Mat d. and the Profane Saints | Small Town Burning...

Go To Artist Page

Recommended if You Like
John Hiatt Steve Earle Tom Petty

Album Links
Mat d. and the Profane Saints Nexhit Tradebit Audio Lunchbox MusicIsHere PayPlay Apple iTunes Bitmunk GreatIndieMusic GroupieTunes

More Artists From
United States - Iowa

Other Genres You Will Love
Rock: Roots Rock Country: Alt-Country Moods: Mood: Brooding
Sell your music everywhere
There are no items in your wishlist.

Small Town Burning...

by Mat d. and the Profane Saints

Electrified earthbound ambition meets rustic and rootsy alt. country flavored rock and blues...the Profane Saints romance you like a truck stop waitress from hell, and fly you off to glory like a Roller Coaster Rocket Ship...all-a-board and AMEN.
Genre: Rock: Roots Rock
Release Date: 

We'll ship when it's back in stock

Order now and we'll ship when it's back in stock, or enter your email below to be notified when it's back in stock.
Continue Shopping
available for download only
Share to Google +1

To listen to tracks you will need to update your browser to a recent version.

  Song Share Time Download
1. Rambling Mary Jane Walker
2:38 $0.99
2. Swivel Town
5:02 $0.99
3. Carolina Home Wreckers Blues
3:57 $0.99
4. My Soul to Blame
4:16 $0.99
5. You Shall Be Free
2:10 $0.99
6. Drinking Gin and Sipping Tea
3:31 $0.99
7. Bikini Bull Riding...
4:18 $0.99
8. Sweet Louise
4:26 $0.99
9. The Full Gospel Motel
4:31 $0.99
10. Sideshow
3:37 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
This album is sold out and is no longer in print. Visit one of the digital partner links if you wish to purchase this album as a digital download.

With more angelic twists and turns past that proverbial truckstop from hell, Mat d. and the Profane Saints full length debut "Small Town Burning..." takes the listener on a roller coaster rocket ship through the depths of roots rock, past the the souls of dead lovers ,the damned, cruel pin-ups, drag queens, dive motels and roadhouse ramblers. Mat d's songs rock you like a country waitress with a bad reputation and romance you like the girl next door. From southern flavored blues rock to a distinctive insurgent country sound."Small Town Burning..." is a slice of indie americana that will warm the senses with electrified earthbound ambition.
Singer/Songwriter Mat d. backed by future bandmates Jeff Deignan and Kurt Mullins touches on age old lyrical themes such as lost faith, guilt, fidelity, sexuality and sin down the back roads of rural America. Crisp production and a polished indie rock n' roll sound send the listener on a journey full of truth, lies and everything between. This release is bound to be an underground classic-full of stories and legends of midway freaks, dirty sailors, forbidden lovers and hell, every profane soul and saint you could imagine. Take a trip with Mat d. through a city on fire-whether you're glory bound or condemned to die-it's sure to be a ride you'll never forget. All-a-board and AMEN.



to write a review

Blues Bunny

Small Town Burning
The world needs storytellers. The world needs the kind of people that tell us about that strange, warped world that we live in. People like Johnny Cash, Lee Hazelwood, Tom Waits or even the subject of this review - Mat D. & the Profane Saints. This 10 track album is what you get when Americana meets up with its twisted cousin up a dark alley and lives to tell the tale.

They take us through a living, breathing set of stories that would make a soap opera proud. "Rambling Mary Jane Walker" introduces to the kind of low life characters that inhabit the shadows of every small town. "Bikini Bull Riding" is dedicated to upholding those important things in life namely bikini bull riding, cold beer and those damn, dirty girls. That song took us back to a time when Bluesbunny thought that was all there was on the road to happiness. Life teaches us more lessons as we go through it and that is also the case with this album. "My Soul to Blame" is a cautionary tale of what happens when a man meets the wrong woman at the wrong time. Jealousy, infidelity and murder - its all there. If you want redemption then take a listen to the gospel flavoured "You Shall be Free". Our favourite was the wryly moral "Drinking Gin and Sipping Tea". You have to hand it to this band. They take us on a walk through the wild side armed only with black humour and musical verve.

