Trans Van Santos
Formerly head of rambling San Francisco psych-folk collective the Family Folk Explosion, psychedelic anti-band Os Beaches, and dusty desert rockers Camp Bravo—Matos has spent decades chasing his muse. Weary eyed and ragged on the old road he had a vision and was thus transfigured, reborn in life and song as Trans Van Santos. "Moon Mirage" tells the story of this life, all full of light and love and darkness and pain.
Sometime in late 2013 Matos disappeared into the desert near Joshua Tree, CA. By the time he staggered out of the Boulder House he had recorded this set of tunes inspired by the sun and sands of the New, Weird West. Produced by old friend and frequent collaborator Matt Adams of The Blank Tapes; mixed by fellow dreamer and musical maverick David Glasebrook; and featuring contributions from a cast of friends including the lovely Anna Jo, Matt Adams, and Pearl Charles—the sound is all dry dusty crooners and sun-baked ballads. Matos has taken on a new voice, and you can hear it as he echoes over the empty desert space like some ghostly Lee Hazelwood or Jim Sullivan. All the while, the backing band swings from laconic country-rock to haunted Twin Peaks vibrations to Crazy Horse rhythms and back again! Lyrically "Moon Mirage" tells the story of Matos' journey and recent transformation. From the dusty boulevards of his childhood in the San Joaquin, to the shifting sands of Tucson, and the cold clear waters of the San Francisco Bay—it’s all there.