Weekender

Mathieu, Fox & Rounds to reunite for Arts Fest

Mathieu, Fox & Rounds will perform Saturday during Arts Fest.
Mathieu, Fox & Rounds will perform Saturday during Arts Fest. Photo provided

Sometimes a good thing just won’t quit.

That’s the story of the music trio Ken Mathieu, David Fox and Jon Rounds, who are putting their band back together in a way that promises to satisfy longtime fans and invigorate new listeners. You can catch the performance on Saturday during the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.

Mathieu, Fox & Rounds have been part of the State College music scene for decades, Rounds said in an email. The story of the band’s reunification began at the memorial service for Rounds’ brother, Jamie, in May 2013.

“In the days following, (we) talked about what a remarkable experience the night had been, and how much (our) common musical connection meant ... The chemistry was so right, (we) knew (we) had to follow up.”

And follow up they did, starting in the spring of 2017. Rounds’ brother, Jamie, was an original member of the band. When he died, it left a creative and relational space in the middle of the music, but Rounds stepped into the role in a big way. It enabled the band to continue performing its music in the intended format.

“The next year proved to be musically prolific,” Rounds said.

Between Fox’s home in New Jersey and Mathieu’s home near Philadelphia, the trio rehearsed the new material that they’ll perform at Arts Fest.

The band continues to work up original music using much the same method it always has, and the members continue to respect and admire each other.

“This group of the three of us is more mellow,” Mathieu said. “We write individually then bring songs to collaborate.”

So while the process of creation remains intact, so does the reason for getting together.

“We just wanted to get together because we just enjoyed it so much,” Fox said. “We’re not just longtime friends, we respect each other as musicians. It’s a treat for us.”

The goals for the show are simple. Both Fox and Mathieu agree the trio is so happy to be playing together again in State College — they just hope for a good time, good friends and hopefully more to come.

“We want to showcase what we’re excited about,” Fox said. “I’m looking forward to seeing people I haven’t seen in a while.”

Still, they’re musicians with long and varied careers that include, among other things, selling songs in Nashville and even getting signed by Eric Clapton’s manager at one point. What it ultimately boils down to is the experience of playing music, which has an often indescribable essence.

“There really is nothing like it,” Fox said. “It’s kind of a Zen thing. It’s like being in that zone, and then there’s just the joy of it. It’s almost like a spiritual experience.”

An Arts Fest button is required to check out Saturday’s show.

If you go

What: Mathieu, Fox & Rounds

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: State College Presbyterian Church, 132 W. Beaver Ave., State College

Info: arts-festival.com

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