Matt Brown

Host of Relax Your Grid

Matt Brown is a musician, teacher, record label owner, podcast host, and record producer based in Louisville, Kentucky. His most recent credits include Michelle Billingsley's 2020 debut album Not the Marrying Kind (which he produced and played on at Narwhal Studios in Chicago), and Max Allard's 2020 singles "Grey Owl" and "Rooster" (which he produced and played on at Mighty Fine Productions in Denver).

In 2018, Matt was the executive producer of On Big Shoulders, a grant-funded Americana album that features 12 Chicago musicians playing 10 songs with links to The Windy City. The centerpiece of that album was a commissioned song by Chicago's favorite GRAMMY-nominated Americana songwriter Robbie Fulks. One life-changing surprise that came out of making that album was a burgeoning friendship with Chess Records artist Barbara Carr, whose song "Shake Your Head" On Big Shoulders covered on their debut album. Mrs. Carr made a special guest appearance at the On Big Shoulders release concert in Chicago, which later led to Matt producing a concert of her own, this time backed up by the On Big Shoulders core band, at SPACE in Evanston, IL in 2019. This concert occurred 50 years after Barbara Carr had recorded for Chess in Chicago, and her voice was as powerful as ever.

During his time in Chicago, Matt performed & recorded with the quartet Big Sadie. He also ventured down to Nashville in 2015 to record a duet album with Greg Reish entitled Speed of the Plow. That record was engineered & co-produced by 5-time GRAMMY-winner Dave Sinko (Punch Brothers, Béla Fleck, Hot Rize). Matt and Greg subsequently toured the country performing the album's collection of old-time tunes. Matt has also toured nationally as a soloist, with The Steel Wheels, with dance ensembles Rhythm in Shoes and Footworks, and has made guest appearances with GRAMMY-winner Tim O'Brien and GRAMMY-nominees Robbie Fulks, Special Consensus, and Della Mae. He has performed twice with Mike Snider on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.

Matt teaches online fiddle, banjo, and guitar lessons to students around the world. He regularly creates YouTube content in the form of performance videos as well as instructional ones. The bulk of the latter populate his free instructional banjo website, the first site of its kind devoted to that particular style of banjo picking.

Matt is also a Patreon creator. His patrons receive early or exclusive access to all sorts of content including tablature, video lessons, interviews, demo recordings, and more. To become one of Matt's patrons, you can sign up here for as little as $2/month. There are tiers ranging up to $50/month. That top level includes a private lesson with Matt each month in addition to all the other Patreon perks. The $2/month tier is for Relax Your Grid Superfans, who get exclusive content with each episode of the podcast as well as a sticker with the show's logo on it.

In the summers, Matt teaches at the Queen Bee Music Association’s Kids Bluegrass Camps in Crested Butte, CO and Santa Fe, NM, as well as at the Intermountain Suzuki String Institute near Salt Lake City, UT. He has been on staff at The Colorado Suzuki Institute, Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp, Strings by the Sea, Old-Time Week at The Swannanoa Gathering, Stephen Wade’s American Roots Music Program at Rocky Ridge, and Southern Week at Ashokan. He has taught fiddle workshops at Berklee College of Music, Swallow Hill Music, Morehead State University, The School For Strings, Music for Youth, and the Music Institute of Chicago. From the fall of 2011 until the spring of 2019, Matt taught fiddle, banjo, and guitar to students of all ages at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, and co-led their kids Fiddle Camp for several summers.

Matt Brown has hosted 15 Episodes.