Around the time Now This Sound Is Brave started, back in 2010, I found myself in the habit of inadvertently seeing Willy Mason play live as he seemed to be opening for everyone I wanted to see. While he clearly had talent and skill, it took a while for me to be won over. Mason had started his career at a young age and was growing into his role. Seeing his name pop up in the old e-mail inbox after three years is like seeing an old, beloved friend again. Willy Mason is trotting out his first new album in six years, Carry On, and in the run-up, he has an EP titled Don’t Stop Now available for free download from NoiseTrade. It’s a beautiful little thing, ranging from the somber to the downright danceable. Mason is gearing up to tour the UK and Australia, and will be joining the Gentlemen of the Road tour for four stops this summer. Willy Mason Official Website Willy Mason @ Twitter Willy Mason @ Facebook
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
What I should be doing is writing some brilliant, pontificating post full of content and revelation to make up for the shorter, paler posts I’ve been making. Instead, the fact that I’m journeying up to Ann Arbor tonight to see A.A. Bondy play at the Blind Pig has eaten my brain. So instead, I’m going to cop out by pointing you to a Daytrotter session by the man opening for Bondy, Mr. Willy Mason. I have never intentionally gone to a show to see Mason (nothing against him – he’s a fine songwriter with a strong voice), and yet this will be the third time I’ve seen him play. Show review forthcoming.