Matt Begley hails from the Piney Woods of East Texas and brings that no-holds barred east Texas attitude to his music. Growing up in Tyler, Matt has a wide range of influences but most notably one experience sticks out.. “I saw Garth Brooks at Texas Stadium in 1993 and it changed my life... I knew what I wanted to do.”
As the story goes, Matt was given a guitar for Christmas in 92’ and after seeing Garth that night at Texas Stadium “I went home and wanted to be like Garth, so I smashed my guitar into pieces.” While the musical bug bit Matt that night, he didn’t start taking music serious until his 11 grade in High School having other distractions like football, trucks, tractors, and some hard work to get in the way.
But fate took its course and Matt formed his first band and gig at the Armadillo Willie’s in Tyler in 2003. Moving to San Marcos, Texas in 2006, Matt made forming his band and getting out on the road his number one priority. So by 2007, Matt Begley and Bitter Whiskey were off the ground and rolling. Fast forward to 2012 and you’ll see quite a journey. A few band member changes along the way, two records, thousands of miles, and countless stories later, Matt has embraced the HTLS and continues to reach his fans with the same energy and passion that inspired him that night at Texas Stadium.
Playing Bass and Sitting in the pocket to Matt’s left side is Trae “The Catfish” Cobern. Trae is the longest member of Bitter Whiskey and brings his own sense of style and HTLS attitude. Growing up in Leander, Texas, Trae learned his musical chops playing alongside his father Chuck. Having played the bass for the past 15 years in various groups along the way, Trae is a true professional. Trae spends the majority of his free time with family and friends when away from the stage and is also an avid sports fan.
Also hailing from the great city of Leander, Michael Reeh is the newest member of Bitter Whiskey. Playing lead guitar, Michael’s musical influences are heavy with the blues and the likes of Danny Gatton and Brent Mason. Having the ability to step on stage and wow a crowd is nothing new to Michael but it should be noted that Michael didn’t pick up a guitar until he was in college. Making up for lost time, Michael has quickly shown his peers and fans alike why he too lives the HTLS!
Keeping time and keeping the band rolling with laughter is Dustin Edwards. Also a native from East Texas, Dustin has been playing the drums since his junior year of high school 2002. Dustin formed a band with his brothers in Athens, Texas, a small east Texas town, and they began to run the Texas circuit in 2003 and continued to play for the next several years. Dustin started sessioning out to different singer/songwriters throughout the state until he moved to Austin the fall of 2010. In mid-2011, Dustin crossed paths with Matt Begley and the rest is HTLS history.