Willy Mason's critically acclaimed new album Carry On is out now on Communion Records. American Songwriter said,"Mason's voice is gorgeous, his lyrics evocative and his arrangements adventurous - it's a complete package that is as airtight as it is simple, as gorgeous as it rugged, the sort of record that burrows deep into your brain and doesn't let go." Willy Mason is currently on the road in support of Carry On. The fall tour includes performances with Mumford & Sons' at The Gentleman Of The Road Stopover Shows and dates supporting Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. Additionally, Willy Mason just added fall tour dates with Laura Marling. All shows are listed bellow.
Baeble Music just premiered a behind-the-scenes trailer for Carry On. The video features commentary from Zane Lowe (BBC Radio One) and producer Dan Carey (MIA, Hot Chip, Franz Ferdindand). Baeble said, "Willy Mason has stolen our attention with his unique sound and its wholehearted purity. His smoky voice sings with a booming sincerity like nothing we've heard since Nebraska-era Springsteen."
Carry On, produced by Dan Carey (MIA, Hot Chip, Franz Ferdinand), is Mason's debut full-length album for Communion Records, the influential UK based record label co-founded by Ben Lovett (Mumford & Sons). The label has been home to notable artists Ben Howard, Michael Kiwanuka, Gotye, Daughter and more. Communion's love and respect for Willy was cemented through Lovett touring with Mason - seeing the new songs take shape and evolve live. Lovett says:
"Willy Mason is one of the greatest Songwriters of our generation. In the UK his music is held up with the legends, and has inspired many people I know. Moving to the US this year and establishing Communion further in North America, I have been stunned by how little familiarity there is with Willy's music, I am stunned by how few people have been touched by his songs. And this emotion, one of injustice, is exactly why I started Communion with my friends and partners in the UK in the first place...Willy Mason sings songs to your soul, and it feels good."
Willy was just 19 when he was discovered by an associate of Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), which led to the release of his debut album, Where the Humans Eat on Oberst's Team Love record label. It was a record that showed us a young man with a tremendous, broad-oaked voice, a great songwriting talent, and a peculiar wisdom beyond his years. In 2007, he returned with If The Ocean Gets Rough, an album that only underlined his ability to capture the spirit of a time, a place, and a generation. Mason earned massive critical commercial in the UK, selling 150k records and performing to thousands as a headline artist.
In the years that followed, Mason kept himself busy: writing songs of course, but also playing in friends' bands, promoting shows, teaching music classes, as well as a little shell-fishing, and hosting a radio talk show called 'The Fish & Farm Report'. "The diversity and the range of experiences gave me a chance to learn a lot more about music." Mason says. "I got to further my musicianship. I came to see playing shows and entertainment as a fundamental part of society, and I'm just playing my role." Willy was also featured in the video for "No Room For Doubt" (approaching one million views on Youtube), a collaboration between he and breakout artist, Liana LaHavas, which helped launch her career in the UK.
All the while, Mason was accumulating a clutch of new songs that would make up Carry On. On his relationship with Carey, Mason states: "Dan was a musical collaborator, and so he had a big influence on the sound," Mason says "He was able to make the beats sound so human, and so it felt like the tracks were laid and I could kind of let go a bit more."
Letting go is perhaps the greatest theme of Carry On. It's present in the rhythms - hints of dub and reggae infusing Mason's characteristic folk structures, and in his voice as well , which swings from gravel-deep to something higher, flightier and more fragile. And of course, it's also packed tight in these songs' lyrics; songs about self-doubt, about love and lost connections, the death of a friend, and a broader, bolder sense of the changing world around us. There is a hope rising anew. Mason says, "I think the album itself is about growing up and trying to find one's place," Mason says, "about making peace with the past, accepting it as part of one's identity and moving forward."
Willy Mason Tour Dates
09.10 - Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live+
09.12 - Saint Petersburg, FL @ Jannus Live+
09.13 - St. Augustine, FL @ St. Augustine Francis Field*
09.19 - Nashville, TN @ Americana Music Conference
10.01 - New York, NY @ Rockwood Music Hall %
10.02 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda's %
10.03 - Washington, DC @ Black Cat %
10.08 - Bloomington, IN @ Bluebird %
10.09 - Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar %
10.10 - Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge %
10.15 - Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater %
10.16 - Madison, WI @ Frequency %
10.17 - Rock Island, IL @ Daytrotter Barn %
10.21 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Cathedral Sanctuary at Immanuel Presbyterian +
10.22 - San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall +
10.24 - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge +
10.28 - Boulder, CO @ eTown Hall +
11.03 - Marfa, TX @ Highland Annex +
11.07 - Dallas, TX @ The Kessler +
11.09 - New Orleans, LA @ Civic Theater +
11.11 - Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works +
11.14 - Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West +
11.16 - Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre +
# with Mumford & Sons
* with Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
% Communion Club Night Tour
+ with Laura Marling