by Angie Mack Reilly 1.13.19
Matthew Mark Steve Kaiser (aka MMS Kaiser) was born in Milwaukee WI 25 years ago. MMS has the stature of a Wisconsin farm boy, the voice of Johnny Cash and the pen of a modern day Edgar Allen Poe. He has self-published two books and has hundreds of written pieces laying around in his small studio. By night, he types with his typewriter and currently resides in Port Washington, WI. His day job is at a dog food distribution company in Grafton, WI.
The first time I heard and met MMS was when he was jamming with my son’s band in our basement. Normally, I don’t pay much attention. But his blues electric guitar was calling. I had to run down to the basement to see who was playing. Definitely pro. “This guy has it,” I thought.
The next time that I heard from him was shortly after I opened Ozaukee Talent as my business. He called. Inquired about the business. I didn’t “put two and two together” or even remember who he was at the time. He sounded lonely and depressed. And not that there is anything wrong with that. I appreciate people who are real. I remember that voice. A true blues man’s voice. My business initially took a different direction and I wasn’t able to do anything for or with him at the time.
About another year went by and I came across his singing on his Facebook page. I was blown away by the depth of emotion, pitch and color in his voice. And the more I listened to his lyrics, the more I was drawn to hear more. The authenticity of his lyrics are profoundly moving. His singing is unique. It’s raw and unique. It reminds me a little of Charlie Patton.
MMS spent his childhood living 50% of the time with his mother in Port Washington, WI and the other half at his dad’s horse farm in Kewaskum. He loved being outdoors and reading. He was close to his German immigrant grandmother Hoerig.
When MMS was seven years old, he took a few years of guitar lessons fom Rick Holmes, formerly of the blues band, Katz Sass. MMS has been self-taught since. He considers himself foremost a writer followed by a guitar player then singer. I hear a country blues singer. An incredibly talented one. A “soon-to-be-discovered” one.
I asked MMS to come over and record on December 16, 2018. Nothing fancy. I didn’t want a perfect and overly produced sound. I wanted his real sound. Like a live solo concert sound. That “record factory in Grafton” type of sound. Not much was done during the production process. But you can ironically hear the dog eating dog food out of a hard plastic bowl in the background. And an old chair scooting across a wooden floor.
This is how living in Grafton, WI feels to me……especially in the winter. It’s quite depressing.
This is his first take demo. The song is titled, “Kill All the Birds”. Written by MMS Kaiser. Guitar and vocals by MMS Kaiser. Recorded by Denis Alfimstov for Hot Seat Records at the Grafton House of Blues December 16, 2018.
— Angie Mack Reilly 1/13/19 email@example.com