“Music saved me from a lonely existence, and now it’s teaching me how to relate to others and how to relate to myself”: Mat Davidson, aka Twain, found belonging with a guitar in his hand

Twain, aka Mat Davidson
(Image credit: Wyndham Garnett)

Virginia-born Mat Davidson, who goes by the name Twain for his solo work, has a long history of playing with acts such as Big Thief, The Low Anthem and The Deslondes, among others. 

For Noon – his most recent solo album – he puts in the work and plays guitar, keys, strings and wind instruments. Percussion and bass guitar are performed by Austin Vaughn and Ken Woodward, so overall it’s a simple setup. 

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Glenn Kimpton

Glenn Kimpton is a freelance writer based in the west of England. His interest in English folk music came through players like Chris Wood and Martin Carthy, who also steered him towards alternate guitar tunings. From there, the solo acoustic instrumental genre, sometimes called American Primitive, became more important, with guitarists like Jack Rose, Glenn Jones and Robbie Basho eventually giving way to more contemporary players like William Tyler and Nick Jonah Davis. Most recently, Glenn has focused on a more improvised and experimental side to solo acoustic playing, both through his writing and his own music, with players like Bill Orcutt and Tashi Dorji being particularly significant.