MARION — At first glance, it seemed that Matthew Beck was oblivious to his surroundings. It turned out he wasn’t. He was just really into the music. His music.
When the traveling musician was spotted strumming and singing on a bench outside the Marion Cultural & Civic Center one day this week, he paused long enough to explain his passion.
The affable guitarist said, “I love playing the guitar and I love singing. When I’m not performing for others, I just like to find a peaceful place to settle in and play, like today.”
Beck said that although he’s traveled and worked his way around the country in recent years, he still considers Marion home.
“Oh, I do. I’ll never forget the time that the tornado hit here and I was out riding my bike when my mother shouted out for me to get inside, away from the storm.”
Beck has sang and played in various venues around the country, most recently a long stay in northeast Georgia, where he says he was able to soak up enough of the culture of the south to help influence his own take on his favorite style of music – blues.
“Although I’ve always loved all styles of music, I really do prefer blues and much of my songwriting has been exactly that,” he said.
When asked what led him to just sit and play on a downtown bench with no one else around, he said, “Because it’s what I do. Even though it’s a little noisy here during the day, I really enjoy playing at night. That’s the best, when the motor traffic is light and I can hear my songs bouncing off the buildings around me. That’s really good. And it’s what I enjoy doing between gigs.”