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Matt Coughlin

Folk-rock fills Doyle’s Public House.

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There’s a fine line between a totally sappy love song and an intelligent portrait of a relationship. Not many singer/songwriters can pull it off, but Tacoma’s own Matt Coughlin has the ability to wear his heart on his sleeve without making me want to puke.

Originally from Belgrade, Mont., Coughlin made the Northwest his home six years ago. Since his arrival from the “Big Sky Country,” he has been charming audiences with his well thought-out, self-penned originals.

He slots himself into the category of folk-rock, which pretty much tells you he can rock out, but doesn’t blow out any windows. Playing mostly acoustically, Coughlin’s music cross-breeds many genres. Included in his arsenal of influences you will find country, rock, folk and just a hint of melodic jazz, which creates his luxuriant timbre. Lyrically, he’s a smart songwriter who doesn’t box himself in as love song king. Rather, he has the ability to make even the most mundane topics interesting.

Coughlin released two EPs in 2006, It’s About Time and Let It Go. All the tracks are performed with his band, plugged in and sharing harmonies.

Tonight Matt will show up at Doyle’s Public House to perform for a set or two to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

[Doyle’s Public House, 9 p.m., donations, 208 St Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.PINT]

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