Mathis Haug

« ... World citizen. Mathis is a true melting pot of nationalities and musical styles.» Rolling Stone

Mathis Haug, musical adventurer

« ... His charisma and eccentricity are explosive on stage. » L’Humanité 

He was born in Germany, lives in the south east of France and gleans sounds from the depths of the United States.

He has the look of an adventurer one you'd meet on an American road, somewhere in the Appalachians or on the banks of the Mississippi. Three-day beard, cap, blue eyes, guitar slung over his shoulder. And his voice is superbly hoarse, as if nourished by the grain of the journey. Mathis Haug has always had a quest for wide open spaces and multicolored sounds (blues, but not only!). But if America strongly inhabits are large part of his work, it is above all the result of the crossbreeding that has shaped him since childhood.

Mathis Haug's story begins in 1976 in Pforzheim, Germany, "the city of goldsmiths", in the heart of the Black Forest. His father is an architect, his mother a seamstress. the parents are not musicians. But their maternal grandmother, Frida, played the guitar. She sang well and played well," Mathis recalls. She played German folk music. A music with originated  in Russia, among other places. I was impressed by that .The grandfather,  put away his instruments (saxophone, violin) a long time ago. Traumatized. "He was a jazz musician. He was deported at the end of the war. Afterwards, he stopped everything. I never heard him play."

At the age of 6, the scene  changed. Mathis's mother moved to the South of France with her son and his partner. "They weren't really hippies, but they wanted a change of life. I found myself in a single class, with 10-20 kids. I have very fond memories of it." On the other hand, on a cultural level, there was nothing. In this "nothing", surrounded over the years by brothers and sisters, Mathis  forged despite of everything a  musical universe. "At home, there was no TV. I listened to tapes brought home by my mother's friend. Copies, with just the words Blues or jazz written on them, side A, side B. I didn't have  an image to put over the sounds. I didn't know who was singing. But I was making  up my own stories...". There's also a neighbor, a Parisian who used to be in show bussiness, "my  own media library. She made me discover  Gainsbourg, the clash, Blondie ..."

At the age of 15, Mathis bought his first guitar: an electric Gibson Les Paul copy, unearthed in Germany. "But its neck was twisted, out of tune. I tried to learn from there, and I switched to folk music." At the age of 18, Mathis came of age and working in his native country. Then he returned to France, to Nîmes. He composed and started touring in cafés-concerts. The audiences were seduced by this charming young man with a devastating voice. "he was like no other. With it he did what he wanted" recalls Bernadette Le Janoux, a  30 year old friend .

Success in Spain!

The first album was recorded with the means at hand. "In the bedroom of a friend, Denis Capus," explains Mathis. "It was a bit like the beginnings of home recording, so tinkered with guitar takes, added drums...". The album was pressed in a thousand copies. Mathis who Now lives in Barcelona, sends them to record companies but  "it's refused by everyone. Except for a small label, Pueblo records, who said to me 'It's great what you're doing, we're going to release it'." 

"5", Mathis & the Mathematiks' album, was released in spring 2005 Spain, caught the eye of Diego Alfredo Manrique - the "Spanish Philippe Manœuvre" - and was a hit. "We made it into the Spanish Top 40, and then it was very successful in France". He settled in  Paris, and multiplied the opening acts of renown (Higelin, Chris Whitley, Poppa Chubby...). A songwriter, Mathis Haug is also sought after as a pure guitarist. In 2008, he toured with Emily Loizeau, recorded for Manoukian...

Noticed by blues label Dixie Frog, he recorded his first solo album Playing my dues (2011). He worked with harmonica player Jean-Jacques Milteau, who produced the superb Distance (2013), before releasing Wild country, a country-world music album already on the roads of the American continent. The Concerts followed one another in France and abroad. Everyone praises a classy songwriter who likes to mix folk, rock, blues and country. And always "that incredible voice. As soon as you hear it, it's Mathis! There's no other like him," enthuses the great violinist Aurore Voilqué. "But that's not That he's also a cool guy, with a good spirit, beautiful to look at."

In 2018, Mathis Haug is putting aside the music to devote himself to another, old passion: cooking. And above all, to cultivate a new one with Amy Lillard, an American from Colorado. He is based at the Grange de Vers, a stone's throw from the Pont du Gard. A magical place for gourmets, music lovers and musicians. Mathis puts flavors into melodies ... "His cuisine is very personal. He invents, adapts... It's like his music," says Bernadette.

