Wednesday 24 October 2018

Willy Mason live at Coughlan's

Bill Browne

Acclaimed US singer/songwriter Willy Mason will play back-to-back gigs amid the intimate surroundings of Coughlan's Live on Cork Douglas Street on March 1&2.

Known for his powerful voice and deeply personal politically driven lyrics, Mason's sound has been likened to a mix of Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, interspersed with his own unique musical style and uncompromising attitude. 

Born and raised in Martha's vineyard, Mason first began making waves on the New England music scene at the age of 19, with audiences surprised to find that his deep and mature sounding voice could belong to someone so young. 

Raised on a diet of folk music, Mason was also heavily influenced by bands such as Nirvana and Rage Against the Machine. Finding their social and political messages easier to identify with, he managed to combine their brash delivery with the softer folk sound, creating his own distinctive style. 

His 2004 debut five-track 'G-May's Basement EP' contained the song 'Oxygen', which was picked up by Sean Foley, an associate of Conor Obesrt (Bright Eyes), which led to Mason and Oberst playing gigs together and touring the US. 

In another stroke of luck BBC DJ Zane Lowe happened to be at one of those gigs and added 'Oxegen' to his playlist, ensuring the song received airplay on both sides of the Atlantic. 

The song was also included on Mason's 2005 debut album 'Where the Humans Eat', with the LP and the tracks 'Oxegen' and So Long' enjoying chart success in the US and UK. 

Tours with Rosanne Cash, Beth Orton and Evan Dando served to further enhance his growing fanbase and influenced the Astralworks label to pick up his debut album. 

After the album was extended and reissued in 2006, Mason put together a backing band and embarked on tours in the US and across Europe, playing support to Radiohead, KT Tunstall and Sondre Lerche along the way.

 In 2007 Mason released his second album 'If the Ocean Gets Rough', following that up with two world tours before taking a break to recharge his batteries and write more new material. 

The release of his third album 'Carry On' in 2012 saw Mason return to the fold with a bang, playing sold-out tours solo of the UK and Australia and joining Mumford and Sons for their 2013 US 'Gentlemen of the Roads' festival tour. 

While he has not released any new solo material since, Mason continues to tour extensively thrilling audiences across the world with his unmistakeable voice and ability incorporate a wide range of styles into his live performances. 

Tickets for his two Cork gigs from priced at €16.50.