Willy Mason arrived on stage to in Whelans a little after half nine to a huge cheer from the crowd! I had forgotten how much people like him. It surprised me last time I’d seen him in the Button Factory a few years ago also.
I guess what he does is not vastly different from the Tallest Man on Earth or Josh Ritter, both of whom are playing much bigger stages than Whelans in Dublin in the coming months (Iveagh Gardens). Dublin seems to love its folk rock, and Willy is very good at what he does.
The first few tracks were from his ‘Where the humans eat’ album, and the crowd sang along with every word. Willy has as relaxed a stage presence as you could imagine, and the full gig has the feeling that he is among friends!
After playing the first couple of tracks solo, he invites on various other musicians, to fill the sound out. Violin, slide guitar and banjo along with backing vocals are used to vary the mood.
His new album ‘Carry On’ was released towards the end of last year, and slipped under the radar in most quarters, but it sounds great live and is another impressive release from the man from New York.
Stand out tracks on the night include ‘We can be Strong’, ‘Pick up truck’ and of course the big sing along track ‘Oxygen’.
“On and on, and on, and on it goes
The world it just keeps spinning
Until i’m dizzy, time to breathe
So close my eyes and start again anew.”
A short set in Whelans, as he finished just after half ten, but a lovely night of music!
Support on the night was from ‘The Mariner’s Children‘ who are well worth checking out. They performed as a three-piece on the night, but can contain up to seven members! Two of the three members turned up with Willy later on stage.