The band Matrimony has gone through an evolution, though its roots remain in founders and husband-and-wife duo (hence the name, sort of) Jimmy Brown and Ashlee Hardee Brown. The two of them exude roots rock — both wiry and coolly dressed. He with his Irish accent, her with her sweet voice. In the beginning their songs were more songwriter-y. Sweet, a little bit sad, full of the promise of rock ‘n’ combustion.
So they did what married people do: Got in the family way. Not with a baby, but with the addition of Hardee Brown’s brothers, Jordan Hardee on drums and CJ Hardee on mandolin and banjo. Now the Charlotte-based group sounds like this:
Matrimony’s new album, Montibello Memories was just releases by Sony on May 6. The 11-track record includes “Golden Light” and “Obey Your Guns” from last year’s Montibello Drive EP — the band played those songs at its Bele Chere appearance. The new album launches with the muscular, jangly “Southern Skies,” a dusky and pulsing tribute to dirt roads, long summer days and friendship. It’s soulful and it rocks.
Matrimony returns to The Millroom on Thursday, June 5. 9 p.m., $8 advance/$10 day of show.
Here’s an interview with the band from last year, a look back at the band’s early iteration, which is absolutely worth remembering: