We’re delighted to welcome Willy Mason and his band to Ramsgate for a special Summer show on July 25th! Already a master of folk-rock, with comparisons made to both Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash – with a hint of punk cynicism thrown in.
Mason is championed by Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes and has toured with the likes of Laura Marling and Elbow…
“A dazzling return from folk rock’s mystery man” – NME
Willy Mason is touring Europe at breakneck speed with a three piece band tighter than the margins on this winters’ grocery lists. You’ve heard him before but not like this, sharper and smoother at the same time. Touring his energetic and wryly hopeful 2021 manifesto Already Dead, with sets seasoned by reinterpreted classics from across the expanse of his career.
Nobody could believe wry singer/songwriter Willy Mason was only 19 when he appeared on the indie scene. Born and raised on Martha’s Vineyard, Mason grew up with his parents’ love of folk music. He loved it, too, but his teen years brought Nirvana and Rage Against the Machine into his life. Mason found their political and social messages much easier to identify with and soon combined folk’s softer and looser delivery with the revolutionary attitude of his new heroes. Writing came easy now and the teenager had plenty of self-penned material ready when a family friend asked him to appear on his local radio show.
As luck would have it, Sean Foley — an associate of Conor Oberst and his band, Bright Eyes — was driving through Cape Cod as Mason was on the air. Foley was captivated by Mason’s song ‘Oxygen’ and left his phone number at the radio station, setting off a chain of events that would have Oberst and Mason hanging out, doing gigs together, and touring America. With only three people in the audience, a gig at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas seemed a disaster until one of the three introduced himself as BBC DJ Zane Lowe. Lowe was also captivated by ‘Oxygen’ and added it to his playlist when it appeared on Mason’s debut, Where the Humans Eat, released by Team Love in 2004. Critics were positive about the album and unanimously shocked that the literate writer and performer of these songs was only 19.
“Both pensive and romantic, a work filled with vividly poetic snapshots” – UNCUT
“With the lazy weariness of Tom Waits and the inflection of John Lennon, Mason makes every line he sings something worth listening to, something worth remembering” – All Music
“…so many reasons why Willy Mason is restoring our love for life” – Narc