Andy Mason
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Andy Mason

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The fact that salsa and bossa nova tunes sit attractively next to New Orleans flavored romps, finely chilled pop and percussive, keyboard-driven reflections on Andy Mason's new album, Illumination, shouldn't come as a huge surprise. For more than a decade, Mason has been one Lexington's most visible, active and stylistically diverse musicians.
As far back as the mid -'90s, he was part of the local power pop trio The Blueberries. As the decade turned, Mason could be found on the airwaves, spinning everything from The Band to Sly and the Family Stone on the now defunct WRVG-FM. Today, Mason remains a club regular thanks to frequent performances with the salsa stylists of The Big Maracas and the more vintage jazz leanings of The Swells. As a result, Illumination covers a generous amount of stylistic turf...
-Walter Tunis, Herald-Leader 1/11/08 - Walter Tunis

"...With Illumination, Mason finally steps up front to showcase his gifts as a pianist, vocalist, and arranger..." -

"...The band was at its best, however, when the mike was turned over to Andy Mason, who, unlike his bandmates, stuck to just one instrument (acoustic guitar) but more than made up for it with a richly melodic voice that made "Cincinatti" and "Feel so Strong" the standouts of the set..."
-Peter Blackstock, editor - No Depression, Nov/Dec. 1996 issue - Peter Blackstock

"...Mason has an unfailing knack for crafting memorable hooks, and the sounds he comes up with are sweet and harmonious. Like an authentic modern pop voice, Mason writes as a blunt provocateur with ambitions galore. His style is relaxed and convincing, evoking the moody guitar pop of Elvis Costello and the elegantly restrained rebellion of the the Kinks..."
Chris Webb, Ace Magazine (review of local release circa 2001) - Chris Webb


Illumination (2008)



Snapshot - circa late '96 - Andy Mason is opening a national tour for Michelle Shocked as guitarist and vocalist, taking a break from his usual role of the day as a rock and roll drummer. His band includes a former member of Wilco (Max Johnston, currently of the Gourds), and they land a review in the national magazine No Depression, despite having no releases, and popping in and out of existence in a matter of months.
Zoom forward a dozen years, and Andy has led a successful career as both a DJ and a cocktail pianist, the latter seemingly worlds away from the rock and roll and Americana of his youth. This would be oversimplifying, however. The unlikely trajectory of Andy's musical career is not just a reflection of his multi-faceted talent, but of his taste for variety as well.
This variety is quite obvious on his early 2008 release 'Illumination', as much a culmination of experiences as it is a point of departure. A variety of genres appear, all tied together by a thread of soulful pop. A strong jazz influence is obvious, with frequent nods in the direction of New Orleans, and more than one international reference. All this was achieved with the help of some very capable sidemen, most notably two core members of up-and-comers the Tallboys (of Ky). At the heart of it, though, is a songwriter steeped in variety, with a penchant for melodies that catch the ear.