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Matt Dierlam | North Forty News
Twenty FaceTime songwriting sessions, 2,000 miles of driving, a few pre-show rehearsals, recording studio hours, and a whole lot of passion culminated at the Terry Bison Ranch last weekend when Matt Barr & Dori Jo opened for Grammy-Nominated Americana artist and headliner John Fullbright.
Last Saturday night marked the duo’s third performance since the recent collaboration kicked off—and the Terry Bison Ranch couldn’t have been a more fitting place for the two musicians to put their practice into play. Their sweet sound reminiscence of the (defunct) American duo the Civil Wars, was even stronger with more country twang and equally brilliant vocals.
Matt Barr—a local Berthoud, CO resident—started frequenting the Senators Steak House at the Terry Bison Ranch last fall. He’d joined The Red Iron Push singing harmonies and playing lead guitar. The group found the feeling of Home in Wyoming, where they quickly built up a following. Post-Show Acoustic Jam sessions occurred regularly— Matt & lead vocalist Brandon, with an accompanying guitar or mandolin, a bartender sweeping up a few strides away, and some newly minted fans seated around their dinner table. Wyomingites seemed to agree— Matt and his band seemed right at home in Wyoming.
In March of this year, Dori Jo packed her bags, a pair of work boots, a few tools, then headed south from Sheridan, WY to attend the Wyoming School of Horseshoeing in Cheyenne. Equipped with the mindset to learn a new trade and the intention to fully document her new life experiences, songs were born.
Dori Jo picked up a Red Iron Push album while in Cheyenne and caught the group opening up for Granger Smith in Cheyenne. The top-notch sound and songwriting on the EP quickly found a permanent home in her car’s CD player.
“Matt and I first crossed paths when my band, ‘Balsamroot’ opened up for Jason Eady at Terry Bison Ranch, because Matt ran sound for the show… a group of us (including Texas Singer / Songwriter Jason Eady) sang songs around the campfire for a few hours after the show.” Mentioned Dori Jo.
Realizing the uniqueness of the sound that was curated between them, Matt and Dori Jo decided to partner together to work towards the common goal of creating “Expression in its finest form”- through song.