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Support Matt's Recovery and Music Legacy

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This past Easter Sunday, our friend Matt Meshbane suffered a serious stroke that had him hospitalized for two weeks and has rendered his right side partially paralyzed. He was hospitalized for 14 days. He is now home, in recovery and doing physical therapy.

The good news is that he is expected to make a pretty full recovery in time. The bad news is that he has been saddled with medical debt and is currently unable to work at the company he’s worked so long and hard to build, Meshed Up Productions, which employs another 12 local sound professionals. We’re asking for your assistance to help pay for his rehabilitation and living expenses, additional help he needs at his company while he’s still unable to perform routine work-related tasks and to service the debt (in good standing) associated with Meshed Up Productions so that his employs don’t have to worry about their jobs going away.

Matt is a lifer in the Austin music community who has worked almost three full decades in the booking and production side of things. He understands that the music scene is an ecosystem that requires cooperation between the talent, the venues, the talent buyers and the production teams to create a product that will keep the audience coming back for more. He has a self-effacing humor and big grin that matches his big heart. He's anticipated to be in physical therapy through the end of the year. His expenses will reach $35,000+ this year. Several benefit concerts are going to help, but our goal is to raise $25,000 dollars through GoFundMe so that Matt can focus on his physical therapy and continue to bring music to the people as well as maintain the company he has worked so long and hard to build while he recovers. Thank you for your consideration.



Learn more about Matt below. Thank you Jeff Smith/Saustex Records for putting together this great bio! …

Matt is a Detroit native from a large family with seven siblings. His musical journey as a sound engineer started in suburban Washington, D.C. at the age of five when he began listening to his step-father’s records... “I remember stacking records on the turntable and facing the speakers out into the yard in the small cul-de-sac where we lived and turning up the volume so the people in my neighborhood would be able to hear all this great music. I also remember being fascinated by all the knobs and buttons on the living room stereo, and all the faders on the equalizer and the different sounds you could get by adjusting them.” There was also a garage band down the street that he’d sit and watch as they rehearsed. The die was cast.

His family relocated to Austin in 1980, and in his own words “I could tell Austin was a special place. It just seemed laid back, and the people seemed more friendly here. Even at the young age of 10, I could sense the vibe.” By the time he was 16 he was sneaking out and frequenting downtown venues including The Black Cat Lounge. He knew he wanted to be a sound man but he needed a plan. So, in an unlikely move he joined the U.S. Navy in 1991 to get some electronics training with the goal of fulfilling his dream to become a sound operator and get paid for it. For the next three years he worked as an Interior Communications Electrician installing, operating and repairing all manner of government issue systems.

When Matt’s hitch ended he returned to Austin and while still working a day job he began booking shows at The Red Eyed Fly and would go on to book shows at clubs all over town through the end of the 90s. Towards the end of the decade he began spending a lot of time at Hole In The Wall and there he would be mentored in the art of live sound by none other than the legendary producer Spot of SST Records Fame. In 2001 he took over as the full-time soundman at HITW, running sound seven nights a week until it closed for around a year in 2003.

Undeterred, he would begin working with Kurtis Machler at Million Dollar Sound, a recording studio and rehearsal space in South Austin and soon thereafter go back to work at the reopened Hole In The Wall doing booking and sound and then eventually on to booking full-time at Jovita’s. By 2011 Matt was living above Hotel Vegas running sound at the venue in addition to booking shows at the Hole, Jovitas and Trophys, but, the shine was wearing off. He was beginning to feel jaded and disheartened and rapidly falling behind on his bills. Then one day he received a call from someone looking for a PA and engineer for a grand opening event. He made and won the bid for the job and had an epiphany that reminded the truism “The sound guy always gets paid...” It was that day that he decided to stop booking bands and focus solely on sound.

Matt’s initial foray running his own production company didn’t go as well as he planned and again he was feeling ready to throw in the towel...then in 2013 he received a call from a friend who owned a couple of bars and was looking for two PA systems and operators for their SXSW events. He didn’t own any gear (having used rented gear for his productions up to this time), but he won the bid and convinced a friend who had the equipment to rent him the necessary gear while also paying him to work the shows alongside him. Matt says “I was off and running. I started getting gigs. After every gig I would buy something...a microphone, cables, a mic stand. Anything that I could get my hands on to build my own PA system.”

By 2015 Matt had steady work and his own PA almost paid off while working mostly alone but hiring a helper when needed. Those who’ve worked with or for Matt know that he prides himself on paying them a fair wage. Then, in 2016 he got a call from Paul Minor asking if he’d be interested in bringing his PA out to Viva Big Bend Festival in West Texas that’s held annually across Marfa, Alpine, Fort Davis and Marathon. Without going into great detail the job involved setting up his PA and often tearing it down and setting up in another location the same day in addition to making sure the shows got started on time, the existing venue PA systems were working well and, of course, making everyone sound great. An added bonus was that Matt was working with acts not only from his earliest days around the Austin music scene in the mid-80s but also from his time at the Hole In The Wall -- Matt says “It felt like a family reunion of sorts.”

He must have done a pretty swell job because at the end of the weekend festival organizer Stewart Ramser offered him the job of running sound for the entire festival going forward. Stewart called him back six months later to ask if he was still interested and Matt said yes. From there Matt began his mission to build an event production company that was capable of providing all of the equipment necessary to run six stages simultaneously -- what is needed to do a festival like Viva Big Bend. This would include a sound crew as well. Of the 12 people on the Meshed Up Productions sound crew none have been working there for less than two years, and most of them have been working there for 5 to 8 years.

The last eight years have seen Matt reinvesting every dime earned back into his company for the acquisition of speakers, soundboards, microphones, cables, vehicles, and many more things necessary to have multiple proper sound systems for professional bands. There have been hiccups, including a pandemic...Matt’s response was to build an outdoor stage near Austin where folks could rehearse while socially distancing.

Matt’s medical emergency this year has left him with a substantial amount of debt, but he’s always made his payments and has always paid his crew well. We hope you can contribute!
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Donations 

  • georgios dimakis
    • $50 
    • 12 hrs
  • Andy Sharp
    • $50 
    • 7 d
  • Amy Marsh
    • $25 
    • 14 d
  • Evan Whitehead
    • $50 
    • 14 d
  • Gregory Beets
    • $50 
    • 14 d
Donate

Organizer and beneficiary

Stewart Ramser
Organizer
Austin, TX
Matthew Meshbane
Beneficiary

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