By Ashley Tiedt | Photos by Wild Flower Photos & Blair Ramsey

Be Young, Be Foolish 

Matt Casey and Nationwide Coverage have been gracing wedding receptions, private parties and corporate events around the United States for 20 years. 

Matt is a Mountain Brook native, and he learned to love the guitar at a young age from his father. Despite owning several guitars, his father immediately purchased him his own.   

Matt began to learn to play, but as children do, he lost interest and wouldn’t pick it up again until high school.  

 “That’s when the bug bit me,” Matt explains. “I wasn’t into sports, and the guitar saved me from my impending nerd-dom.” 

Matt initially joined a blues rock band with his friend, Robert Vann.  

“Robert was in high school, walking down the hall and heard The Allman Brothers Band playing from a classroom,” he says. “Drew Lasater was grading papers while listening to them. Robert and Drew connected over their love for the Allman Brothers.”  

Drew eventually introduced Robert and Matt to his friend and vocalist, Josh Hardin. Fate and the Allman Brothers would bring the four young men together.  

They began jamming in the basement of Matt’s parents’ house. Those jam sessions resulted in the idea of forming a blues rock band, but since Matt was already in another band, the idea was lost on him.  

However, a revelation soon stirred within him. Instead of playing music just for fun, perhaps they should try to start a band to make money and have fun. The only problem was they did not have any equipment for live shows or know how to run a band. Enter stage right, Mr. O.Z. Hall. 

O.Z. joined the group as the drummer and provided the PA system. As a bonus, he had about 30 years of experience, which provided a wealth of knowledge on how to operate successfully. Matt describes O.Z. as the “band dad.”  

O.Z.’s wisdom and knowledge of the industry would help propel the band to wedding band stardom. So, Matt Casey, Robert Vann, Drew Lassiter, Josh Hardin and O.Z. Hall formed the original members of Nationwide Coverage. Who came up with the name depends on who you ask, but Matt is adamant it wasn’t him. 

Don’t Stop Believing 

 Nationwide Coverage recorded a demo and started playing the Birmingham bar scene, and their first gig was at Superior Grill in the summer 2003.  

 Josh was in pharmacy school at the time, and his classmates would come to all of their shows, so the band had a built-in following. 

The bar scene made way for more exciting gigs, but it wasn’t always easy. There were plenty of slow seasons. But once they booked their first wedding, things began to snowball. They haven’t slowed down since.  

“We started to get requests to play all around the Southeast, and eventually, all around the country,” Matt explains. “We get calls from clients who saw us at events all of the time. Word-of-mouth referrals have been our secret sauce.”  

The band has played at the weddings of multiple sets of sisters and countless friend groups, entertaining the crowds and giving couples and their friends “nothing but a good time.” 

Party in the USA 

In 2005, Nationwide Coverage added a female singer to the mix.  

“There are a few wonderful ladies who have sung with us throughout the years, but Marsha Matthai is our main singer now,” Matt says. “She is marvelous and a wonderful performer.” 

Marsha currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and has been with the band for more than 10 years.   

In 2007, the band added horns into the mix.  

“Mart Avant, the founder of the Tuscaloosa Horns, plays trumpet with us,” he adds. “He is currently touring with country music artist Jamey Johnson.”  

Mart is also in the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame and plays with the Temptations and The Four Tops. When Mart is touring, there are other horn players who can play, and the same goes for the other members of the band.  

The band considers itself to be one big family, and they treat each other as such. You could say that having them get together is just a “family tradition.” 

Many of the band members live and work in Nashville, and some members live in Birmingham, which can cause a problem when it comes to practicing.  

“We’re fortunate that we’ve been together so long and know each other so well,” Matt says. 

While it may sound easy, Matt does a lot of work in the background. He will arrange the music based on the instruments and mail it out, so everyone can practice on his or her own before the show. 

Nationwide Coverage has grown and changed quite a bit over the years. In addition to his lead guitar job, Matt is also the band manager, meeting with brides and party planners to book shows. He is also in charge of coordinating travel for this dual-city band. 

How Sweet It Is to Be Loved By You   

In addition to his band performing and management, Matt is also a husband and a father. His wife, Emily, is also a Mountain Brook native and a physician at Children’s Hospital.   

“Emily is amazing,” he says, smiling. “I always tell people that I hope they will never see Emily at Children’s because that means their child is very sick, but if they do see Emily, they are in the best of hands.” 

The couple has three children, Bennett, 9, Ellen, 6 and Judy, 3.  

“One of the best things about my job is that I get to work from home a lot and be a big part of my kids’ lives,” he explains.


Moves Like Jagger 

Nationwide Coverage has played almost 1,000 events all over the country, including shows in New York City, Chicago, Miami and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to name a few.   

In addition to weddings, they play many corporate events as well. For more than a decade they have played at The Club in Birmingham for New Year’s Eve and the Cloister Hotel in Sea Island, Georgia, for their Fourth of July event.    

While there are many bands out there, Nationwide Coverage knows how to make any party unforgettable. Why? Because a party on stage brings an even bigger party to the dance floor! 

For more information or to speak with Matt about booking, visit


This Is How We Do It 

Each event is unique, and the band playing at your wedding should be, too. That’s why Nationwide Coverage has offerings for brides and budgets of all kinds.   

“Happy” (Eight-piece band) 

  • Female Lead Singer 
  • Male Lead Singer  
  • Keyboard 
  • Guitar 
  • Bass 
  • Drums  
  • Two-Horn Brass Section 

“Get Down Tonight” (10-piece band) 

  • Female Lead Singer 
  • Male Lead Singer  
  • Additional Singer  
  • Keyboard 
  • Guitar 
  • Bass 
  • Drums  
  • Three-Horn Brass Section 

 “24k Magic” (12+ band) 

  • Female Lead Singer 
  • Male Lead Singer  
  • Two Additional Singers with Choreography 
  • Keyboard 
  • Guitar 
  • Bass 
  • Drums  
  • Four-Horn Brass Section 

 “Any Way You Want It”  

Nationwide Coverage will give you a completely custom quote, based on your needs. Visit for more information.