The Influences in 2023

The Influences in 2023

2023 has been a year to remember for The Influences and me personally. I’ve filmed and published more sessions than any previous year I can remember, we celebrated the 15th anniversary of this website, hosted the final live shows at Café de Stad and made trips to Ireland and Groningen to film sessions at Kilkenny Arts Festival and TakeRoot.

All of that resulted in 36 sessions posted, compared to 14 in 2022. You viewed The Influences’ videos on YouTube over 1.1 million times, for 47.000 hours in total. We gained over 2.500 new subscribers on the channel, making it over 21.000 subscribers in total. It all sounds a bit crazy to me when I write it down, to be honest with you.

What to expect

That being said, there are, as always, a lot of new sessions waiting to be published, starting with one on Wednesday January the 3rd. And I would love for The Influences to grow much, much, much bigger. If only for the fact that this would mean more views and love for the musicians who are gracious enough to record these sessions. So, expect a new session (pretty much) every week!

How to support The Influences

Also, I’ve had people asking me how they can support The Influences. Well, the easiest and cheapest way is to subscribe to the YouTube channel, like and share the videos and to subscribe to the newsletter below. But, I’m also working on a way to get more steady financial support from viewers. These cameras, microphones, computers, website hosting and petrol aren’t cheap, after all. I’ve done over a thousand videos without asking anyone to contribute, but I think the time has come. More on that soon, in the new year.

Your support, in whatever way possible, is really very appreciated.

Enjoy the overview below, and please do let me know what sessions you’ve liked most this year!

Best,
Matthijs

  • Erin Rae

    Erin Rae

    Since her first session for this website, Erin Rae has released her album Lighten Up – a gorgeous collection of songs, with a slightly new sound to them, compared to earlier records. Late 2022, she toured all through Europe supporting Julia Jacklin, so when the tour bus found Amsterdam, we met up at the always […]

  • Sophie Janna

    Sophie Janna

    Sophie Janna played ‘Thistle’, and gorgeous covers of Nick Drake and Anaïs Mitchell in an 19th century church. She also wrote an essay about her love and admiration for Mitchell.

  • S.G. Goodman

    S.G. Goodman

    “I never want to leave this world, without saying I love you.” As soon as those first lines of Space And Time, the opening song of S.G. Goodman’s debut album Old Time Feeling hit my ears, I was completely sold. Two years later, in 2022, Goodman released Teeth Marks and solidified her place in my […]

  • Siv Jakobsen

    Siv Jakobsen

    In a serene and picturesque setting in the woods close to my house in Huis ter Heide in The Netherlands, Norwegian songwriter Siv Jakobsen delivered a breathtaking second live session for The Influences. Surrounded by the natural beauty of her surroundings, Jakobsen captivated me, my cameras and a passing dog with her emotive performances of […]

  • Nathan Ball

    Nathan Ball

    Imagine driving across Europe for weeks, by yourself, playing shows and then driving hundreds of miles for the next one. That’s exactly what English songwriter Nathan Ball did last summer, and he even took a detour to record this session for The Influences in Amsterdam, before heading to the South coast of France. Bless him. […]

  • Hala

    Hala

    People often ask me how I get musicians to record a session. The answer is simple: either I invite them nicely, or they contact me. Ian Ruhala of the Detroit, Michigan band Hala did the latter after an introduction by mutual friend Anna Burch. And it didn’t take me long to consider, because I instantly […]

  • Tyler Ramsey

    Tyler Ramsey

    Not unlike myself, Tyler Ramsey some years ago moved closer to nature with his wife and daughter. For me personally, I can tell you it was the best decision I’ve made by some margin. There is nothing like walking into the woods in the middle of any given day and surrounding yourself by the quiet […]

  • Diana Jones

    Diana Jones

    The first time I heard Diana Jones sing live was over a decade ago in Glasgow. My friends of Doghouse Roses opened for her at – I think – the CCA and kindly brought me along. A lot of time has passed, but I never forgot about that show, Jones’ songs and her voice. So, […]

  • Dominic Billett

    Dominic Billett

    Erin Rae, Andrew Combs, Courtney Marie Andrews, Caitlin Rose, Kelsey Waldon… these are just a few names of artists who have had the pleasure of having Dominic Billett on drums with them. He is one of my favourite drummers I’ve seen live, and more than that: he’s a gifted songwriter as well, and his records […]

