Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Willy Mason's Rough Seas

For those of you reading this post in Birmingham make a note to "self" not to miss Willy Mason at City Stages on June 15th. He is playing atr City Stages unplugged Friday afternoon and opening for Bruce Cockburn at 8pm. I personally find it ironic he is opening for Cockburn since my first impression of If the Ocean Gets Rough was reminiscent of a young Cockburn. He has a deep compelling voice and writes lyrics that connect to your soul. Check out the video link to "We can be Strong" in which a man checking himself out of a mental institution declares "in the end they couldn't sell me grace." This is certainly a realization many people in our culture have discovered as they have tried many ways to acquire grace and failed. Indeed many of the characters on this album seem to be navigating rough waters.

Mason is a Martha's Vineyard resident. While he is a great young songwriter, he is more than just a folky troubador with a six string. He is influenced by a variety of traditional Americana music styles and crafts catchy melodies that make his songs grab hold. At 22 years old I have a feeling we will be hearing his melodies for a long time to come.

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