All the drama of life and love on one CD and just like a soap opera, once you get started you just get addicted to it. This was indeed the case here and the Bluesbunny immediately broke out the credit card and bought as much of the band's back catalogue as he could find. It is safe to say that we recommend that you do the same starting with this album.
bluesbunny - (Aug 7, 2007)

Jim Pipkin

"Small Town Burning" has all the right rough edges
“Small Town Burning” has all the right rough edges
Posted by Jim Pipkin at October 22, 2006 09:12 PM

Let’s face it, there are thousands and thousands of indie acts out there. They all have a CD or three to sell from the stage, and while they might deliver a decent show live, the recording never seems to measure up. This is not the case with “Small Town Burning”, which will be officially released October 28 at Sweet Fanny’s Pub in Sioux City, Iowa.

Ever hear the expression “Saturday night in Sioux City?” Well, here we go!

I found Mat d. and the Profane Saints while surfing the web, at a little hole-in-the-wall website where folks can post their tunes. With network radio firmly in the pocket of organized crime, music associations forming exclusive cliques as fast as they can get organized, and public radio long lost to lite jazz and classical, in my opinion the internet has become the last refuge of real music. If you avoid MySpace, YouTube, and other free networking sites just because they are free (or because they are owned by corporate drones with massive egos and tiny genitalia), you have only yourself to blame. You are, in effect, waiting to be spoon-fed rather than going out and grazing for yourself. Where’s the fun in that? Let me hop down off this soapbox and get to work.

“Small Town Burning” is a quirky trip to the wrong side of town, a low-budget powerhouse cobbled together with spit, baling wire, and a few missed truck payments. There is no title track on the disc, but any one of five or six strong offerings on it could do the job. I’m going to walk through it cut by cut, because each one has a unique story to tell. Here’s the door – watch your step now, and stop for a second just inside to let your eyes adjust to the dark. Man, does this place smell funky!

Our visit starts out with a scratchy, needle-popping intro into “Rambling Mary Jane Walker”, a tune filled with odd characters and double entendre that, according to Mat, was inspired by a Mary Jane candy wrapper. There’s a primitive stream of consciousness thing going on here – hillbilly haiku, broken people who limp on despite the damage. You laugh out loud one second, shake your head the next, with a beat that will get you up dancing.

From this we jump right into “Swivel Town”, a hoppin’ lick again populated with sweaty, gyrating tough nuts from across the tracks. The brief images really stick here, and create some very strong impressions. You’ll swear you’ve been in this place before, and you probably have if you’re tough enough.

I’d like to comment at this point that these tracks are by no means polished – and they couldn’t care less. They stand on their own, with all the right rough edges, and kick butt like sailors on nickel beer night.

That said, we move on to “Carolina Home Wrecker’s Blues”. This song knocked my socks off, because it reminded me of a brawl around the abandoned gas pumps at the Silver Dollar Saloon in Apex, North Carolina one night long ago and far away. A great, gritty anthem, with emotion in it as real as a bullet hole.

One of my personal favorite verses on the whole project comes up next, in “My Soul to Blame”:

“Well I had me a woman – the cold bitch was evil
Wore her hair like some pin-up girl straight outta Hell
We drove around in her Caddy, she called me her daddy
And we did things in private that I’ll never tell”

Those of you who know me must realize that this is a departure. I’m pretty straight laced, and don’t generally hold with strong language in a song. That’s because obscenity is usually a cheap trick, but in this case it rang true. Call me fickle, but “My Soul to Blame” held together from first note to last, not a hint of insincerity.

No sojourn in the rough-stubbled civic underbelly would be complete without stopping by the mission for a free meal. “You Shall Be Free” came out of the corner swinging, a soulful gospel tune, but just what sorta gospel are we talking about here? It was only a brief stop, just long enough to get some soup and a few slices of stale white bread, and then we’re headed back down the street to another strange tale.

“Drinking Gin and Sipping Tea” is an irreverent tribute to Cisco Houston and Woody Guthrie through the eyes of their sailor pal Jim Longhi, possibly one of the strongest and least sappy I’ve heard. Cisco and Woody and Jim were all hard cases, and they deserve a hard tune or two to remind us that the folks who now profess to carry on their legacy would not, for the most part, have made it through a single afternoon with them. They were fighters to a man, and this song trots that right out.

Thirsty? Horny? Here’s your sign. “Bikini Bull Riding” is a hot and slippery slice of Americana apple pie, especially for those of us who have lived and worked near Las Vegas. There’s something about coming in from a hard nasty job and having the chance to party with some hard nasty women…a little sadness, too, because there’s nothing real about it. At the same time it is as real as it gets, as real as you can expect to find. So you swallow your pride, dig into your wallet, and raise a little Cain before crawling back down the hole.

