Written by Eddie Ferranti
ImageCovering gigs rarely happens in a spontaneous manner for Rose and myself. Being planners with “real” jobs makes it a priority to book shows in advance. Except, when we were chompin’ at the bit to feed our live music addiction and a duo called the Mastersons happened to be playing one of our fave haunts, McGonigels Mucky Duck.

Steve Earle had high praise for them and even had them in his recent touring band for 101 gigs! Enough said for us and man was it a treat.

The Mastersons formed in 2006 out of New York and currently reside in Austin, Texas. They are a married couple with Chris on guitar and multi-instrument wife Eleanor (sister of HMR favorite Bonnie Whitmore) handling killer fiddle and guitar. Besides Earle they have played with the likes of Son Volt, Diana Ross, Regina Spector, Allison Moorer, Kelly Willis and Bobby Bare Jr. to name a few. Impressive resume. They just completed a new album in LA and proclaimed that they “would try to remember them” for us tonight.

“One More Word” and “Nobody Knows” got you caught up in a hurry what the buzz is about with these two. Harmonica, fiddle and sweet blending harmonies grabbed ahold of you and locked ya in for the night. Chris has that ‘Ray Davies’ look-a-like thing goin’ on and Eleanor’s curly red doo matched her songbird talents to a tee. Her violin talents oozed on “I’m in the Dark”, soulful chirping on “Feels Like We’re Running Out of Time” and beautiful “I Found You”.

Their persistenly good harmonies and face-off jams were very cool to witness.

ImageOther highlights included “Cautionary Tale” about falling in love with the wrong person, “Would It Be a Sin”, spot on “Time is Tender” about not sweating the small shit in today’s stressed out society we live in and “Good Luck Charm” about frustration with today’s politicians and the idiot television shows that that make you want to run and hide. Their music is short on fluffy stuff with hard hitting lyrics encased in a soothing stunning package. Catchy single “Crash Test”, “Money” about the lack of and “Anywhere But Here” lamenting the daily grind of corporate jobs smoked.

They’re a very likeable twosome and we enjoyed all the talk between songs which was short and to the point. The title cut of their debut CD, “Birds Fly South” brought the major harmonies to a resounding exclamation point. What a nice blend of partnership in life, love and art meshing together on stage.

The Mastersons promised to come back to this same venue in May with a full band in tow. http://www.themastersonsmusic.com/ is the place to keep tabs on their next visit…HMR all over it.

God Bless and we’ll see you out there ‘somewhere’ in live music land.