Under a snow cloud that seemed to concentrate solely over Ann Arbor (and seemed to want my car as a sacrifice), in a hole in the wall bar-cum-club, a rabble of music lovers who seemed to span every age range from 18 to 40 and possibly beyond gathered around a small stage to hear what Willy Mason and A.A. Bondy had to offer.
Thinking of Willy Mason, the word that comes to mind is solid. His songwriting is solid, his guitar-playing is solid and his voice is solid. But the previous two times I had seen him play, he seemed to lack an indefinable something. Oomph, chutzpah or some other slightly onomatopoeiaic word. This time, he seems to have found the road to that indefinable something. While Mason is still more than a little quiet in between songs, the songs themselves popped with a vibrancy that had been missing before. “Pickup Truck”, “If It’s the End”, “Where the Humans Eat” and “Hard Hand to Hold” all sparkled and received deserved appreciation from the audience.
There was a sweet moment as Mason waited for some friends to come help him out on stage. He said, “We need some filler.” To which … Continue reading