Get to Know: Striking Matches


There’s nothing quite like the sizzling ferocity of Striking Matches. On their just-released debut LP Nothing But the Silence (produced by T Bone Burnett), the duo—comprised of Sarah Zimmerman and Justin Davis—bring the high-octane energy and vocal prowess of their live shows straight to record. For the past several years (or so), this budding band have been adamantly sharpening their presence in the mainstream country market, doing countless media rounds and radio tours, and are now finding their placement among current acts like Florida Georgia Line and Thompson Square. But, what you’ll find on their 11-track project is a deep-seated understanding of country’s history, a far more traditional-leaning take on contemporary music, and a healthy dose of diverse sonic layers and themes. They’re unlike any band, duo or solo act currently heating up the charts. They bring such an intensity and precise perspective that you can help but stand at attention.

The question on your mind, though, might be: who is Striking Matches? Well, Country Outfitter is here to help. We’ve put together a quick rundown of their most notable achievements and a snapshot of their back story:

  • They met during their studies at Belmont University (some seven years ago). A professor paired them up during a guitar class to do some freestyle. Immediately, they connected. Their chemistry and talent together was undeniable, and the rest is history. They’ve been playing together ever since.
  • Zimmerman hails from Philadelphia, while Davis is from Atlanta.
  • The meaning behind their name: “The name kind of came out trying to be a little too clever with words like ‘two,’ ‘pair,’ ‘match’ and somewhere in there one of us said striking matches and it just fit. It was evocative of what we do live, exciting and a little volatile. It just felt natural.”
  • They released a self-titled EP in October 2012: it was produced by Luke Wooten (Dierks Bentley, Dustin Lynch).
  • December 2012 marks their debut appearance at the Grande Ole Opry. The routinely make appearances every year, now totaling more than 40 shows.
  • They’ve toured with the likes of legendary performance Vince Gill, Hunter Hayes and pop-rock band Train.
  • They are now signed to I.R.S. Nashville, under the Capitol Records umbrella.
  • They’ve had eight of their original songs featured on the hit ABC drama Nashville, including “When The Right One Comes Along” (during the show’s 2012 premiere) and “Hanging On A Lie,” bout cuts off their debut LP.
  • Musical influences include: Led Zepplin, Chicago, Steely Dan, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Dixie Chicks, Patsy Cline, Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Fleetwood Mac, and Eric Clapton.

As you can see, their resume is (already) an impressive one. As Billboard predicts, the duo could very well break out in 2015 with their current single “Hanging on a Lie.” Even if radio doesn’t jump on board, they could follow in the footsteps of Kacey Musgraves and Brandy Clark, both testaments to the power of great music (they have earned major hardware for their music, despite little radio support). Regardless, Striking Matches are in it for the long haul!

Image Source: Striking Matches