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editor's note
Matthew Winters
September 20, 2007 Ė Ground Zero Ė Bellevue, WA
by Ashley Graham

Ground Zero is about the most random place that Bellevue, WA has to offer. Out of place, filled with oddballs (imported, surely), itís on the backside of Bellevue Square, just a block (and several thousand figurative miles) from the mall. A regular spot for weekend gigs, a Thursday show is uncommon, and the venue is showing it. Itís sparse.

It is in this environment that I encounter Matthew Winters, seated, humbled, decidedly out of comfort zone, away from normal admirers, refreshing. Unlike the first time I saw him, in Spokane, there are no adoring, wide-eyed pre-teens in the front row (further, for the record, no stuffed animals, nor balloons, etc, etc). There is no front row. There are six kids sitting on a rug in the middle of the floor.

Opinions are what they are. We have Ďem when we have Ďem, and they are based on the impression we have at the time. In June, I thought what I did of Matthew Winters, and, despite the overwhelming (backlash) response to
said review, I stand by it. Iím not a word eater. Now, though, I say at my most humble, my opinion has changed.

The most irritating thing about Matthew Winters is that heís hardly irritating at all.

Heís a nice, courteous and talented fella (as noted before, Iíll add) who is passionate about his craft, and willing to give the necessary time to furthering himself within it. He gives good hugs; he melts your heart with his smile. He is one of those rare people in whose presence it just feels
good to be. And while Wintersí image and charm are what may win over the younger crowds (yes, the girls), without a doubt itís his ability to wind near-perfect wordplay around his own subtlety and modesty that makes him matter. And he does matter.

(The 12 year olds with the signs, Matthew, still quite irritating.)

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