New Orleans ain’t dead yet, but “Sweet Louise” would be a decent dirge if it ever went under for good. “From the rusty shores of Freedom, to the graveyards down below, I heard the city of New Orleans died a long, long time ago.” There are lots of things not being said in polite company about the aftermath of Katrina, but then you’re not in polite company right now, are ya?

“Full Gospel Motel” delivers a street-weary stab at intimacy in a tumbledown old religious retreat fallen onto hard times. Ten dollars will rent some clean sheets for an hour.

“They got beer at the counter, and ashtrays with pictures of martyrs
Every cheap cigarette and knickknack that money can buy”

This comes as close to a love song as it gets on this disc. Take it or leave it, I’ll spring for the room. Wanna beer? Ahh, romance.

The disc closes with “Sideshow”, so we’re leaving just as the party gets started. This is one wild ride, with some unprintable lyrics and smoking guitar held together by sheer willpower. Did he just say “chicks with dicks”?? Nah, couldn’t be…

So there it is, “Small Town Burning”, my own personal pick for the raunchiest, most honest, bright and sincere new indie Americana disc I’ve heard this year. I think it puts anything coming over the airwaves to shame. It could never get past those reptilian stuffed shirts in the boardroom to get on the air. That’s okay. I wouldn’t want those weenies in my bar, and I certainly don’t want them anywhere near my music.

Introducing:Mat d. and the Profane Saints
I remember when Biohazard released their first album, Urban Discipline. Man, that shit hit me like a jab coming right up the pipe. Raw as a freshly popped blister with more grit than a fish fry. You got the feeling that the songs on that album were written from experience and when he sang “you’re on the wrong side of the tracks” it probably wasn’t the first time such an encounter had occurred. While Mat D. and the Profane Saints don’t sound anything like Biohazard they still manage to remind me of that debut cd in every other way.

Mat D and the Profane Saints are like a well worn pair of jeans. Frayed edges, skoal can imprint in the back pocket and too many stains for them to be proper in local eating establishments but you do it anyhow. Mat D writes songs about the underbelly of the American dream. Dive bars, dead lovers, drag queens, and liquor fueled nights. All the while you have his Profane Saints providing a southern fried blues back beat with a little rockabilly and country thrown in for spice. All of this is performed with more familiarity than a Bible College graduate should have. On a personal note, I am glad the devil’s siren, rock and roll, pulled this guy off the path of righteousness and pointed him down the seeder road of lost faith, sexuality, and sin of back roads rural America.

The Sioux City Journal John Quinlan

'Small Town Burning...' full of saints and sinners
Most people call it Roots Rock, and the roots are clearly visible in Mat d. and the Profane Saints' first album, "Small Town Burning..."

"Hillbilly haiku" is what one critic labeled Mat d.'s songs.

There's a little Johnny Cash here, some Tom Petty there, more than a touch of Bob Dylan and generous nods to other rock, country, folk and blues influences, such diverse performers as Steve Earle, Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, Tom Waits, Bob Seger, John Hiatt and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

But then Sioux City's Mat d. (AKA Matthew de Riso) puts his own stamp on it, making each a Mat d. song, unique but rooted.

The album's compelling but dark murder song, "My Soul to Blame," owes its life to Cave and Cash and a myriad of country singers who have penned murder ballads over the past 100 years.

"Well you know that I loved her, but I had to kill her. This old heart of mine couldn't take the pain," he sings. "Now she's leaving with Satan on a ghost train to nowhere. And the good lord has no soul but my soul to blame."

While the killer hates the girl who has broken his heart, "at the end it's almost like he's looking to heaven for forgiveness. He's in prison and he's regretting everything that he's done," Mat d. said.

A sad but compelling song, it doesn't exactly glorify the crime.

The album opener, "Rambling Mary Jane Walker," got its name, though not its message, from the Mary Jane candies. "Miss Mary Jane Walker, she's taking notes and sipping wine," he sings. "She's thinking, I've got your money right here, honey, but I don't got the time."

The saints and sinners that populate all of his songs, with names like Lonely Joe Reynolds, Romeo Sanchez, Vagabond Betty and Jimmy Pistolero, are familiar enough to anyone who's ever been in a bar, worked a job or been on a date. Pretty much anybody who's ever lived outside a convent.