  • Don DiLego

    Don DiLego

    About a week ago, I filmed a session with New York City super group Fantastic Cat and attended their show at the Paradiso. That band consists of four songwriters, two of them you might have seen before on The Influences: Brian Dunne and Anthony D’Amato. The third is Hollis Brown’s Mike Montali, and the fourth […]

  • Mariee Siou

    Mariee Siou

    Mariee Sioux Sobonya was born on the Humboldt coast in Arcata, California. When she was two her family moved to the Sierra Nevada foothills in the Yuba River watershed in Northern California, to pursue their dream of farming and living off the land. Mariee grew up surrounded and deeply touched by music – going to […]

  • The Tallest Man On Earth

    The Tallest Man On Earth

    The Tallest Man On Earth and The Influences started almost simultaneously. His debut album Shallow Grave was released in 2008, the year this website started. Ever since, I’ve been following Kristian Matsson’s art and career – and he inspired me many times through his albums and the many live performances. So, it was a great […]

  • Sam Vano

    Sam Vano

    Last week, Sam Vano released his debut EP Solitaire. Sam van Ommen, the Dutch songwriter, was previously known for Sam & Julia and these days plays guitar in Tim Knol’s band. On this personal work, he sings bout solitude, escapism and being alone. His EP might remind you of musicians like Jeff Tweedy and Buck Meek, but it was Chet…

  • Prize Collect

    Prize Collect

    You haven’t heard anything by Prize Collect, yet. Until today. The Influences has the honour of sharing the first music by the Dutch band, formed by songwriter Marzio Scholten. Scholten is a Dutch guitarist known for his solo work, ranging from jazz to indie, and recently his band Opera Alaska – a collaboration with Moss-singer […]

  • The Deslondes

    The Deslondes

    Bringing a band back together after a break isn’t always a good idea. Plenty of reunions end up a disappointment for both fans and the members. Well, not for The Deslondes. They reunited in the pandemic and recorded their third – and possibly strongest – album Ways & Means. They describe it as the easiest […]

  • Alela Diane

    Alela Diane

    This week marks the 15th anniversary of this website. It’s pretty special and a bit mind-blowing to think about everything that has happened in that decade and a half. I might write something about that sometime soon, but for today, I would like to celebrate by doing what I know best: post a brand new […]

  • Lentink & Son

    Lentink & Son

    Allow me to introduce: Lentink & Son! You might know Dutch extraordinary songwriter and guitarist Bertolf from one of his six solo albums, his previous two sessions, live videos on this website or his chapter in my book Onder Invloed (2012). If you don’t, you have a lot of beauty still to discover. Think: Ron […]

  • Krea

    Krea

    Karen Cowley compares releasing her first solo EP with ‘cycling a bike without stabilizers for the first time’. The Callows is her first solo work as Krea after her band Wyvern Lingo went on hiatus. Well, cycle on, I’d say, because the five songs on the Irish songwriter’s EP are gorgeous. Two of those, Cowley […]

  • John Blek

    John Blek

    One of the great things about the TakeRoot festival in Groningen is that you’ll get to see some of your favourite acts perform and always will discover one or more new favourites. In the build up to the 2022 edition, Irish folk singer John Blek became just that. His song Lyric & Air is something […]

  • Adrian Crowley

    Adrian Crowley

    Three years after filming his first The Influences session, Irish songwriter Adrian Crowley returned for another, during TakeRoot festival in late 2021. Yesterday we reached the 20.000 subscribers mark on the YouTube channel, but to be honest, there’s no greater compliment than a musician willing to record for The Influences a second (or a third) […]

  • Aestrid

    Aestrid

    Aestrid feels like more than just a band. The Utrecht-based rock band is more of a pact between three good friends who help each other through whatever life throws at them and sometimes carve incredibly beautiful songs from those experiences. That special bond was tangible while filming their session for The Influences. Singer Bo Menning, […]

  • Ole Kirkeng

    Ole Kirkeng

    One of the lessons these last few years have taught me, is don’t take any opportunity to connect for granted. You never know when you’ll see that person again. So, when I was filming at TakeRoot in November 2021, and Norwegian songwriter Ole Kirkeng – who recorded his first session a few years prior – […]

  • Niamh Bury

    Niamh Bury

    The Influences went to Kilkenny, Ireland and invited local musicians to join them in the tower of the monumental Kilkenny Castle to record sessions. And they did. One of them is rising Irish folk singer Niamh Bury, who released two gorgeous singles recently on Claddagh Records and has an debut album on its way. For […]

