Who can know where songs come from or how it is that they write themselves within us? Austinite Matthew Payne sure don’t know. That’s why he writes and performs under the name The River Has Many Voices and leaves his name out of it. The songs he plays are cosmic folk songs, formed in poetry, born of the country and the eyes he meets.

Years ago, out in Big Bend National Park, the artist first heard Townes Van Zandt, driving a truck around the desert mountains. He came back to the hill country and started writing songs after that. His influences are born from a wide range: from Raymond Carver, e.e. cummings, T.S. Eliot, J.D. Salinger, to Vincent Van Gogh, Jackson Pollock, Bob Dylan and the great American blues artists.