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Sat, Oct 5
Matt Stell
$20 - $60 Tickets

About This Event

Doors 7pm

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“You start out wanting to sound like your heroes,” says Matt Stell, “but my heroes all sound like themselves. They believe what they sing.”

It’s an insight the Arkansas native has long taken to heart. In his case, heroes and influences stretch from Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley, through Alanis Morissette and Oasis, to Miranda Lambert and Jason Isbell. But through the endless one-nighters, opening slots, and writers’ rooms that constitute paying dues, he learned what true artists always learn—that the best tribute is not imitation but transformation—finding the place inside that connects with those influences and turns them into a unique and honest voice. He has learned that lesson well.

“The music I make now is mine because I believe it and it’s true,” he says. “That’s what I can contribute, and that’s how I see myself fitting in. The currency of the realm is authenticity, and I think there’s room for mine.”

That’s something he proved with back-to-back #1s that put him in the forefront of this era’s artist-songwriters, and he proves it again with One Of Us, an EP that establishes him as an artist of real depth and vision.

The breakthrough came with the 2X PLATINUM “Prayed For You,” the only debut single to top the Billboard Country Airplay chart in 2019. The PLATINUM follow-up, “Everywhere But On,” made him one of just a handful of new artists to hit the top twice in a row in six years. In the process, he racked up more than half a BILLION total global streams across his catalog while surpassing 27 million views alone for the official music video for “Prayed For You.”

He quickly became one of his generation’s busiest and most visible artists, appearing on Good Morning America, The Kelly Clarkson Show, Bachelor in Paradise, and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’s #LateShowMeMusic digital series. Along the way, he performed the national anthem for major NFL and NASCAR events, plus debuted at the Grand Ole Opry with about 150 friends and family members in attendance from his hometown.

One Of Us, the six-song collection that is the latest step in his musical journey, shows Stell at his creative best, with songs that bring alive a landscape of small-town dreams, friendship, love, and heartbreak. The title track is an anthem for those who share and celebrate the day-to-day realities of small-town life. “Man Made” honors the strength and inspiration provided by the woman behind even the most accomplished man, and “Somewhere Over The Radio” deals with the siren call of leaving to pursue dreams bigger than a hometown, “about how hard that decision is, and the people you leave behind but really take with you wherever you go.”

“Shut The Truck Up,” “This One’s Gonna Hurt,” and “Roots In This Ground” round out a project equally divided between songs Stell wrote and songs he chose from talented peers in the songwriting community.

“When you move to town as a songwriter,” he explains, “you’re at the mercy of artists listening to outside songs and giving them a shot. I told myself that when my role changed from songwriter-artist to artist-writer, I would always listen. The song is king, regardless of whose name is at the top of the lyric sheet, and the ones I end up wanting to cut are the songs that jar me from the beginning. Both writing and choosing songs, this project is me getting better at finding my voice as an artist. I think I know what I do and who I am now more than I ever have.”

Stell’s musical journey began in Center Ridge, Arkansas, where his family has lived for generations. While absorbing the work ethic and positive attitude he saw as cornerstones of that life, he was also absorbing the Country music he heard on both sides of the family.

“Classic Country was the first soundtrack to my life when I was little,” he recalls, “and my mom took me to my first concert, which was Randy Travis and Alan Jackson. But the first record I ever bought was Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill. Then there were bands like Hootie & The Blowfish, and I grew up playing basketball, so I heard a lot of Rap. I’ve always been drawn to Indie-Alternative music, and I fell in love with Texas Americana. What ties that altogether is an independent streak tied to a place. This EP and the things I’m working on now are about pouring all of that music I love into the best songs I can write and sing.”

Stell earned an athletic scholarship to Drury University, where he played four years of college basketball. While there, he jump-started his musical life with an old guitar he picked up during downtime on a Christmas break. He began writing songs and playing frat houses, sports bars, and other local gigs almost immediately.

