If you have been to a lazy weekend day the West Tennessee Farmers’ Market or a night out at one of Jackson’s finer dining establishments, then you are no stranger to the soothing sounds of Scott Myatt’s music. Myatt’s song, a mixture of melodic singing and guitar playing, is a familiar sound often filling the air throughout our city. A part-time musician and a part-time visual artist, Myatt brings his lyrical touch on the senses to locals as a proud citizen of Jackson.
Originally from Paris, Tennessee, Myatt is a retired art teacher of twenty-four years. In addition to teaching art, he has given private lessons and has helped to start the careers of student musicians, such as Valerie June Hockett. He says that being a teacher gave him a sense of what students were listening to and the kinds of artistic musical sensibilities to which they were drawn. No matter how familiar they were with digital access to music, they were still drawn to the touch, feel, and sound of learning to play traditional instruments. His ties with students maintained his faith in the arts, and he believes that it is not true that the computer has replaced the artisan.
While Myatt is not a songwriter, but an adaptive cover artist, he takes each song and adapts it to his own style. He states that he wants to be songwriter “when he grows up” but currently plays his music in places of eating and drinking, including the Jackson hotspots of Bistro Eleven Sixty and Chandelier Café at the Neely House. Simply put, he says that he plays “good dinner music.”
Myatt’s talents go far beyond the traditional musician, as he is still very active in his career as a visual artist. His favorite medium of art is carving due to its soothing, tactile nature. He also enjoys photo-realistic drawing and painting, occasionally venturing into the practical, such as painting interiors and murals, but only for “nice people.”
Myatt is a proud Jacksonian. No stranger to the area, he moved from Henry County to study at Freed-Hardeman University and graduated with a degree in theology and art education in 1980. He taught art for a year at the University School of Jackson and then another twenty-three years for Humboldt City Schools. Now semi-retired, Myatt loves that Jackson affords him to live his passion of music, something he says he could not do in a more musically competitive city like Nashville. He likens his playing to a casual walk through the garden, with his covers featuring favorite artists such as James Taylor, Jim Croce, and Dan Fogelberg.
No artist is without influences, and Myatt is no different. He cites kindness as being a major influence and enjoys seeing former students succeed with their dreams. Things that are loathe to Myatt include political divisions and rifts, which tear friendships and families apart. He wishes to continue a stress-free life doing what he has always dreamed of doing: playing music for the Jackson public. Myatt believes that opportunities are still out there for him, and that the culture of Jackson art and music is ripe for the picking.
To learn more about Scott Myatt, visit his website.
Megan Shulman is a transplant to the Jackson area after living all over the country. She teaches eighth grade English language arts at Haywood Middle School.
Originally from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, photographer Katie Howerton moved to Jackson in 2011 to study Graphic Design and Drawing at Union University. She discovered Our Jackson Home in January 2015 and used it as a guinea pig for her senior design project, creating the first issue of Our Jackson Home: The Magazine. After graduating she was given leadership over Our Jackson Home at theCO, where she now runs the blog, designs the magazine, and coordinates events. She and her husband Jordan live in Midtown and are active members of City Fellowship Baptist Church.