If it were possible for me to taste music, Matthew Griswold's voice would be everything I needed to sustain my body and nourish my soul. I frequently write about things which move me, change me, and touch my heart. This article won't be any different. Much like any writer, a song writer and performer who writes and sings with such passion and grit packs a double punch, which resonated in my senses long after the music ended. For the first time in the history of listening to music, I wasn't disappointed when the video didn't match what his words meant for me in my life, which is what I find so inspiring about his work, his voice, and his message. It doesn't matter who you are, where you live, what color your skin is or how affluent and well versed you are, his music may well be the thread which ties your experiences together and bridges the gap from one human to the next. When I listened to his music, his words came down on my shoulders and shrouded me, permeated my thoughts and opened my mind to the earth and humanity.
To get a feel for his background and his music, I met Matthew in Anoka at my favorite little coffee shop, Avant Garden. It was a Thursday evening and the coffee shop was hosting an open mic night. If you're like me and appreciate watching people share their passion through music, reading poetry and telling jokes, while you enjoy (according to Matthew) some great tasting coffee, you'll consider yourself fortunate to have been there.
Upon meeting him, it was clear to me he was humble, kind and very much a genuine person. I couldn't help but think his parents had seemed to have raised him well and the more we talked, the more evident that became. For being so young, (when I asked his age he jokingly replied "29ish") he has lived and seen things most of us never will.
Matthew was in the military for 5 years. He was in the 1st Armored Division and part of a Scout Unit in a Brigade Combat Team. His missions ranged from recon missions to even protecting the former president for a few days. In 2006, he was assigned a task force that invaded Ramadi Iraq, or what is called "The Battle Of Ramadi" and was attached to an NSW (Navy SEALS) team for 3 months. From there, he actually lived and fought along side an Iraqi Miltia that belonged to Sheik Sitar. When that was all said and done, he took the opportunity to attend a school and became a Criminal Investigator for the army, he was assigned as a Special Agent with their CID(Kinda like NCIS if you ever watch the show) unit in Ft. Knox, KY for the last year.
People who serve our country hold a bond and a uniqueness amongst themselves some of us may never know, but if you listen to the lyrics of his songs, you can get an idea of the depth and emotion Matthew carries in his heart and soul.
"In the course of the last ten years this is the moment that still remains the only time I was absolutely certain I was in the right place, at the right time, and for the right reason. It was the day where I learned the most important lesson I could ever live to learn. It was the day when being a musician wasn't about being a "Rock Star", and being a Soldier wasn't about fighting in a war. I learned that no matter what you appear to be on the surface, beneath it all it's about being a person… it's about being a human… and being the best one you can ever hope be. The surface is always and only just a mask and it's good to lift it once in a while." — in Ramadi, Al Anbar.
Check out his music and his schedule~http://www.matthewgriswold.net/Pics.html