What followed was the process of “honing my skills in terms of being able to play on a barstool. Then, I worked on the farm some, did some construction, and was able to get busy enough to just play music.” He played throughout the mid-South, and his love for Red Dirt and Indie music deepened. “There were all these guys making their own records and having people coming to see them play. I loved that independent spirit.” He released three solo albums and visited Nashville, Tennessee, off-and-on to write and make connections, and by 2014, he was ready to move there full-time.

What followed was the process of “honing my skills in terms of being able to play on a barstool. Then, I worked on the farm some, did some construction, and was able to get busy enough to just play music.” He played throughout the mid-South, and his love for Red Dirt and Indie music deepened. “There were all these guys making their own records and having people coming to see them play. I loved that independent spirit.” He released three solo albums and visited Nashville, Tennessee, off-and-on to write and make connections, and by 2014, he was ready to move there full-time.

“I immersed myself in songwriting and supported myself playing music, working in a pro audio store and as an Uber driver, and, because I had a master’s degree, as adjunct faculty at Nashville Tech.”

A couple of years in, though, he considered packing it in, and a mission trip to Haiti nearly took him in a new direction.

“I worked alongside doctors, nurses, and pharmacists and what I saw convinced me that if I was ever going to do something with my life that wasn’t music, it would be something hard that would help people.” He applied and was accepted into Harvard University’s Extension School Pre-Med program. Just six weeks before he was to begin, he got offered a publishing deal.

“I was really thinking I was writing songs like that for other artists,” he says, “since my music is usually a little more love gone wrong than love gone right, but I put it out on an EP, and it changed my life. The door opened to being an artist and to make music people would hear. It was a huge change of perspective, with new opportunities and challenges, difficult but rewarding, and definitely not how I thought it would play out.”

Then came the moment that proved music was indeed his calling. Along with Allison Veltz Cruz and Ash Bowers, Stell wrote “Prayed For You.”

He followed that with “Everywhere But On,” which went to #1 as well, giving him one of the most explosive breakthroughs any singer could hope for. There followed tours with Chris Young, Eli Young Band, Old Dominion, and Miranda Lambert, before he headed out on his own 17-date MAN MADE TOUR in 2022. There was also a growing fan base and heightened expectations for his new material.

As might be expected from his mission trip and nearly chosen career, Stell is adamant about giving back. His Give A Damn Foundation, launched in 2020, supports charitable efforts including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Doctors Without Borders, and the Humane Society, among others.
Professionally, his focus remains making the best music possible.

“The goal,” he says, “is to make as much emotional connection as I can. Since this is the music business, there’s always that tension between making music you’re proud of and music people want to consume. I believe emotional honesty and musical integrity are the way to do both. My roots are in the Classic Country I heard as a child in Arkansas, but those roots have been watered with a lot of other influences along the way, and there’s new growth every year. I spent a lot of time looking for a voice and I feel like I’ve found it, and everything I do going forward will be a reflection of that.”

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Sela Campbell




Sela is an American Idol golden ticket holder. She was a contestant on the 22nd season and was featured in multiple promotions for the show.

Sela Campbell is a country music singer, songwriter, and guitarist based in Loudoun County, Virginia. At just seventeen years old, Sela has performed over 200 shows in the last three years across Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. She was voted Best Local Band/Musician in the Loudoun Times Mirror’s 2023 and 2024 Best of Loudoun competition, and she won best soloist in the 2022 Loudoun County Battle of the Bands. She is known for her beautiful voice and plays all types of country music, from Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn to many of today’s most popular artists including Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, and The Chicks. She’s also begun writing and performing her own music, including her singles “One Track Mind” and “Yellow Flowers”. You can find Sela playing at many of Northern Virginia’s best venues, with occasional “out of town” shows and festival appearances as well. You can follow her online at selacampbell.com or at “TheSelaCampbell” on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.




Time & Location

7:00 PM
Tally Ho Theater - 19 West Market St - Leesburg, Virginia