Matt Costa  

Matt Costa was on the verge of becoming a professional skateboarder when he shattered his leg trying to perform a trick. Instead of sulking over what might have been, Costa spent his rehabilitation time learning to write songs. The result: a style that expresses nothing but pure joy. It appealed to No Doubt guitarist Tom Dumont, who produced Costa's early work. The results caught the attention of the chief of feel-good acoustic balladry, Jack Johnson, who released Costa's debut, The Songs We Sing, on his Brushfire imprint. Even Costa's breakup ballad "Astair" finds the songwriter in a lighthearted mood. But don't be fooled — Costa is no Jack clone. He has far more range, touching on country, folk, pop and jazz. Besides, Johnson was a surfer.

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