Matt Bailie

By Bob Doerschuk

© 2011 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.

A defining moment in Matt Bailie’s young life occurred so long ago that he hardly remembers it now. His father, an entertainer, died in a plane crash while flying to his next show. He left his son more than talent and a hunger to perform; as the pilot of his craft on that last trip, David Bailie also passed along a determination to control his own destiny.

Matt, too, charted his course from his hometown in Jacksonville, Fla., into a life devoted to music. Just 5 years old when he began competing in karaoke contests, Bailie made it at 15 into the Florida state finals of the Colgate Country Showdown. Three years after that, he was on the road with a band, working the clubs and opening for Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, .38 Special and other headliners. Along the way he developed confidence onstage by following his mother’s lead as an actor. By age 12 he was appearing in local theater and eventually on the WB Television series “Safe Harbor” and the movie “Surfacing.”

Bailie was 18 when he left the group and moved to Nashville. Soon he was studying audio engineering at SAE Institute of Technology and polishing his songwriting through old-fashioned hard work seasoned with advice from John Briggs, VP of Artist Relations, ASCAP.

His record label debut was released in late 2010 on True Vibe Entertainment. Matt Bailie showcases Bailie as a writer on six tracks. On all 11 cuts, most of them co-produced by the 23-year-old artist with Chip Martin, he projects a personable, approachable presence. Even on the ballad “Nothing Left for Me,” the sole track written by Bailie alone, the lyric feels less like a budding star onstage than reflections on a sad moment shared by friends in a bar.

The peak moment, though, may be the first single and video, “Man Behind These Eyes.” Written by Bailie, Donnie Van Zant and Aaron Scherz, it’s directed toward someone gone too soon and too long ago, whose presence continues to guide and inspire the son he barely knew.

IN HIS OWN WORDS Q&A

SONG YOU’D LOVE TO COVER
“‘This I Promise You’ by ’N Sync or ‘I’ll Be’ by Edwin McCain.”

PET PEEVE
“A clean house and car.”

FAVORITE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION
“I love to fly.”

FIRST GIG
“A county fair — I was so nervous, I forgot the opening line.”

WHAT YOU’D BE IF NOT AN ARTIST
“I really never have seen myself as anything else — but I’d have to work my own hours.”

On the Web: www.MattBailieMusic.com

Country Music Association

Matt Bailie Photo by /Provided by Country Music Association

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