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Willy Mason: Socially Conscious Folk, Urgent Rock

Willy Mason.
Willy Mason.

Mixing socially conscious folk with urgent rock, Massachusetts-based singer-songwriter Willy Mason crafts emotional, compelling songs on his new CD If the Ocean Gets Rough. The son of two folksingers, Mason got his big break when Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst signed him to his Team Love label and released 2004's Where the Humans Eat. Critically praised for its maturity and depth — Mason was 19 when it was released — the album was a success in the U.S. and Europe. A grueling touring schedule gradually paid off, eventually culminating in a well-publicized performance at the U.K.'s legendary Glastonbury Festival.

If the Ocean Gets Rough is clearly the work of an artist adjusting to his newfound adulthood. Equal parts pop, rock, folk and blues, the record reflects a deep fondness for classic Americana. Still, Mason isn't constrained by formula, incorporating enough modern elements to keep the material fresh and frequently beautiful.

Copyright 2007 XPN

David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe® since 1991. World Cafe is produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.
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