Willy Mason is scheduled to release his second full-length album, "If the Ocean Gets Rough," on March 20th, 2007, on Astralwerks.
In November of 2003, at the Knitting Factory, I saw Willy Mason with his brother Sam Mason on drums open for Bright Eyes. He won that audience over, especially me. He casually said at the end of the set, “I have like five CDs in the back if anyone is interested" I think he recorded them before the show. I had to see him again and again. Everything about him captured my attention, his guitar playing, informed writing, and relaxed and authentic manner. He has a gift for melody. I love how he plays the guitar using resonating and alternating bass notes. He adds strumming and picking with interludes of harmonic surprises down the fret. Although he is 21 years old, his voice sounds weathered and worn. While listening to his lyrics, it is evident that he is curious, smart, and well-read. He exposes social and political hypocrisy as he searches for deeper meaning and understanding of life’s daunting conflicts. He weaves a personal subtext within his songwriting while tackling poverty, war, materialism, and hedonism. It is the inference that adds weight and gives the lyrics cerebral edginess. Leaving the listener's brain in overdrive.
I've seen him live eight times in different settings alone, with Nina Violet on viola and an assortment of players working on his freshman CD "Where the Humans Eat." The most recent touring band includes Nina, Sam Mason on drums, Colin Ruel on guitar, and Farley Glavin on bass. They just finished an 18-stop tour opening for Radiohead in May and June 2006. I was lucky to see the band play the Living Room on July 21st, 2006. The set included all new material except for one song. The melodies, time changes, and lyrics were memorable. The band sounded strong and confident. There was something different about Willy. He seemed more determined and serious. This time rather than being discovered, he seemed ready and eager to present his music. Check out his new site called G-ma's Basement It is a home-based online retailer selling local music from the Island of Martha's Vineyard. This includes some of Willy's live sessions with cousin Zak Borden and past releases of Willy and his talented mother, Jemima James.
"Equal parts hobo and Holden Caufield, nineteen-year-old Willy Mason blends precocious lyricism, spare, jangly guitar, and a world-weary voice that sounds older than his years." - Rolling Stone
WILL WARM UP THE NEW YEAR! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
From New York to Austin / Hop Along Queen Ansleis /The Smiling Folk Queen, and Wheatie Mattiasich / The Folk-Lore Goddess, are doing a winter tour. Knitting Factory (taproom) Illinois, Deertick, Honne Wells and The Feverfew are on the bill. The Feverfew will be traveling down to Richmond. Then the Folk team stops in Athens, Georgia, the home of the Wildebeest. They then join Fake Problems for a seven-stop tour from Florida to New Orleans. Other bands to play along the way are; Murdock's Revenge, Judy Garland Death Squad, The Ackley's, and The Robinsons. So don't be toast! Get out there and warm the spirit, join the fun and toast the new year listening to fantastic, diverse, and original music!!
Matthew Winn / WILDEBEEST is releasing a Five song EP entitled Some Heavy, Some Mighty. . This is a collection of songs that belong together. They are like a scrambled musical and lyrical puzzle, searching for meaning within the broken fragments of thought. Musically he is branching out and adapting the music to the mood of the songwriting. Evan Louison lends his rich vocals on Wet Dog, Swampy Doors (Golder Lighting), and Palaces.
Starting with “How it Is” the title suggests just that, but things aren’t that simple. The only thing rich around here is the coffee / and it ain’t that rich. He has burdens to bare because his / back pack / all heavy. This bluesy alt-country music works well with throaty vocals. The sound gracefully changes. Trumpets and oboe are a welcome addition to an off-beat jazz/blues and eclectic music mix in “Swampy Doors (Golder Lighting).” The mood gets dark, alone, and fearful. / And I am usually standing in dark / lost………… "Wet Dog” employs electric guitar riffs and upbeat drum tempo as Matt and Evan sing / It must be you that's a makin me feel like this wet dog / and belting, / cause it ain't rainin so hard……..“Palaces” is a blues acoustic song with outstanding instrumental and vocal tracks that ring with clarity and bite. Literal phrasing like / children fucking on a bare mattress is juxtaposed with a personification of architectural reference ……/ duel palaces entwined / drawbridge layed down / dual palaces embrace /stone and holy walls. He ends with an introspective song, “Host and Hostage. “ The trumpets chime in like a soft echoing choir, the finger-picking guitar parts blend, and the bassoon blows like a fog horn. The song ends with very faint bells…………
To Order, Send $5.00 to
Matt Winn, 140 standard oils street
Athens Georgia, 30601
A few months back, Matt completed a full-length recording of 12 songs that he edited to ten. The full-length is still in transition, and the recording will be revisited.