Matt Andersen’s Big Bottle of Joy

Blues-Rocker Plays the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium This Month

Story by Kris Ketonen, Photo by GR+AG-Studio



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Matt Andersen’s new album, The Big Bottle of Joy, carries a simple message. Be good to each other, I think, is kind of the general vibe to the album,” Andersen says. “A lot of the songs were written during the pandemic, and at that point, a lot of people were kind of at each other's throats, it seemed like, so it was just kind of a reminder that we don’t need to do that.” The Big Bottle of Joy is set for release on March 10, not long before Andersen takes the stage at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium. The album is 12 tracks of blues-rock infused with gospel, folk, and Americana, all overlaid by Andersen’s powerhouse voice. Andersen, who’s from the East Coast, says it was the “stories and the grooves” that drew him to blues music in the first place. “Blues is [in] a lot of music I listened to growing up,” he says. “Lots of classic rock and that kind of stuff, and lots of country.” “My brother had some Eric Clapton, and some Stevie Ray Vaughan, so I kinda got into them, and then started looking at their influences, and just kinda went back from there,” he continues. Andersen’s voice is one that some blues fans in the city will no doubt be familiar with. His musical career stretches back two decades, and The Big Bottle of Joy will be his 13th album release. Andersen has also won several Maple Blues Awards, and has shared the stage with the likes of Bo Diddley, Gregg Allman, Tedeschi Trucks Band, and Serena Ryder. He’s also played Thunder Bay before, as well, including a solo gig at the 2011 Thunder Bay Blues Festival. And he says the upcoming show in the city will be a good time, to be sure. “It’s an absolute blast,” Andersen says. “This band is one of the most fun things I’ve done on stage.” “We’re all really good friends,” he adds. “I think that’s coming out on the stage. We’re all smiles, and having a ball.” Matt Andersen plays the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium on March 29. For more information, visit