Better together: roots-rockers Matrimony return to Asheville

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:

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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