Matt will have his CD
available at shows for purchase!


Blue Agave
Belleville, IL

Country Club
Ballwin, MO

Westview Wine Cellar and Bistro
Collinsville, IL

Westview Wine Cellar and Bistro
Collinsville, IL

Donnie's Homespun
Decatur, IL

Westview Wine Cellar and Bistro
Collinsville, IL

Westview Wine Cellar and Bistro
Collinsville, IL



Decatur native Livasy enjoys coming home!
Updated: Friday, January 9, 2009 7:17 AM CST

Matt Livasy

Musician Matt Livasy has found himself making more and more trips back home to Decatur to perform.

And according to the Collinsville resident, he may be making even more trips if he and Decatur's Cornerstone Tavern work out a schedule for Livasy to play regularly.

Livasy will appear at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Cornerstone. He will be joined by percussionist and friend Patton Penhallegon, formerly of Mount Zion.

Livasy moved away from Decatur nearly five years ago to attend Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. He ended up staying in the college town permanently and has no regrets about doing so. He found success, playing one to four shows a week.

"I've been playing my music for six years, and it has been my sole source of income for the past three years," he said.

Livasy's gimmick helps in booking shows regularly. Usually performing on stage by himself, Livasy puts his whole body to work as a one-man band.

"I develop my loops live so the audience can see every step it takes as I control the three Boss loop pedals with my feet, amongst other pedals that influence my sound," Livasy said on his Web site. "I first create the beat box and sample that, then I add bass and either my acoustic or electric guitar, or other instrument of choice, and not necessarily in that order. I control all of my sound by my lonesome."

None of his music is prerecorded. He plays a variety of original songs and covers from punk to reggae and from Led Zeppelin to Ice Cube.

But lately, booking shows hasn't been as easy in the Southern Illinois bars.

"I don't know if it's been because of the economy going down or me becoming lazy," he joked. "Lately, it's been a little tough for me.

"The no-smoking ban had a huge impact on me and some friends."

The 24-year-old is hoping to book a steady gig with the Cornerstone, after performing at the bar 14 times last year.

Kostaki Chiligiris, co-owner of the tavern, said Livasy brings in a crowd when he performs.

"It's really cool to watch him play and see how he loops his music," he said. "He appeals to all ages."

Livasy has begun recording his impromptu live shows and putting them on CDs, which he sells for some added income.

He continues to work on new music, yet his schooling remains a big part of his life.

Livasy is pursuing his master's degree in professional counsel from McKendree University in Lebanon. He said a master's degree is "something to fall back on, in case I break a finger or something." He graduated for SIU-Edwardsville with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in music in 2007.

Performing in Decatur more often doesn't mean Livasy is moving back home, but each gig gives him a chance to visit with his family, his biggest supporters.

"My music gives me an excuse to come home and see familiar faces," he said. "I get to talk it up with people and all that good stuff. I always like returning home."


Solo showman
 "The Telegraph"

July 24, 2007 - 11:03PM
Matt Livasy, 23, performs as a one-man band on Thursday nights at Laurie’s Place in Edwardsville.

In the college town of Edwardsville, bars aren’t hard to find. But one bar and grill has rapidly risen above the rest and become a hot spot because of a dynamic one-man band.

Laurie’s Place in Edwardsville has grown in popularity in recent months after recruiting Matt Livasy, who performs from 9:30 p.m. to about 1:30 a.m. every Thursday.

“Our business has increased by 80 percent since he started playing here,” said Laurie Chavez, owner and operator of Laurie’s Place. “He’s such a great guy, always nice, and an amazing musician.”

Livasy has been drawing an overwhelming crowd to the bar since he began playing there about eight months ago.

“The intricacy of his music is amazing,” said Sarah Morrison, 22, who attends Livasy’s show nearly every week. “He starts with one bass line and interweaves it with other beats. It’s very unique.”

The 23-year-old musician graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville last spring with a psychology degree and a minor in music. Livasy planned to put music on hold after graduation. But with school behind him, he’s still strumming his guitar for the masses.

“Now that I’m done with school, I’m kind of in limbo,” Livasy said. “This is my job; how cool is that?”

Playing guitar, saxophone and piano since middle school, Livasy uses an array of instruments with his music ranging from the harmonica to a tambourine.

“I mowed a bunch of lawns and saved up for my first acoustic guitar in junior high,” Livasy said. “I wanted to put the rhythms I had in my head on a beat. I love creating a feeling with my music.”

With his gigs becoming more frequent since word of mouth has spread, Livasy still remembers his first show.

“I thought I had three hours of music to play to fill my time slot, but 45 minutes passed and I was done,” Livasy said. “I just started making up songs to fill the time. Then this guy walked to the stage and handed me a note that said ‘you suck so bad it hurts.’ I apologized to him after the show; it was a lesson learned.”

Obviously, Livasy has revamped his sets over the years to never leave a crowd disappointed. Monica Alsup, 22, tries to never miss one of Livasy’s shows, even if it means traveling.

“He gives off a great atmosphere and plays great music,” Alsup said. “I never came to Laurie’s before Matt played, and I’ve only missed four of his shows (at Laurie’s). Everyone shows up for Matt.”

Livasy creates his music on stage, with no pre-recorded material, by looping his beats. He records a bass line live, then loops it into a track. He then plays and records again over that bass line, which accounts for the complex beats in his songs.

With musical influences such as Keller Williams and Sublime, Livasy said the only reason he still plays music is his friends’ and family’s support.

“My friends are so awesome, and my parents try to make it to most of my shows. That’s what gives me the drive to keep going with this,” Livasy said.

To see his shows or learn more about Livasy’s music, visit his Web site at His four CDs are on sale at The Grind in Edwardsville.

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