121015-mastersons1Written by Eddie Ferranti

Husband and wife duos can be a tricky proposition sometimes in the competitive world of singer/songwriters. One such pair, Chris Masterson and his wife, Eleanor Whitmore, who make up The Mastersons, are definitely a major winner. Steve Earle sure thinks so. He just had them tour with him for eight months giving them opening act rights to boot!

The two of them are so in sync belting out their brand of alt-country that it is a pleasure to see. CM ditched his jet black hair and looked striking with white hair opposite the sexy presence of his red haired mate. “Nobody Knows” kicked the gig off from their latest album “Good Luck Charm” and featured good harp play.

“Uniform” followed and the harmonies were just stunning and this tune stayed with me all the next day! “Closer to You” showed a bonding gaze into each other’s eyes as they faced off to jam effectively and proceeded to all night. EW has a quirky trait of chewing gum the whole time she performs to lubricate her vocal cords. She apologized saying that she hoped she did not look like she was “chewing her cud” throughout the evening.  Classic.

Whatever she needed to keep that angelic voice of hers raging as she tore it up on fiddle with the likes of “So Long Sidewalk” about touring while a winter storm hit in the northeast and a beauty about today’s idiotic society keeping their mugs buried in their cell phones fooling themselves called “Cautionary Tale”.  A handful of songs in and this pair sounded like a lot more than two performers on stage gaining momentum like a snowball down a ski slope.

Masterson and Whitmore, both Texan born calling Austin home, enjoyed successful careers as supporting musicians  before marrying each other in 2009.  On stage EW is the serious one and CM is the jokester if you will firing off one liners from all over the board like “Never piss off a redhead”. But the proof in the pudding is their vocal talents that showed outstanding strength on “Highway One”! Bonus tracks for the evening’s gig were new ones with to be named titles “Don’t Want to Fight With Anybody But You”, “Come Sit With Me on the Fire Escape” and “Don’t Tell Me to Smile” all pinpointing real life going’s on in a relationship.

Both of them can flat out shred on acoustic guitar and it made this reviewer long to see Masterson on electric in the future. EW’s easy motion on fiddle action was priceless indeed. The responsive crowd beckoned for  requests and got them with killer “Anywhere But Here”, stellar jammin’ on “Good Luck Charm” and fitting closer of “Hold My Hand”.  This act has garnered critical acclaim and can really put on a professional show that deserves way more attention and attendance. This was our third time to witness them and for sure there will be multiple more whenever they are in striking distance for HMR…Make an effort to see LIVE music please!