Floor It

Appalachian-rock group The Floorboards prepare to play at The Empty Glass in Charleston.


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Photo Courtesy of The Floorboards

Matt Browning can’t tell you exactly when he started playing guitar, but he can sure tell you why. “I think I learned to play the guitar in high school so I could be taken seriously—when you write poems, they’re just poems. But when you play the guitar and write a poem, then people might actually pay attention—especially girls,” he laughs. He considers his lyrics to be stories—stories that need to be told. To this day Matt continues to captivate audience members with his heartfelt lyrics and smoky voice as the lead vocalist and guitarist for The Floorboards, out of Virginia.

The self-proclaimed Americana rock group formed in 2012, after a band Matt was in broke up. Shortly after the split, Jake Dempsey, Matt’s music producer and current band member, introduced him to other talented musicians. He encouraged them to play together, and soon after the band was formed. Matt says the band has been lucky to work and share its musical experiences with one another. In addition to Matt and Jake, band members Bob Chew, Patrick Tuner, and George Penn are experienced in playing a variety of genres, from blues, funk, and reggae to old-time and country.

The band spends a lot of time on the road, performing nearly every weekend along the East Coast. From Georgia to Florida, the band has traveled and performed around 100 shows a year. Matt says the group is excited to return to Charleston on Saturday, March 29, 2014, to grab some delicious Moxxee Coffee and perform once again at The Empty Glass. “The Empty Glass is a really cool place. It’s where you want to be,” says Matt. “We try to find places like that in every town we go to. The great thing about The Empty Glass is people are there to experience the music. We really love it there.”

Those attending the performance may hear new music, as the band is in the process of making its second album. Matt says the band often tries out new music when they travel to get feedback on songs. One thing is certain—the band plans to have fun. “We love performing in West Virginia,” Matt says. “People seem to understand our stories, and maybe it’s from the same perspective, but we always enjoy our time in West Virginia.”

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