featuring Matt Fassas
As far back as she can remember, Colombian American singer-songwriter Kelly Jo Ramirez listened to Latin heroes like Joe Arroyo and Celia Cruz alongside pop greats like Prince and Paul Simon. This constant flow of cross-culture set the stage for Phat Lip long before it would ever see light.
Kelly Jo, a self-taught guitarist from the age of 12, spent much of her youth writing songs; it came as no surprise when she decided to pursue a musical career following high school. Her fan base in Greenville grew quickly after releasing her debut album and founding funk-rock band, the Kelly Jo Connect. After a five-year run, the KJC slowly fell quiet, leaving Kelly in search of a new creative outlet. She began using GarageBand to build demos and what seemed like a pastime, quickly developed into the beginnings of Phat Lip.
Phat Lip is Troy Jones (drums), Sam Kruer (bass), Matt Dingledine (lead guitar), Bert Brown (percussion), and Kelly Jo (rhythm guitar, vocals). Their 2019 release, “Coyote”, marked a new chapter in the band’s songwriting, tackling heavy political queries through the tale of a Latin American immigrant. Their live performance video gained acclaim from NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest.
In December of 2020, Phat Lip dropped their latest record entitled Bembona.
Official Website: http://phatlipmusic.com
Matt Fassas was born in Eastern Kentucky and grew up in the rural mountain town of Irvine. The son of a mother who painted animal portraits and ran an Arabian horse farm, and a father with a strong love for music in his own band, and an up and coming business, Matt began to play guitar around age 10, and by age 15 was already teaching lessons as a part time job. The love of music in high school talent show bands became a serious study in college. Fassas eventually found himself as a full time guitarist for hire in Upstate South Carolina.
Fast forward to now after 20 years of intense practice, writing songs, playing in a wide variety of bands, recording, jamming, teaching, learning, being completely submersed in music every day. The once proclaimed "child guitar guru" is now a man, and he is spreading his word.
With influences spreading from the tall, proud mountains of Jimi Hendrix and David Gilmour to the seas of sorrowful songwriters like Jeff Tweedy and Wilco or Ryan Adams, Fassas brings you on a ride across not just ups and downs, but across dimensions of joy and pain, clarity and sarcasm.
Official Website: https://mattfassas.com