Originally from Martha's Vineyard, New England singer-songwriter Willy Mason has enjoyed much of his success in Europe, where albums such as 2004's Where the Humans Eat and 2007's If the Ocean Gets Rough were met with wide acclaim.
After a six-year hiatus, Mason put out his third album, Carry On, in the U.K. last year; a U.S. release recently followed. This session marks the first time he's performed with a band at the WXPN studio.
Why would someone write a sentimental ballad about a bathroom? For the same reason someone would write a rousing song about tractors: So the song could be used in what's called an industrial musical.
These musicals were like Broadway shows, but they were written and performed for corporate sales meetings and conventions from the 1950s to the 1980s. The lyrics were all about the products being sold and how to sell them. Some of them were lavish and costly, even though they'd be performed only once.
Singer-songwriter Matraca Berg appears on this episode of Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, Minn. As one of Nashville's most respected and sought-after songwriters, Berg has seen her songs recorded by the likes of Linda Ronstadt, Reba McEntire, Emmylou Harris and Martina McBride.
Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 1:39 pm
The American Primitive guitar record is the soundtrack to the open road. It breathes in dust and exhales smoke. Blues, country, rock, psych, drone, folk, ragtime, bluegrass — it encompasses all of them and none at all. But ultimately, it's evocative of a landscape that doesn't know its boundaries. That's why, in particular, 2013 has felt like a 6- and 12-string renaissance that both celebrates and extends this music, especially since the passing of the beloved Jack Rose four years ago.