A boy from the vineyard, son of folk singers Jemima James and Michael Mason, Willy Mason is weathered and worn, 24 years old and already carring the fat of tours with Death Cab, Ben Kweller, KT Tunstall, The Felice Brothers and Radiohead plus the Team Love of Conor Oberst and Virgin Records under his belt.
Whoa. Despite these blessed accomplishments, the big moment of stardom Willy shinily reflects upon is his middle school Pink Floyd rager upstairs in the old town hall, the time when he and his band quite literally nearly brought the roof down – from the second floor to the ground. Now that was a high.
Those flavorful experiences – from utter, passionate abandon to mundane moments like changing a tire with a buddy – are the inspiration for Willy’s songwriting and singing. As an artist born to music as family and career, Willy holds a torch for what he envisions to be a balanced, real life, rather than an existence of artifice consumed by making song.
Authentic and admirable coming from this poster boy for old soul. And a tough quest for a kid who first performed on his mother’s stage at age twelve.
Willy Mason is the real deal.
The stars have coordinated and paved the way for Mason so far. Still, the folk-songwriting prodigy is on a thorny trek. He declares stubbornness and vows he is determined to discover, at least, if he can make it on his own – even though his peanut gallery would lead him to believe otherwise.
Spending a little time with Willy Mason naturally evokes compassionate wishes for his wellbeing. To share his bundled burden of conflict and unquenched thirst for a satisfying something just outside his interestingly adorned playpen is enough to drive the most supportive bystanders to the nearest waterhole for relief. There’s a haunting – a close-to-insufferable pain – within the gifted and adored walls of Willy Mason. And that, I imagine, is the life experience that bellows through Mason’s potent ballads, fiercely grabbing up a satchel of hearts and ears to keep him company on his lone journey.
Mason’s live performance for Luxury Wafers soars stellar from heartfelt roots. He’s all pro. Like it or not, regardless of his physically incarnate timeline, Willy Mason stands in a very sparsely populated sanctum of unrivaled musicians.
Johnny Cash comes to life as Mason sings his own original ballad I Got Gold, shown in video below – “Bill collectors ring my phone, they keep me on the run. But they don’t know the ways I’ve got, the ways of having fun. I have fun. And I’ve got gold underneath the ground.”
Just listen. Willy Mason’s songs, most of these previously unrecorded, ooze unrestrained earthiness that makes me want to curse, get down low and breathe in extra deep.
Listen to the Exclusive Live Tracks (option/click to download):
Buy Willy Mason’s Music at Amazon Here.