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Crys Matthews

Ask about the new generation of social justice music-makers and Crys Matthews will be mentioned. A southeastern North Carolina native who now calls Washington, D.C., home, Crys has been compared to everyone from Toshi Reagon to Tracy Chapman and Ruthie Foster. Equally at home in an acoustic listening room as she is on stage at large music festivals, Crys quickly gathered a loyal following on the East Coast playing such prestigious venues as the Sundance Film Festival, The Birchmere, The Hamilton, and Jammin’ Java. A prolific lyricist, Crys blends Americana, folk, jazz, blues, bluegrass, and funk into a bold, complex performance steeped in traditional melodies punctuated by honest, original lyrics. Her eighth studio release, "These Old Hands," "is the most vulnerable I’ve ever been in my music," Crys says. From the title track, written about picking up where a love leaves off, to the final track, written about familial complexities, Matthews is letting her listeners see behind what she calls her "titanium wall." "These Old Hands" finished out 2019 in Folk Alley’s Top Ten, and Crys is already at work on a new project, "Changemakers."