The Widowers is local singer, guitarist and songwriter Matt Sigur. It’s a band, too, albeit a band composed of various casts of Sigur’s talented musician friends.
Sigur distills his ’90s rock influences into “Mint Grizz,” his first full-length studio album. He’ll play an album-release show Saturday at Spanish Moon, accompanied by bassist Jonathan Loubiere and drummer Andrew Linton.
Saturday’s Widowers’ set list will feature album selections already familiar to Sigur’s audiences (such as “Don’t Wanna Know,” “Terrible Friend” and “Catarina”), other original songs and a few renditions of songs by his influences.
Sigur, 26, has a day job as online news editor for 225 Magazine. But writing songs and performing — either solo or with friends he invites to sit in — are his longtime passions.
Early last year, Sigur, an LSU journalism grad from West Monroe, finally decided to make a proper studio recording. Before “Mint Grizz,” he produced home-recorded singles and EPs.
“I said to myself, ‘If I’m going to do this, I need to do it properly, and stop doing these half measures,’ ” he said this week.
Upon his return to Baton Rouge in March 2013 following two years of working in journalism in Lafayette, Sigur had a big catalog of unrecorded songs from which to choose.
The resulting “Mint Grizz” features Sigur, singing and playing multiple instruments, plus some friends. As he does for his gigs, Sigur sent out an invitation to friends, asking them if they’d like to join him in the studio.
“I asked them,” Sigur said, “ ‘Hey, would you like to play on this? I’m going to be in the studio at this time. If you can, that’s cool, if you can’t, I understand.’ So that’s how it worked out.”
Aaron Thomas (Brass Bed, Kind Cousin) recorded and engineered the album at KRVS Studios in Lafayette.
Sigur’s album guests include Loubiere, Thomas, veteran Baton Rouge guitarist Lee Barbier and drummer Andrew Toups (Feufollet).
“All the musicians on the record, they can start playing and it’s like, ‘I need to go home and practice,’ ” Sigur said.
Sigur’s affection for Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Dinosaur Jr. shows up in his songs. There’s lots of powerful guitar, guitar riffs, driving post-punk tempos and some slower, quieter songs. The latter songs include the R.E.M.-ish “Giant,” which has an accompanying music video.
“Once I started recording this studio album,” Sigur said, “it was like, ‘I never want to release any home recordings or low-fi recordings again. They’re so hard on the ears.”
He’s also glad that songs he’s been kicking around for years have finally found a home on record.
“It’s like these are the songs that I had under my pillow,” Sigur said. “I’ve been waiting to take them out.”
Sigur wrote “Passing Through,” the album’s opening song, at 16, he said. He’s recorded it various times through the years, but much prefers the “Mint Grizz” version.
“This is the first time I’m like, ‘This is the version,’ ” he said.