When I arrive at Tommy Colina's Kitchen in midtown to meet with Matt Whipkey, the first thing I notice is the Whipkey Three poster taped up outside.
Whipkey was at a table sticking out like a rock star amid the Mutual of Omaha lunch crowd — note his red Wayfarers holding back his long, messy rocker hair.
Our waiter even recognized Whipkey: “I heard your CD the other day.”
“Do you dig it?” Whipkey asked.
“Oh, yeah. I really do,” the waiter replied.
On Saturday, the Whipkey Three releases that new album, “Two Truths,” the band's first since 2008.
Since its last album, the band's had some changes. Sarah Benck left. Whipkey put out a solo album. He kept playing with drummer Scott “Zip” Zimmerman as Whipkey-Zimmerman. They've added Travis Sing on bass and play as the Whipkey Three once more.
“At heart, the idea is Zip and I,” he said. “But we're a full band now, for sure.”
Whipkey's been the heart of all of his projects from The Movies to Anonymous American and one solo record.
“Two Truths” was originally intended as a single, but Whipkey and the band decided to make it into a full-length album. The group has lots of songs ready to go and plan on making another album — about Peony Park — soon.
Recorded with Scott Gaeta at his Music Factory studio, “Two Truths” is eight songs of Americana rock chock full of Whipkey's wicked guitar and lots of organ and other instruments from Gaeta.
Over the last few weeks, Whipkey has hand-assembled special copies of the album, which will be available at the show for $10 in limited quantities.
He's working hard to promote the album and sell as many copies as he can (“Where do you live? I'm gonna come to your house and steal something of yours,” he said, laughing.) because he's part of an elite club: people who make their living playing music. When he's not onstage, he's teaching guitar.
“It's a great job — playing music every day, helping people learn how to play music, learning about the guitar,” Whipkey said. “It's great in a selfish way in that it makes me a better guitar player.”