2017 Blues Music Award Nominee | Song - "Blues Immigrant"
2013 Blues Music Award Nomination | Best Song "The Devil Ain't Got No Music"
Matthew Skoller is one of Chicago’s most respected harp blowers and blues bandleaders. For the past 27 years he has played all of Chicago’s heaviest showcase venues and toured much of the world with his super tight ensembles. Deeply rooted in the tradition of the Chicago blues elders with whom he worked and studied, Skoller has developed a unique style that conjures the past while being firmly planted in the present. His blues wardrobe clothes a range of original songs whose subject matter comments on many of the issues and realities of life during this age of technology, information and upheaval.
Skoller, known for his fiery and engaging performances, combines passionate harp playing and singing with original song writing and prodigious production skills. He has self-produced 4 of his own critically acclaimed CD’s. As a producer he has produced 2 award winning CD’s by Lurrie Bell: "Let’s Talk About Love" and "The Devil Ain’t Got No Music". Skoller penned the title cut of the latter which was nominated for song of the year by the Blues Awards in the US. The same album was awarded the Prix Blues by L’Academie du Jazz in Paris, France in 2012.
Matthew has played harmonica on two Grammy nominated CD’s in the last 4 years: Chicago Blues: A Living History and Still I Rise, by Heritage Blues Orchestra. Matthew collaborated with his brother Larry Skoller (producer) on the Grammy nominated, historical project, "Chicago Blues A Living History" and co-produced and played on volume two "The (R)evolution Continues" which won Traditional Album of the Year at the Blues Awards in 2012. He lent his production experience, deep knowledge of Chicago Blues history, and his harmonica to this project that is now being hailed by critics as one of the greatest Chicago Blues events of our time.
DownBeat – by Frank-John Hadley | Review of Matthew Skoller’s "Blues Immigrant" album | ★★★
A fixture in Chicago since the late 1980’s, Matthew Skoller makes the 11 tracks on his fifth album spring forward with verve and craft that’s embedded in tradition. Unlike the music, his songwriting often bucks the system by tackling unexpected subjects: greed, green cards, consumerism, the state of blues today. He’s a better harmonica player than he is a vocalist, though his inherent Brooklynese wit enlivens nine tracks, including predictable plaints about flawed relationships. There’s modest pleasure to be had in two instrumentals.
Roots Music Report – by Duane Verh | Review of Matthew Skoller’s "Blues Immigrant" album | ★★★★
True to the tradition with his harmonica work, NYC-bred, Chicago-based Matthew Skoller also keeps his blues very much in the present tense and personal with lyric sets such as his “Big Box Store Blues” and “Only In The Blues”. He keeps things interesting as well with change-ups such as the steamy, seductive groove of “The Devil Ain’t Got No Music” and his historically engaging, autobiographical title track.