Memphis, the pilgrimage... and the miracle recording

The experiment will last until 2021. Without erasing, In the meantime, the call of the sea. In 2018, Mathis is on the road again, in Memphis, the birthplace of the blues. He opens the door to one of the countless studios in the Tennessee capital of, surroundes himself with experienced session musicians and produces the sublime Memphis sessions "in just two days". In the Wake of this, he played in the mythtical Clayborn Temple, made famous by the social movements of the 60s and a certain Martin Luther King. Two years later, he took a road trip to the U.S. where he recorded the E.P Kiss my grits. America, always America. But why exactly? For its "multicultural heritage", "a musical and even food that is quite astonishing", a Capacity, to ingest sounds, to mix them and make them stand out them out in new and unique genres. 

Today, Mathis combines his family life (he has three children, Elsie, Arlo and Mila), with his work as a musician and as an artistic consultant, sought after throughout the world. There were the Amerindian Pura Fé, the Moorish Oum. Or, once again, the violinist Aurore Voilqué, whom he met again at the last Nîmes jazz festival. "Mathis is extremely relevant. He has the ideas of an artistic director and knows how to manage things intelligence." In April 2022, Mathis Haug released album, a tribute to Doc Watson album, a wonderful servant of traditional American music. Melting pot, American wheels, sharing of sounds. This project like is the summary of the path that Mathis Haug is tirelessly tracing. From the Black Forest to tthe great American, without forgetting the Gorges du Gardon. Always in search of sound.

Adrien Boudet - Midi libre



Wild time 2021

"Always ready to bring a little something original to the blues so that it never gets boring, Mathis Haug once again doesn’t hold back, and signs with "Kiss My Grits" a pure fireball as we like them. To be enjoyed without any moderation of course!"

Mathis Haug: Guitars, vocals, synth bass & drum loops
Basse sur Fishing with Bill: Benoit Nogaret
Mix: GuyrOOts
Recorded @ home winter 2020
Photo et Artwork: Mathis Haug


Wild Time 2018

"Watch out this is big, really big,…! And you can be sure that this record, by Mathis HAUG, is destined to hold its place in all the record collections worthy of that name.""


Mathis Haug: guitars & Vocals
Rick Steff: Organ, piano, accordeon & backing vocals
John C Stubblefield: Bass, Upright bass & backing vocals
Stef Notari: Drums, percussions & backing vocals
Toni Green: backing vocals on If I Had my way
Krista Wooten Combest: Violin
Sebastian Danchin: backing vocals
Produced by Sebastian Danchin
Recorded & mixed by Daniel Lynn @ Music & Arts Memphis Tn
Photo: Mathis Haug
Artwork: Ben Houlliere


Nueva Onda records 2017

"Powerful voice, warm and rough, excellent guitar playing, irresistible show made of soul, folk and blues ... " Sud Ouest

Mathis Haug: guitars, banjo, Harmonica & lead vocals
Christophe Cravero: Fender Rhodes, Melodica & Violin
Mike Latrell: Orgue & piano
Abdenour Natouri: Upright bass
Stef Notari: Drums, percussions & backing vocals
Nick Vaughan: Fiddle & mandolin
Regis Gizavo: accordeon
Pauline Diamond: backing vocals
Produced by Sebastian Danchin
Recorded & mixed by GuyrOOts
Photos & Artwork: Thyl Detré


Dixiefrog Records 2013

"Singer, storyteller, poet, musician Mathis is all of these, both in his texts and in his diction. His music is like a river, more or less calm, that we travel down in a mixture of apprehension and well-being... " Soul Bag

Mathis Haug: guitars, banjo, & lead vocals
Stéphan Notari: Drums, percussions, piano & backing vocals
Benoît Rapetti: bass, Upright bass
Mike Lattrell: Tuba, mandolin, organ
Céline Bonacina: baryton & soprano Saxophones
J.J Milteau: harmonicas
Produced by J.J. Milteau
Recorded & mixed by GuyrOOts
Mastering: Bruno Gruel - Elektra Mastering
Photos: J.J. Milteau
Artwork: Barilla design


Dixiefrog Records 2011

"In a world at the confluence of folk, blues, and wise jazz, Mathis Haug, earns his stripes, hands down, as a serious songwriter (that is to say:sensitive, powerful, lively and immediately intimate)"

Mathis Haug: Lead vocals, guitars, banjo
Stéphan Notari: drums
Paul Jothy: Drums & percussions
Julien Capus: bass, Upright bass
Keys: GuyrOOts
Produced by Mathis Haug
Recorded & mixed by GuyrOOts
Photos & Artwork: Thyl Detré


Productions spéciales 2005

"Mathis cultivates musical fields close to nu-blues without worrying about its traditional form." El Pais

Mathis Haug: Lead vocals & guitars
Denis Capus: Drums & percussions, sampling, keys
Lionel Puyal: Bass
Julien Capus: bass, Upright bass
Produced by Denis Capus
Recorded & mixed by Denis Capus & Lionel Puyal
Artwork: Thyl Detré