WabiSabi Music


Matthew Robb – Spirit in the form

  • Release: 10 Jul, 2017
  • Catalog No: WAB-030

There are stories that need to be told, relayed and communicated, somehow, through some medium, through some vessel, in a bottle, a book, a poem, a song.

SPIRIT IN THE FORM by UK singer and songwriter, Matthew Robb, is a collection of ten tales that needed telling. They are told here, played and sung within the sparse soundscape created at WabiSabi studios, in Cologne.
The fledgling label has released 2 albums in 2017 alone and this latest offering somehow copper fastens the passion and commitment of the label to stay true to the nature and soul of acoustic music.
Dark and dry, deep, dense…. the message is clear in each story.

By SLAVE SONG, you know and you stay. “Let Jesus make up my dying bed, even if it’s where the Devil lay”. A couple of guitars, bass and an honest vocal, sometimes, is all it takes to convey the best songs to the listener, the passerby, a SINNERMAN, a RIVER, UNTIL THEN, telling us all what the deal is…
”I listen to stone and trust in redemption as a way to atone” …
A LONESOME BURDEN there may be in life, but this piece reminds us that burdens are lifted, sometimes by bird song, a gentle breeze or in this case, a dancer, ever present, just a little bit behind, on wood and 6 cold strings… again you know, you believe.
BLOOD ON THE PILLOW; ….“whiskey glass sits empty, cigarettes have all been rolled, as I toil with the memory, no arms could ever hold”…
The album, SPIRIT IN THE FORM, ends here, with Blood on the pillow, a song that makes me wish it wouldn’t end, like all great songs and stories….there are movies in here, black and white, colour too…the book will not be shut for good…

SPIRIT IN THE FORM is available, now at all good record stores, the WabiSabi Website and on iTunes.


“Musically he occupies the borderland between the talking blues of Townes Van Zandt and the folk excursions of early Dylan. ……… a beautifully weighted meditation on death which transcends it’s generic architecture” Uncut Magazine 

“The wordsmith of all time. I love Matt’s ethos……” Anthony Werneke, Replay Acoustics  

“SPIRIT IN THE FORM is a gripping album, one of passion, rightly delivered and with the mark of absolute character.” Ian D. Hall Liverpool Sound and Vision 


  • Spirit in the form

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    • Lyrics

      Spirit in the form

      If those things I said did hurt you, and it‘s hard to forget the pain
      I can hear the lonesome whistle, blowing on that train
      you know I miss you and I wish you were still around
      I reach for my old guitar, when thoughts of you come down

      There was strength in your weakness
      sadness in your joy
      hope in the bleakness
      little girl in the boy
      silence in the thunder
      a void within the storm
      awe behind the wonder
      and spirit in the form

      The stars are shining bright and the wind is blowing cold
      I‘m getting on that train, to visit those days of old
      stop at the station ,hit upon them streets
      step into the darkness and there our shadows meet

      There was cruelty to your kindness
      a cut to all your ties
      sight in your blindness
      fire burning in your eyes
      lies to your honesty
      no words to show your pain
      wealth in your poverty
      and I guess it still remains

      Down on the lamplit street, now I pace the floor
      I can see your ghost there ,just sitting in the door
      there‘s nothing I‘ve got to give you, there‘s nothing I‘ve come to take
      it‘s just that I was passing by, but now it‘s getting late

      There was strength in your weakness
      sadness in your joy
      hope in the bleakness
      little girl in the boy
      silence in the thunder
      a void within the storm
      awe behind the wonder
      and spirit in the form

  • Slave Song

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    • Lyrics

      Slave Song

      Throw up my hands and fall to the floor
      high water rising all about my door
      sold my body and many things beside
      now I‘m trying to keep my head above the rising tide

      Stole away my baby, though I begged them please
      they drove me on further down to my knees
      sinking in troubles, not a soul to confide
      and I‘m wading through waters muddied on either side

      These broken pacts and promises fled
      nobodies fault but mine they say
      let Jesus make up my dying bed
      even if it‘s where the devil lay

      Chains on my feet, I‘m dragging my pride
      I‘ve been hit too many times on my blind side
      The winds nurse the pines, as they creak in the night
      and dance in the shafts of the fading moonlight

