Hancock graduate releases album with country roots

August 29, 2010|By EBONI JAGGERS
  • Matthew Kline, a 2007 Hancock High School graduate, has just released his first album, "Tales from the Tree House."
Submitted photo,

Two years ago, Matthew Kline didn't know whether he was coming or going, let alone what his career path was going to be.

Should he follow in his father's footsteps or walk he path he had envisioned for himself since childhood?

Kline had a decision to make.

After graduating from Hancock High School in 2007, the 20-year-old chose to be practical. He went to work for his dad, Jamie Kline, an electrical engineer.

After nearly two years, Kline said he liked his job, but felt something was missing.

"For me it was always when I graduate I'm going to go work for dad. That's how it's going to be," Kline said. "... I (didn't) want to spend the rest of my life wondering 'What if?'"

One thing he knew for certain, he loved music. For him, he said, music was never about fame or fortune, money or people knowing his name. It was about reaching people through his music and lyrics.


With the support of his father and mother Shelly Kline, the decision was made.

Since making the choice to make music his full-time job, Kline said everything has seemingly fallen into place.

His debut album, "Tales from the Tree House," was released in early August.

While writing this album, Kline said he hid out in his family's treehouse -- the inspiration for the album's title for a couple of weeks and let the healing process take over.

"I had been through a lot (during those) last two years, on a personal level," he said.

While he had decided to make music his full-time career, he was also recovering from a tough breakup.

"Writing lyrics for the album took a lot out of me, but it really helped me heal," he said. "(The album) was definitely a personal journey. That's why it means a lot to me that everything has taken off the way it has."

Fresh off an eight-date stint on the Vans Warped 2010 Tour, Kline has gotten a taste of the life he has chosen for himself.

He said he and his band members had played shows before, but none quite as large as this.

The tour, he said, featured more than 30 bands, some of which he has held in high regards for years and housed 8,000 to 10,000 fans each night.

That's thousands more than he had been accustomed to traveling the East Coast in his F-150 pick-up truck with his guitar.

Even without thousands of screaming fans of his own and the luxury of an actual tour bus now, Kline, who calls Hancock home when he's not on the road, seems content.

With all of the uncertainties that come with life on the road, Kline said one thing remains constant and that is the undying support he has received from his family.

"I've been very blessed," he said. "I have a very supportive, loving family."

After completing his album, Kline said he presented the finished product to his father, whose roots with country music helped spawn it all.

The response, he said, was overwhelming.

Since then there has been no turning back. With only the future ahead of him, the indie-folk singer-songwriter said, he is already in the works of a second album, "Vandalia," which he plans to record in January.

"I've always kind of had restless legs," he said. "When I graduated high school, I always knew I wanted to travel and see the world. I just want to be able to help people with my music. I want to be able to meet them every night (at my shows)."

He doesn't know where he'll end up or what's next but he said, "that's the beauty of it all."

For more information ...

To learn more about Kline and his music visit .

The Herald-Mail Articles