…

Mikaela Davis

March 25, 2020
Mikaela Davis is a harpist and singer from Rochester New York, USA. She released a stunning record called Delivery in 2018. And she’s toured with The Staves and Bon Iver and played in Grateful Dead founder Bob Weir’s band. For The Influences she recorded covers of Gillian Welch and Cass McCombs, and her own ‘In My Groove’. “I think we’re…

Kelsey Waldon

April 2, 2020
‘White Noise/White Lines’ is already Kelsey Waldon’s third record in five years time. The Kentuckian country singer has followed her own path since the start. And the cheers of her friends, colleagues and music journalists were noticeable, even from this side of the ocean, when she signed to John Prine’s label Oh Boy Records for her third record. I was…

Ruben Hein

April 10, 2020
When we filmed this session, after Ruben Hein’s sound check for a Beach Boys tribute in Utrecht’s TivoliVredenburg, his most recent album Groundwork Rising had yet to be released. An album Hein described as a milestone at the time. “That record was important. And determinative, because it had been a new step for me in the process. You can clearly…

Ryan Joseph Burns

April 16, 2020
Do you still know what day it is? I don’t, half of the time. I do know it’s Thursday though, because I’m posting a new video. About a year ago, Scottish songwriter Ryan Joseph Burns was in Utrecht and as always, we end up filming songs. You’ve already seen the ‘Hickory Wind’ duet with Demi Knight, but we also filmed this stunning…

John Alexander

April 24, 2020
Earlier this week I dreamed of walking through Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Park. I looked at the wild squirrels, sat on a bench, ate a curry at Mother India’s Cafe, strolled through the Art Gallery and had a coffee at Artisan Roast on Gibson Street. Then the coffee woke me up, and I realized I was in Utrecht, with no idea when…

William Fitzsimmons

April 30, 2020
Usually when I interview someone, I go in pretty well prepared. I never have questions written down or anything like that, but I’ll have read things and have an inkling of what I’d like to talk about. Not this time. I had focused mainly on filming the session with William Fitzsimmons, but when we sat down at the Backstage Hotel…

Lewin

May 7, 2020
The Amsterdam Songwriters Guild has been around as long as I can remember and my friend Ro Halfhide is one of the people of the collective promoting the local songwriters. I visited one of their weekly open mic nights in Amsterdam some years ago, because Ryan Joseph Burns was in town and felt like playing some songs. One of the…

Ole Kirkeng

May 14, 2020
The summer of 2018 would soon be coming to an end, and Rachel and I had just seen two of our favourite bands – Hiss Golden Messenger and Courtney Marie Andrews – play a double bill in Ghent, Belgium, when I started talking with Andrews’ bass player. Somehow, Ole Kirkeng knew The Influences already and soon we’re talking about sessions,…

Sofie Winterson

May 28, 2020
Sofie Winterson and I only film in musea it seems. Last year we had the honor of filming at Panorama Mesdag in The Hague – find her Unknown Mortal Orchestra cover on the website – and early 2020 we gave it another go at the Eye Film museum in Amsterdam. She had just decided to spend most of her time…

Senora May

July 10, 2020
Back when traveling and going to shows were still things people did, I met up with Kentuckian artist Senora May in Utrecht. Her self-released debut ‘Lainhart’ has been a very nice surprise and so was recording this session where she covered Rilo Kiley and Beyoncé. Seeing her perform live in Utrecht, on a double bill with Erin Rae, it was…

Caleb Elliott

July 24, 2020
Caleb Elliott and I spoke about staying hungry for music, discovering fairly late there’s more than just classical music and the important people in his development; his high school orchestra conductor, his cello professor at the liberal arts college and his mother who, after his dad passed, got a degree, raised four children and started a women’s shelter by herself.…

Caroline Spence

July 30, 2020
The first time I heard Caroline Spence’s single ‘Sit Here And Love Me’, was in a plane – somewhere in between Amsterdam and Glasgow. When Ryan Joseph Burns picked me up from the airport, I just had to play it for him in his car. Five times in a row. I had heard her music before, but this was the…

Davey Horne

August 13, 2020
There aren’t many surprises and secrets left in life. Not of the good kind anyway. Remember when you’d read about an artist in some magazine, or just found an unknown song on one of the first obscure music websites? Now, everything just a few clicks or swipes away. And it tends to bite off the pieces of wonder that those…

Fiskur

August 21, 2020
“You know me so well, write anything you want about me.” Ross Clark’s text message was pretty clear – I’ve got carte blanche. So, the first time I met Ross Clark in Glasgow, back in March 2009, I wasn’t sure I liked him very much. And I had no idea what he thought of that weird Dutch guy either. Pretty…

Justin Townes Earle

August 28, 2020
Earlier this week, Americana songwriter Justin Townes Earle died. He was 38 years old. It’s incredibly sad – first and foremost for his family and friends, and also for music lovers everywhere. We lost a great songwriter. Back in 2015, I met Earle at soundcheck in Paradiso Amsterdam for a session. Due to a miscommunication, I ended up with just…

Robin Kester

September 9, 2020
If you’re interested in music and based in Utrecht like I am, Robin Kester isn’t a new name. She still only has one ep and a handful of singles out, but she’s been building and building steadily over the past few years. She gathered a new band around her and teamed up with producer Marien Dorleijn (who you might, no,…

Molly Tuttle

September 17, 2020
Usually recording a session after a live show isn’t the best idea. Musicians are tired, happy the job’s done and either want to enjoy a great experience or forget it as soon as they can. But, at Take Root festival, I would take any chance I got to film with Molly Tuttle and her band, and they were incredible. Within…

Charlie Parr

September 25, 2020
One of the songs I might have played most in the past years, is ‘1922’ by Phil Cook from his album Southland Mission. I soon found out it was a cover, by some artist named Charlie Parr. And, like so many times before when finding a ‘new’ artist to discover, down the rabbit hole I went. And there’s plenty to…

Gold Star

October 2, 2020
During Take Root festival 2018, Los Angeles-based songwriter Gold Star recorded two songs from his latest record ‘Uppers & Downers’ and a raving cover of The Velvet Underground’s ‘I Found A Reason’. In the middle of our talk after filming, Marlon Rabenreither confessed: “I have no idea how The Velvet Underground created their records, it’s amazing – they have a…

Nadine Khouri

October 15, 2020
I’m extremely glad to finally share the session in which Nadine Khouri played ‘You Got A Fire’ and covers of Sparklehorse and Leonard Cohen.

Jimmy Diamond

October 29, 2020
Jimmy Diamond is a completely new band. New music and other inspirations by drummer Ruud Gielen, bassist Floris Poessé and guitarist Jim Zwinselman as lead singer, who never really sang until a year ago. Gielen explains: “In 2019 we played at Into The Great Wide Open and Bruis festival with Strand of Oaks and while rehearsing Timothy wanted to hear…

Bettie Serveert

December 10, 2020
Back in 2008, I was over the moon when I got to film the first session with the Dutch indie music heroes of Bettie Serveert. Since then, we’ve filmed a couple of times, I interviewed lead singer Carol van Dyk for my book, and they played at several The Influences’ live shows. Still, when we arranged to film this new…

Adrian Crowley

December 24, 2020
Having listened to many of his lyrics, many times, it isn’t a surprise that talking to Irish songwriter Adrian Crowley and hearing him talk about his work and influences is an absolute joy. He is well-spoken and speaks in delicately formed sentences with a lot of the subtleties and delight that make his songs so beautiful. In his session, filmed…

There is no better way to discover music than watching great musicians cover the songs they love. The Influences has been producing these videos ever since 2008.

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