In 2013, Matt Monta released American Rhymin, a record of bluesy folk songs that played like a stripped-down solo gig as Monta handled vocals, acoustic guitar and harmonica. Over the years, Monta began performing with a full band, the Haymakers, making use of the additional players on last year's full-length, Where You Find Love.

In 2013, Matt Monta released American Rhymin, a record of bluesy folk songs that played like a stripped-down solo gig as Monta handled vocals, acoustic guitar and harmonica. Over the years, Monta began performing with a full band, the Haymakers, making use of the additional players on last year's full-length, Where You Find Love.

But some fans still came up to Monta at shows, asking him to play certain tracks from American Rhymin. So when he and the Haymakers - lead guitarist Jamie Molisee, drummer Bryan Kossmann, keyboardist David Butler and bassist Matt Paetsch - went to Sonic Lounge Studios earlier this year with engineer Jay Alton, they decided to give some of those old favorites the Haymakers treatment.

The band will release the resulting six-song EP, Motion, on Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Rumba Café. If American Rhymin is Monta's Nebraska, Motion is his Born to Run. The Haymakers play heartland rock in the vein of modern-day peers like Brian Fallon or Dave Hause, but where those songwriters infuse their music with a punk-rock ethos, Monta remains a folkie at heart.

In conversation, Monta is well-spoken and deliberate in his speech, choosing his words carefully and quickly correcting himself if he mistakenly uses "who" instead of "whom." His songs, while not genre-busting, are composed in a way that matches the care Monta takes with his diction.

"Diggin Up the Graves," for instance, uses a series of instructions delivered to a cub reporter as a way to critique the 24-hour news cycle. "Now don't ask how we came up with it / Just shut your mouth and read the script," Monta sings.

"It's not just the 24-hour news channels," Monta said on a recent afternoon. "It's this subculture of destructive information, where people are putting out things just to tear other people or ideas down. It becomes less of a discussion and more of a conflict between two opposing viewpoints that may or may not be rooted in any truth at all.

"We've gotten into this thing the last 20 years where there's this line blurred between what's information and what's entertainment. … Never in human history have we been so able to verify truth and educate ourselves, yet we're also the most vulnerable to deception. It's a very paradoxical situation."

Other songs have taken on additional weight in the years since Monta wrote them. "What Luck," said Monta, who's now married, speaks to the "confusing and joyful experience of love."

"Sometimes you write stuff and maybe it comes true later," he said. "You get in a relationship, and you're so incredibly happy, but if you have any sense of self-doubt, you're like, 'How in the world did I get with this person? This is amazing. … What insane fortune should I have that this person is by my side?'"

Photo by Megan Leigh Barnard