EP Review | Self Release | Review by Marc Higgins | Stars: 5/5
Feathered Mason is a singer guitar player and award winning songwriter, by his own admission, out of time, born a couple of decades late in rural Illinois. With a rhythmic rumbling guitar and a cadence to his voice “Skeleton Song” recalls Kelly Jo Phelps and maybe a little of Seasick Steve. Either way it is a great opener, you can hear the room around the guitar and his vocal is compelling. “Mausoleum” is softer Country Blues, Mason’s vocal is laid back smooth with a great Kurt Wagner falsetto and Springsteen yelp over Jon Rauhouse’s pedal steel. Superb groove, real grower of a song. “Sisterworld” is a rail riding, resonator guitar showcase with some inventive percussion suggesting Feathered Mason is not simply the classic blues nostalgia musician he feels. Again a superb groove track with some fine guitar, a great vocal and electronic sounding acoustic beats, like a rural barn dwelling Daniel Lanois. “Get Right” has a Bluegrass meets Muscle Shoals feel with a freewheeling guitar and vocal linked in spirit to those early Ry Cooder albums. Superb violin ‘solo’ from Claire Wellin too, raw edgy and exciting, like the track. “Loose Shoes” is another languid country track with lovely guitar and soulful vocals nodding to The Rolling Stones’, “Sympathy For The Devil.” At the risk of coming over all Oz Clark or Jilly Goolden, you can hear a lot of flavours and references in “Loose Shoes.” I love a spoken blues and Feathered Mason does it well, story telling like Jim White or Shawn Mullins’ “Lullaby” and chorusing like Robbie Robertson’s “Somewhere Down The Crazy River”, understated soulful and utterly compelling. This is a excellent EP, occasionally tipping into essential, that makes you want a whole album from Feathered Mason.