A native of Moline, Illinois, Matt Guitar Coulter picked up the guitar at 19. After surviving three years of study at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and graduating in 1977, he walked into a pawn shop and bought an acoustic guitar for $10.00. Soon he was jamming with Traintime, living out the 1970s in the festive atmosphere of Carbondale. The local scene featured hot blues acts like the Skid City Blues Band and Big Twist and the Mellow Fellows, and touring artists like Eddie Clearwater and Bryan Lee often made appearences. Matt became hooked on the blues, Chicago-style.
Matt and Traintime, joined by vocalist Gary Gordon, formed a band and began playing around Carbondale, on the streets, at parties, for weddings, and anywhere else they could play. Jam sessions included as many as ten musicians or more. Eventually, each of the members got married (and divorced) and moved to different parts of the country. Matt moved to Hibbing, Minnesota, a town known for being the birth-place of Bob Dylan. Today, the Blues Drifters play some of Dylan's songs.
Matt and Traintime found ways to continue working on their music without letting a thousand miles separate them. Matt recorded their sets on cassette tapes and sent them to Traintime. Matt played with other musicians when he could, and by himself if he could find nobody else. He played on the streets of New Orleans during Mardi Gras 2000 just for the fun of it. He also began to write lyrics and compose songs. Original songs written by Matt and performed by the Blues Drifters include Axe to Grind, New Car Blues, Twice Taos Blues, Lowdown Homeboy Blues, and Honey Pie.
Matt now lives in the Dallas area. He met Dale (Dr. Blooz) Duffala through TrainTime on a visit to Chicago. Dr. Blooz introduced Sergeant Rhythm to the band and TrainTime met Mark at a Carter's Place Blues Jam in Lockport, Illinois. Suddenly a band of enthusiastic musicians started the excitement that has been growing ever since. They have been playing gigs in the Dallas and Chicago areas and are now being slated for shows beyond the boundaries of those regions. If you find yourself near Chicago or Dallas, don't miss Matt Guitar Coulter and the Blues Drifters.