  • Fantastic Cat

    Fantastic Cat

    When four songwriters join up and start a super group, and you’ve filmed with three of them before, chances are you’re going to like their group efforts. Well, I don’t like Fantastic Cat. I absolutely love Fantastic Cat. Brian Dunne, Anthony D’Amato, Don Dilego and Mike Montali (Hollis Brown) are all great on their own. […]

  • Alexa Rose

    Alexa Rose

    Alexa Rose has a talent for writing songs that subtly force their way into your heart. Every since I first learned of her name – after noticing she was opening for Hiss Golden Messenger in the States – and listened to Headwaters, I keep coming back to those songs. Last year, when she toured Europe […]

  • The Brother Brothers

    The Brother Brothers

    The first time I met Adam and David Moss, a.k.a. The Brother Brothers, they were seated next to me and Judy Blank at dinner during Down By The River festival in Venlo in 2019. We must have agreed to film a session at some point right there and then, but for obvious reasons, we had […]

  • Conchúr White

    Conchúr White

    Conchúr White, a singer-songwriter from County Armagh in Northern Ireland, was on his way to a show in Cork on Ireland’s south coast this August, when he and his fiance made a stop in Kilkenny to record a session for The Influences. In Kilkenny Castle’s tower, he played covers of Big Thief’s Shark Smile and […]

  • Bertolf

    Bertolf

    I remember a phone call by Bertolf Lentink once, telling me he basically was planning to end his solo career. For a while after he toured with other bands, but eventually decided to release and perform under his own name again. Well, thank fuck for that. If you’ve followed The Influences over the past fifteen […]

  • Brian Dunne

    Brian Dunne

    About a year and a half after his first session, Brian Dunne recorded another session. This time in the extraordinary surroundings of Soesterduinen, a sand drift East of Utrecht. The New York-based songwriter played the title track of his stunning latest record Loser On The Ropes and a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Make Me Cry. […]

  • Sean Thompson’s Weird Ears

    Sean Thompson’s Weird Ears

    In the 15 years of The Influences that have passed, a lot of my new favourite musicians are people I’ve gotten to know through other artists. They’ve either supported them or played in their bands. Sean Thompson’s Weird Ears is no different. I noticed him playing with Erin Rae and started listening to his own […]

  • Niamh Regan

    Niamh Regan

    Niamh Regan is a critically acclaimed songwriter from county Galway, Ireland. Her songs are windows into her world, snapshots of the intimacy of everyday life. Regan recently finished recording her second album, which she’ll release in the Spring of 2024. During The Influences’ visit to Kilkenny in August 2023, Niamh Regan joined us at the Parade […]

  • David Keenan

    David Keenan

    David Keenan, the songwriter from Dundalk in Ireland, is one of the most inspired and inspiring songwriters I’ve gotten to know in the past few years. Ever since that acoustic garden show during Kilkenny Arts Festival in 2019, I’ve been keeping a close watch on his work. And he’s been as prolific as he’s been […]

  • Kassi Valazza

    Kassi Valazza

    Kassi Valazza Knows Nothing is one of those records you just can’t help but play over and over again. The American folk singer from Portland Oregon – who grew up in Arizona – makes you forget there’s such a thing as time, at least for the 46 minutes her second album is playing. Listening, I […]

  • Robyn Hitchcock

    Robyn Hitchcock

    Sometimes the greatest sessions happen spontaneously. Like this one, when Robyn Hitchcock played in Utrecht with Emma Swift and agreed to also record a session the next morning. At the (now closed) shop Still in Utrecht’s city center, the former The Soft Boys front man recorded The Incredible String Band’s Nightfall, Bob Dylan’s Señor (Tales […]

  • Mick Flannery

    Mick Flannery

    Last Summer I visited Ireland to film sessions and Mick Flannery was pretty high up on my wish list. It didn’t work out logistically then, but luckily the singer – whose latest record Goodtime Charlie was released on Oh Boy Records – visited The Netherlands this Autumn and we got to film there and then. […]

  • The Pink Stones

    The Pink Stones

    I’ve lost track of the number of New West Records-artists that have recorded sessions for The Influences by now. All that matters right now is the newest addition: The Pink Stones. At TakeRoot this November, they loaded all their gear out of their van (which was in a minor incident the night before) and recorded […]