Vancouver Country Rising Star JUSTIN MATTOCK Goes Back To The Bar For “Where I Come to Drink”

Some things never go out of style, like having your heart broken and boozing away the pain. Vancouver country crooner Justin Mattock pulls up a barstool and aligns himself squarely with that proud tradition on his latest single, the irresistibly besotted  “Where I Come to Drink.”

An instant classic of the tears-in-your-beer genre, the song chronicles the fallout of what Mattock has called “a goodbye that wasn’t meant to be permanent.”

We had stories in this bottle/ Never time to take a sip,” our crestfallen narrator laments. “Black and white label and a colt cigar hanging off my bottom lip.” The picture painted and the stage duly set, his voice rises in righteous self-pity to let us know just what this night is going to entail. 

I’ll break it out, have a couple, pour ‘em strong 

Tonight’s gonna be one hell of a storm 

‘Cause with this life away

From you and me 

I took my time and space 

Felt anything but free 

There’s a hole in this Comfort 10 feet wide

What I wouldn’t do to see that look in your eyes

Forget those words you left in ink

This is where I come to drink 

The sentiment is timeless, and so’s the sound. Everything from the arrangement to the instrumentation to the performance calls back to the best of country while signaling massive success in today’s marketplace – credit for which Mattock is eager to share with his session partners in crime. Produced by Dan Botch and Garrett Ward of The Renaissance, “Where I Come to Drink” fleshes out the singer-songwriter’s already-sturdy framework with authoritative drumming by Grady Saxman (Luke Combs) and nimble steel guitar from Travis Joy (Luke Byran).

“We had some of the best session players I’ve ever worked with on this song,” Mattock gushes. “The steel guitar solo is one of the coolest things we’ve done on one of my tracks.”

Listen on Spotify here:

The overall effect is so authentic that it’s all the more remarkable this isn’t Mattocks’ first time at the image/identity rodeo. His history with the bands Chase Your Words and Woke Up Waiting (later Harbourside) plants his roots firmly in pop-punk (which you can hear more than a hint of in the wall of crunching electric guitars that gradually insinuates itself into the new track). But his emergence as a solo artist coincided with an unabashed reinvention as a country/pop/alternative crossover act. Suffice it to say that it worked: His debut single “By Your Side” (also produced by Ward and Botch) laid the foundation for a five-song run that had netted half a million streams by the time Mattock’s 2022 release “First Time”  became a bona fide international breakout, rising to #4 on the UK Country charts. Follow-up “Seventeen” widened his geographic reach even further, lighting up country radio playlists across the U.S., Canada, the UK and Australia.

Yet as any corner-bar philosopher will tell you, the best-laid plans have a way of landing flat on their back on the saloon floor. Mattock ended up having to take an extended hiatus from music due to a serious health crisis that made it impossible for him to play or write for a solid two years. What you hear on the new single is the result of a long and determined crawl back to fighting form. And in marked contrast to the defeated soul he portrays in the tune, he’s utterly upbeat about the end result: “I could not be happier with how it turned out.”

Now that his health woes are behind him, Mattock is hoping to get back out on the road to play for his fans face-to-face—first at some smaller gigs, but ultimately leading up to big festival appearances. Here’s hoping it happens sooner rather than later. If “Where I Come to Drink” can be believed, he’s already had more than enough to cry about.