Good morning, music fans. Any of you out there dig artists such as Tom Waits, Lucero, and Chuck Ragan? Glad to hear it! You’re going to want to listen up and check out one of our newest finds, Matthew James & the Rust Belt Union. We have the privilege of premiering their new album Impromptu Musicals for the Skeptic — which coincides with the 12” vinyl release via Sump Pump Records — and it’s a doozey! Mixing elements of bluegrass, blues, country, gypsy, jazz swing, and soul, this group was born to make you move.

According to guitarist Nathan Emerson, a distinct part of the Rust Belt Union sound is the pedal steel guitar. He commented: “I have recorded with several musicians and though this is not my first time on vinyl, this record is very special to me. Upon first hearing Matthew James’ songs I wanted to collaborate with him and in the band he let me get weird while serving his songs. So letting people hear the art we made together is exciting, because now more of the world can appreciate his words and chords. We set to tear down walls and burn down presumptions, Impromptu Musicals for the Skeptic is just the beginning!”


Born in 2003, V13 was a socio-political website that, in 2005, morphed into PureGrainAudio and spent 15 years developing into one of Canada's (and the world’s) leading music sites. On the eve of the site’s 15th anniversary, a full re-launch and rebrand takes us back to our roots and opens the door to a full suite of Music, Film, TV, and Cultural content.