|7th May 2024
The Caves Edinburgh
8 - 12 Niddry Street South, Edinburgh Old Town EH1 1NS
£18.50 + bf
|Visit the event website here
Willy Mason (born November 21, 1984) is an American blues, folk and country singer, songwriter, and musician, hailing from Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, U.S.
Born in Tarrytown, New York, Willy Mason moved to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts with his family at the age of five. During his high school education Mason was a member of a number of bands including Keep Thinking, Cultivation and Slow Leslie, and participated in his school’s Minnesingers group and musical theatre productions. With the folk influences of his parent’s record collection and his teenage years’ proclivity towards Rage Against the Machine and Nirvana, Mason crafts a folky, socially-aware/revolution-in-the-air sound.
By sheer coincidence, during an appearance on a family friend’s local radio show, a Bright Eyes associate Sean Foley heard the singer-songwriter, and left his number with the station for Mason to contact. The song Mason played was entitled “Oxygen” and led to Mason and Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst collaborating and touring together. As chance would have it when Mason played “Oxygen” again to an audience of three at South By Southwest festival, one of those members was BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe. The DJ then played it to a British audience and exposed the singer’s often raw delivery and socially-conscious message to a huge audience.
Ahead of his full-length debut Mason released two EPs, one untitled and one named “Hard Hand to Hold”. The singer-songwriter’s debut album, “Where the Humans Eat”, recorded at just 19 years of age, was issued in 2005, and peaked at No. 38 on the UK Albums chart. Due to the success Mason played a host of UK and U.S. festivals including Glastonbury Festival, before taking time off to return home and form a backing band. After releasing the subsequent EPs “Hard to Lie Down” in 2005 and “Scraps” in 2006, Willy Mason toured in support of the respected acts Beth Orton, Death Cab for Cutie, Radiohead and Sondre Lerche.
Mason’s sophomore album arrived in 2007 entitled “If the Ocean Gets Rough” to positive reviews, and peaked at No. 33 on the UK Albums chart. After contributing lyrics to The Chemical Brothers’ “We Are the Night” album, and a song to “Radio Waves, Vol. 1” – a Martha’s Vineyard compilation album – Mason performed at the 2007 Austin City Limits festival. The stresses of being a touring musician began to take their toll and Mason appeared rarely until 2011 where he embarked on a small venue tour of the UK and recorded a session at Manchester’s The Sharp Project.
The critically acclaimed singer-songwriter’s third studio album “Carry On” was issued in 2012 on Fiction Records. It was produced by Dan Carey and was supported by a sold-out tour of the UK, as well as a tour of Australia alongside Mumford and Sons and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes.
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