English singer-songwriter Iain Matthews, born as Iain Matthew McDonald, was originally known as Ian McDonald. While first and formost being a solo artist, he was a member of Fairport Convention, Plainsong and Matthews Southern Comfort.
In Fairport Convention, he duetted with Judy Dyble and then with Sandy Denny. His first solo album, “Matthews’ Southern Comfort” was rooted in American country music, and it was his first significant experience as a songwriter. The working band of the same name toured extensively throughout the following years. They had significant commercial success with a cover of version of Joni Mitchell’s song “Woodstock”. Iain then scored other (solo) hits with “Shake It”, which reached #13 in the U.S. charts and a cover version of Robert Palmer’s “Gimme An Inch”.
In 2000, Matthews moved to Amsterdam where he continued to be involved in various projects and collaborations, including the Sandy Denny tribute band “No Grey Faith”, a revival of Plainsong, and The Dutch Eagles. He also produced new solo work, besides an album with Dutch jazz combo The Searing Quartet, which reflects his lifelong love for jazz music. A reformed Matthews Southern Comfort (2010) released the album “Kind of New”.
“Woodstock” is a song written by Joni Mitchell about the Woodstock Festival in 1969. Mitchell wrote the song about the festival from what she had heard from her then-boyfriend, Graham Nash. It was first released on her album “Ladies of the Canyon”. The song went on to be hits for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and (Iain) Matthews Southern Comfort. David Crosby, in an interview in the documentary “Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind”, said that Mitchell had captured the feeling and importance of the Woodstock festival better than anyone who had been there. A 40th anniversary version of “Woodstock” was released by Nick Vernier Band, featuring Iain Matthews as lead vocalist.