The album title came from cut number two, the rollicking "Swivel Town."

"I broke your heart and then I gave it back to you," he sings of two swiveling lovers in a smoldering town full of saints and sinners. "Well you sold your soul, but you only got a buck or two."

"When I'm saying 'small town burning,' I'm kind of referring to the human heart, someone who's burning with romance. So it's more romantic, probably a sexually charged theme. And I think it fit," Mat d. said.

He went through a number of titles, trying to figure out what to call the album, at one time figuring any of the CD's five strongest tracks might work; but he couldn't get away from the image of that small town burning. That hunka burning love Elvis used to sing about.

"Carolina Home Wreckers Blues" is a look at that age-old theme of adultery, presenting a man who is looking for his wife's lover at a bar, revenge on his mind.

"Drinking Gin and Sipping Tea" is an irreverent sailor ballad about Woody Guthrie, CIsco Houston and Jim Longhi while they were in the Merchant Marines during World War II.

"Sweet Louise" is a sad, tender look at Hurricane Katrina and devastated New Orleans.

In a whole different direction is "Bikini Bull Riding," a jaunty ballad that was inspired by a sign Mat d. saw in Las Vegas while on his honeymoon: "Bikini Bull Riding, Cold Beer and Dirty Girls."

It's not a sign anybody could just make up.

"I mean how much more obvious does that get," he said. "Where else in the world are you going to see something like this?"

There is a hint of the old minister-to-be as he sings about "those damned dirty girls" with their bouffant hairstyles, thick makeup and discount lipstick. Not that the girls get all the blame, what with the good old boys not seeming to mind that these girls happen to be someone else's sisters and daughters.

Most of his songs come from what Mat d. sees in the environment, especially fringe Americana elements like the carnival sideshow, and his own life experiences, such as broken relationships.

One song, "The Full Gospel Motel," came to him one day when he drove past the Gospel Mission on his way home from work. "And it's nothing against the Gospel Mission. I'm not trying to be filthy or dirty or anything like that," he said. "But you know, just to kind of write a sleazy love song. You've got the people that are down and out. They need loving, too."

His songs could come from from anywhere. But like many a country song, he sticks to the age-old themes -- life, death, love, sex, God and the Devil.


Mat d. and the Profane Saints
It's peopled with sideshow freaks, hard luck losers, prostitutes and drag queens. Musically it's got a bad case of hardcore-rockabilly-infused rock `n roll.


Drinking Gin and Sipping Tea - Song of the Week
You get all types of songwriters. Some write sugary pop songs (for sugary pop acts like the Sugababes), some write depressing dirges and some write screenplays that fit into 3 minutes and 29 seconds. Not the screenplay for a Hollywood blockbuster mind you but for an arthouse classic. "Drinking Gin and Sipping Tea" could easily be the screenplay to a Jim Jarmusch movie. Hey, you can even see Tom Waits having a cameo role in it.

Now this a cautionary tale of moral depravity - "… a man who kissed his cousin will surely lie down with a dozen dirty sailors drinking gin and sipping tea" containing some very neatly drawn characters like Woody who is "… as glory bound as any Oklahoma boy" and smells of "… lye soap, cigarettes and gasoline. Now these are the kind of people that you know exist in your more esoteric movies but you hope that you would never meet in real life. A character called Jimmy Pistolero experiences the dangers of playing with guns and he too is drawn into the spiralling depravity. There is something quite refreshing, however, about it all as there is just too much love in your average song (and that might explain where all the love that should be out in the world has gone) and this redresses the balance. Sharply performed with just the right amount of dark humour, this is the kind of song that kicks off theme parties. You might think that it would be a mean spirited song but that dark humour actually gives it warmth.

Available on their album "Small Town Burning" and on the "Mermaid" EP. Also downloadable as an MP3 from CD Baby.

Jesse Claeys The Weekender

Mat d. for President of Americana
The Record's lyrical content reads like a trashy western, but in a good way.


Tales of the underbelly of America
Small town burning... goes down like a shot of whiskey with a beer chaser. 10 tales of love, murder, faith, with many different characters. My current favorites are Swivel Town, My Soul To Blame, Bikini Bull Ridin... and Sweet Louise. I would highly recommend this to fans of Guthrie and Springsteen.