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Matt White plays YMCA Boulton Center

Pianist-singer Matt White is riding high with a new album ("It's the Good Crazy"), but it was landing his original composition, "Love," on a popular TV commercial that got his career rolling.

"Because of the McDonald's McRib commercial . . . we didn't even know it was airing, and it coincided with my last tour. I got it from winning a contest that McDonald's put on," White says. "It was the second biggest running commercial of 2010 - the song was in the top 20 of iTunes and No. 1 on Amazon."

The New Jersey native describes his music as "an autobiographical, quirky look on life."

"My first album was kind of sugary pop songs," he says in advance of a Friday night show at the YMCA Boulton Center in Bay Shore. "This album, I went darker and a bit deeper."

Have you played the Boulton Center before?

Yes, I played there supporting Edwin McCain three months ago. It's a fantastic venue. It has "arena-style" sound. And I remember the food was really good, which is probably not the thing I should be focusing on, but when you're eating at Chili's and these places, food can make a difference.

How did the idea come up of touring with Brendan James?

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Brendan's a piano man, and I'm a piano man. In the '70s, you had Elton John and Billy Joel. I just thought it would be cool to have the focus of the concert be on piano, as opposed to a guitar.

What can people expect from the show?

When I was touring on my last record, I had to keep it sounding exactly like the record, and it made it difficult to be myself, because I'm not really a person who stays inside the lines. So just the last six months of touring, I've felt more relaxed. I think people are going to come away really enjoying themselves.

WHO Matt White plays piano pop tunes on a co-headlining bill with Brendan James

WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Friday, YMCA Boulton Center, 37 W. Main Street, Bay Shore

INFO $25, 631-969-1101, boultoncenter.org

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