Tone & Tenor

It's Amazing 

Just a little sneak peak into the new album-check out this demo of It's Amazing.  Matt wrote the song over a three day period in mid-may and we recorded it Memorial Day weekend.  For you avid readers, here are the lyrics.

Pulled into Nazareth… 

Growing up in Easton, Pennsylvania, we never gave much thought to the fact that some of the best acoustic guitars in the world were produced just four miles up the road in a sleepy little neighborhood of Nazareth.  The bus that took us to Palmer Elementary School drove past several manufacturing plants along the way: Crayola Crayons, Pfizer, Dixie Cup, Harris, and several massive Bethlehem Steel warehouses.  We also drove past the main Bethlehem Steel plant regularly.  The size and scale of the Bethlehem Steel, Pfizer, and Dixie Cup plants made C.F. Martin Co. look rather modest in comparison.

As an adult, I've always appreciated the sound of Martin Guitars, and in particular their Dreadnaughts.  Countless bluegrass guitarists swear by Martin's brand, but the guitars can also be heard on many iconic recordings and performances.  Below are a few sound examples and some photos of from visits to the Lehigh Valley area.

Psycho Killer-Talking Heads (from the film Stop Making Sense) Not sure how the rest of the band felt about this, but this certainly demonstrates David Byrnes' creativity and quirkiness, both of which I find very endearing.

Bird Song-Grateful Dead (Radio City Music Hall 10/31/80)  Jerry Garcia's Martin guitar can also be heard throughout the live Reckoning album also recorded during the same four night stint at Radio City.


Punch Brothers: This recording on NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts provides a great example of the punchiness of Martin's dreadnaught guitars.  Here is another clip of Chris Eldridge playing solo. 

The Freeing Feeling 

Hey there Col. Pike fans,

Thanks again for tuning in and for all of your support.

Recently, during a discussion of lyrical content or the lack thereof in modern music, at least in any meaningful and substantive fashion, I was reminded of a old bandmate's reaction to a new song.  He said he wasn't into the song because he didn't like songs about violence.  And let's face it, he may not have liked anything about the song, or maybe he just didn't like that fact that I was writing songs, and he wasn't.  Regardless, if a person doesn't like songs that touch on violent encounters, hey, fair enough.  I get it.  

His comment was a little suspect, however, because at the time we played a cover of The Grateful Dead's song, Jack Straw.  Robert Hunter's main character in Jack Straw tells the tail of his violent encounters while traveling by rail across the country, presumably as a box car stow-away.  Of course, Dead Heads, who trend toward the upper end of the I.Q. curve, recognized that Hunter's lyric was in no way auto-biographical and that he had drawn on an immense well of creativity to conjure what nearly all would characterize as an evil son-of-a-bitch.

This example is by no means exclusive.  Consider Take the Money and Run (Steve Miller),  I Shot the Sheriff (Bob Marley), Black River Killer (Blitzen Trapper), Saturday Night's Alright (Elton John) and let's face it, many more than I could ever list here.  I've posted the lyrics that my bandmate found so offensive on the Col. Pike lyrics page here.  The song title is Foolish Pride. 

Nevertheless, my former bandmate presented a valid question in regard to Foolish Pride, whatever his true motivations happened to be, namely, whether or not artists should present violence in their work.  And that question, I whole heartedly embrace because it focuses our attention on the ultimate purpose of art.  As a songwriter, I've long viewed that role as an opportunity to present the audience with a reflection of the full gamut of the human experience.  One difficulty with this endeavor arises when trying to demonstrate the reality of violence while at the same time avoiding the glorification of it.  I will let you decide whether Foolish Pride crosses the line.  Please leave a comment, as I truly welcome your thoughts on this.  And either way, I encourage you to listen to and think about the lyrics of songs.  Grapple with them and try to figure out the meaning, or just come up with your own take.  That said, I also encourage you to think carefully about whether a song is autobiographical…some are and some aren't.

Hope you are well and that you have a great day, week, month, year, and century.



Six Million and Counting! 

Hey there,

Tonight I updated the tracking from BMI-very pleased to announce that the song, Mountains, has reached over 6 millions plays as of the 4th quarter of 2021.  It's difficult to express in words how grateful I feel for this. 

Mountains was one of the last tracks recorded for the first album, and it came together very quickly.  Woke up early on a Saturday and was fooling around on the acoustic guitar. Just playing chords and working on some cross-picking.  After several cups of coffee, I had the progression for the verses and the chorus.  At that point, I started humming the melody and the words just started spilling out.  The whole thing was done by early afternoon.  Played it for a couple of days...over and over until it felt really comfortable, and that was it.

It's a song I truly enjoy playing to this day, and I'm so pleased that others have found some enjoyment in it as well.  Thank you so much for listening and sharing!!


© 2022 Matthew Jones; ℗  2022 Matthew Jones

New Song-5-25-2022 

Hey there-hope you are doing well.

Just wanted to thank all of you who have been listening and purchasing songs from the first album, Water from a Broken Dam, on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube, etc.  I also want to thank those who have been checking in on the Col. Pike website.  

Recently, I've been working on a new chord progression and melody. This weekend I forced myself to sit down and write some lyrics. The title of the track is Lay With Me. The plan is to rehearse this until its fully ingrained the then go back into the Tone and Tenor studio to record.  Also below are a couple of pictures of the dogs, Baxter and Brandy, showing their enormous enthusiasm for the song writing process.

And when I finally woke 

Thinking about the words you spoke 

Wonder if we’ll make the grade 

Or will it come to plans mislaid 


And when at last we taste the sun 

Nothing left to do but run 

Back into the warm embrace 

A whisper’s everlasting grace 


Lay beside me 

Let the morning pass without a care 

If the world chimes in it would be 

more than I could bare 


Driving through the Lone Star state 

So flat it makes you contemplate 

What it means to be a friend 

And could you ever make amends 


Made a stop in San Antonio 

Spent the hour on my phone 

Searching for that phrase you used 

It could never be confused


Cross Atlanta in the rain 

A fleeting interest you could feign 

Waitress wants a new tattoo 

One could never misconstrue


Park behind the old sawmill 

Listen to the whippoorwill 

Singing to the morning sun 

Just another audition

© 2022 Matthew Jones; ℗  2022 Matthew Jones