      In that light one night I escaped
      tired from my body and conscience being raped
      old hannah rising, shadow on the road
      it‘s hard to tell if it‘s from friend or foe
      The hounds run me down, one cold morn
      made me rue the day, that I‘d ever been born

      you can beat my body with hardship and pain
      but my spirit lives on in the wind and the rain
      In my time of dying, my time to declare
      nobodies fault but mine they say
      even if it‘s where the devil lay

      I dream of this love and it comforts me there
      my sister, my brother gone down in the flood
      miss their song, their laughter, their tears and their blood
      These broken pacts and promises fled
      let Jesus make up my dying bed

  • No room to hate (almost afraid to love)

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    • Lyrics

      No room to hate (almost afraid to love)

      I used to work all day and the day before
      cut all your kindling and I rolled your dough
      now I‘m down at the depot, looking upon the board
      says hard times hear, better move on down the road

      I‘m getting no younger and you´re so far away
      so don‘t be funny honey, take me back home to stay
      because I‘m all used up, caught in the push and shove
      ain‘t got no room to hate and I‘m almost afraid to love

      I‘m a thousand miles from nowhere, thumbing a ride
      I feel I‘ve grown so ugly, nearly layed down and died
      these days I don‘t seem to smile, even when I‘m on a roll
      I need a real hot mama, put the light back on in my soul

      Nowhere to lay my head ,I tore my playhouse down
      broke up my happy home, I run from town to town
      in this mean old world, feel like I‘m falling apart
      you give me strength to hold on and fill me with a thankful heart

      This ain‘t no lie, I tell it as it is
      there‘s nothing I want more in this world than your kiss
      if you show a little mercy and your willing to hear my plight
      I‘ll warm it up to you and we‘ll have a good time tonight

      Don‘t turn away from me, whatever you do
      you heal my memory, with these loving thoughts of you
      you made a fool out of me, so many times that I‘ve lost track
      and this war would end tomorrow, if you were to take me back
      I‘m tired of running, tired of hiding

  • Blood on the pillow

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    • Lyrics

      Blood on the pillow

      Blood on the pillow,
      money on the floor
      I‘ve been around this place
      a thousand times before

      look outside your window,
      see the willow bending low
      as my fingers fumble with the keys,
      as I step inside your door

      Springtime turns to autumn
      the earth on its axis rolled
      I go down to the marketplace
      to get my old boots resoled

      wildflowers in the meadow
      horses tied up to the posts
      I´m walking through the shadows
      of a city full of ghosts

      I‘m blown upon an empty beach
      under a star lined sky
      I know you‘ve fallen out of reach
      the wild geese are flying high

      all the days we wished away
      under a moon of sharpened stone
      I hear your heartbeat drift away
      and I‘m standing all alone

      Should we close the book for good
      now your story has been told
      the knife it drained the blood
      now your body has grown cold
      whiskey glass sits empty
      cigarettes have all been rolled
      as I toil with the memory
      no arms could ever hold

      Blood on the pillow,
      money on the floor
      I‘ve been around this place
      a thousand times before
      look outside your window,
      see the willow bending low
      as my fingers fumble with the keys,
      as I step outside your door

1. Spirit In The Form
2. Slave Song
3. No Room To Hate (Almost Afraid To Love)
4. Sinnerman
5. River
6. Until Then
7. Where Did U Go My Friend
8. Lonesome Burden
9. Blood On The Pillow

Folker magazine review:

Albums can take time to ripen. For around thirty years the Cologne based singer-songwriter has been making music.
Now at the age of 48 he is releasing his first record. But the waiting was worthwhile. Bob Dylan himself could learn a thing or two from these 9 finely crafted songs. Influenced by the country blues, Matthew Robb’s musical
arrangements grab your attention with their sheer simplicity. His voice, guitar and harp awaken the great traditional folk music of the American west. Without exception though, it’s the profound scope and depth of his lyrics that really make the compositions so contemporary and outstanding, Like a thread running through the album, the songpoet speaks to the disillusionment of people living amongst the greed, procrastination and general malaise of a materialistic society, with themes as varied as modern day slavery and the death of a close friend from alchoholism. However, despite this meloncholic backdrop, Robb’s songs radiate a great hope that within mankind there lies a strength to lay that burden down.

As in the River, which says “There is a river that runs through you”
Erik Prochnow, folker