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"What is this
Evergreens are dying
Are they even trying?
What is this
All the money’s dying.”
When Willy Mason released his critically acclaimed, fully formed debut album, Where The Humans Eat, at the age of just nineteen, he was labeled the “new Bob Dylan” because of his gravelly voice and rustic, ramshackle sound, which was also influenced by the likes of Johnny Cash and Woody Guthrie. Willy Mason’s second album, 2007’s If The Ocean Gets Rough, didn’t quite live up to the high expectations set by his credible debut; while still a solid release, there was just something a little too slick and slightly bland about it.
Carry On, released in 2012, was a return to the rootsy authenticity of Where The Humans Eat and is an interesting and appealing blend of acoustic instruments, electronic/programmed percussion and drum boxes. What Is This appears to be a fairly dark and gloomy rumination on the ever-changing times, the state of the world, its moral and cultural values, the recession, the world’s financial future ("What is this / Evergreens are dying / Are they even trying? / What is this / All the money’s dying”). Pickup Truck bounces along merrily, albeit with mixed feelings, hoping for the best but fearing the worst (“She’s got a pickup truck / Sleeps in the back when she gets stuck / She’s looking for a home / A place in her heart where she can go”).
Talk Me Down is based on a Dub-esque/Reggae-inspired, syncopated beat, I Got Gold features a Johnny Cash/Tennessee Three ”boom-chicka-boom” signature sound, and the dignified, stoic Folk ballad Shadows In The Dark insists on maintaining hope in the face of adversity (“A feather in the wind / You told me that’s what you’ve been / I can only hope the weather treats you like a friend”). Carry On confirmed anew Mason’s status as one of the truly great modern-day troubadours (alongside Ray LaMontagne, David Gray, Ryan Adams, and Jason Isbell).