The Dedication Fights to Make their NYC Debut

December 2012, from the archives

Lead singer of The Dedication—Matt Booth—is untrained, unsigned, and unrealized in the music world. Regardless, the young singer from Newburgh pours his heart out to fans via youtube making his vast collection of covers and original songs accessible to his adoring public. 

The stats are inarguable in cyberspace ; 6 thousand hits here, 3.5k likes there, video views totalling nearly 70k.   I met Matt about a year ago when I crashed band rehearsal. A friend of mine who works as a music producer had his sights set on helping the band mates. The raw sound that filled the room was rich and sweet-tempered, rich instrumentation floated across the air and lost in there somewhere was Matt, wide-eyed and impossibly honest.

The road to glory is seldom smooth. Changes in the roster have caused hiccups in the band's progress. Then there are the usual struggles that arise from varying personalities, but ultimately they are all driven by the promise of music success. For Matt succeeding is an all-or-nothing scenario - he abandoned a formal education in 10th grade to pursue music. He is adamant about his dream tackling every possibility, even auditioning for the Voice this season.

"There were thousands of singers everywhere -  it was crazy," he admits. "It’s a lot of waiting." Nerves were hard to contend with when late into the first round Matt found himself matched up in a small room against 9 other singers. "You could tell their nerves got them.. I went into falsetto and it got me." He didn't end up making it to the next round or getting much of an explanation as to why but it didn't much discourage him. "In the parking lot 3 random girls who saw me sing were like, 'you should’ve made it!' They were cool."

The band is prolific - delivering two EP's in their first year together. What they deliver is a well developed sound (they had their tracks professionally mixed at Nada Recording Studio). The 5-piece line-up is steeped with vibrant talent featuring Drew Hansen on piano, Anthony Scanzano on rhythm guitar; Jimmy Petro on lead guitar; Jake Coupart  on bass and dynamic Brittany Mac on the drums. Together they are a young, ambitious, unstoppable team.

What is most lovable about Matt is his resilience his vocals really shine. But, it may be a raw and wounded place that he sings from. Booth was 7 years old when his Mom took her own life. It is a private family matter that Matt keeps closely guarded.  Matthew's 3 siblings stepped dutifully in to care for and protect him after the loss. It was a job they took very seriously.  

"I care about it - I just don’t cry. She would want me to be happy. Just because she’s not here doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be happy." But, his lyrics free up the real story in him.  "I write about it. I say it’s about a girl...sometimes I’ll sit there and listen to the song I wrote. On the surface it’s about a girl but it’s basically like, 'What did I do? Why did you leave?' This is what I need to do about it not just sit back."

Most things in his life did not come easily for Matt under the circumstances. That is, until he picked up a guitar. Now his love affair is consistently with six pluckable strings.

Matt alludes to losing his childhood troubles... singing nothing is ever as it seems.

Right now the Dedication needs your help. They're currently competing in a multi-bracket competition on TopBlip that could land them the opening slot in a NYC concert featuring Tyler Ward. VOTE FOR THEM! For Matt, this type of dedication to a dream comes with a price tag he cannot afford, "We don’t make any money on this, but right now it’s not about the money.  Money would be awesome but you have to work for that. (The fans) love us it’s weird. It’s awesome. Right now I'm just trying to get as many people to hear my music as possible. $hit's not easy out here. It looks easy."

Check out the band performing their new single, "Cause I Gotcha (In My Head)":


Follow the Dedication, if you haven't already, on facebook. You can get updates on their shows and music there.

*Article Update* voting period has ended

Photos provided

Article by Stefanie Pearl