Sweet Home Edina

They were just kids the first time they played instruments in the same city, but their passion for everything music continued for four Edina natives into their adult lives—eventually leading to the creation of their rock ’n’ roll band Medium Rustic. While they are all grown up now with families and day jobs, Andy Matysik, Joe Carpenter, Chad Lindell and Scott Thorp have found a creative outlet that has exceeded their expectations.

All Edina High School graduates in the late ’80s and early ’90s, these band members have played together and separately for over 20 years, but their early memories of playing with one another in junior high and high school was their starting point.

Matysik, the band’s drummer, was born and raised in Edina. In fact, though he moved away for college, he came back to Edina and currently lives in his childhood home—the very place he and Carpenter would practice together as kids. By day, Matysik is a managing partner at Punch & Associates, where he helps families and institutions manage their money, trusts and estates. As the face of the firm, Matysik enjoys engaging with clients and focusing on relationships. He’s also a board member for the Edina Community Foundation and loves being a part of the community he believes has given him, his wife Jennifer and their four children so much.

“Edina is a great community with really exceptional people,” says Matysik. “We have made great friends over the years, and we love living here.”

Those friendships are what form the foundation of Medium Rustic. Growing up in Edina, Matysik and Carpenter played together in junior high school, while Carpenter and Lindell played together and then toured together across the U.S. after college. Matysik played in various bands throughout high school and college, but it wasn’t until the summer of 2015 that the four men reunited.

“Between college, getting jobs and starting families, none of us were really able to be in a band before that summer,” says Matysik. “But, Joe saw my wife and kids at the pool one day and asked her for my cell number and that’s really how this all began.”

The band has its own kind of sound, with roots in classic rock, country, soul, jazz and blues. Influences range from Chuck Berry to Neil Young and Crazy Horse. Artists such as The Band, Merl Haggard, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Willie Nelson and Gram Parsons can also be heard, as well as some original material.

“We all have musical backgrounds. We love playing music, writing music, seeing live music and learning about music,” says Lindell, the bass guitarist and vocalist for the band. “But it was Joe and Andy who really got the wheels in motion. We started playing together and knew there was a little magic there. We had too much fun together in those early rehearsals that we had to keep it moving.”

With their first gig in June 2016, the band played for a band member’s wife’s 40th birthday party in the backyard of their Chanhassen home. The group had such a great time, they knew they wanted to take their sound public. The party was a springboard for Medium Rustic to start booking gigs. However, the group isn’t your typical party or wedding band, but instead frequents venues around the Twin Cities, including Floyds in Victoria, Tuttles in Hopkins and the Basement Bar in Minneapolis. With only four years apart in age, the band’s friends often come out to see them perform and it can seem like a giant Edina High School reunion, says Matysik. It’s a lot of fun, he says.

Over the years, Medium Rustic has played mostly covers, but they’ve started to play a lot more original songs. Matysik suggests the music isn’t always well-known, but it’s songs that elicit memories of past experiences for people and gets them to dance.

“We play music that is timeless, and put our own spin on it,” says Matysik. “Medium Rustic came together to play good time rock ’n’ roll music and to keep that music alive.”

In addition to all being married and having kids, Lindell also works full time in financial services, Carpenter is a high school English teacher and Thorp is in insurance and sales. The group relishes in the opportunity to be playing together again. Their friendship keeps the band going.

“Lots of people hunt, golf or play sports in their free time. Music is my outlet,” says Matysik. “When I’m playing, I’m right there in the moment and it’s like nothing else matters. It’s the most therapeutic thing I can do.”

Lindell agrees. “It’s really a great hobby and escape for all of us,” he says. “Creating this band has really gone above and beyond what we could have imagined and we’re having a blast doing it.”

While they have considered creating a live CD at some point, right now they are enjoying entertaining people and playing the music they love.  

To catch an upcoming show and follow their journey, visit their Facebook page here.