“When you build the songs from the drums up, it’s hard to perform them without the drums,” explains Joe D’Amico, singer and mandolin player of Mason Porter.
He should know. Not only has his folk / bluegrass outfit Mason Porter dabbled in different degrees of musical arrangement in the past, D’Amico himself has released solo records that were lush, expansive and kind of psychedelic – like last year’s A Short Time’s a Long Time.
“I spent a long time working on that last solo record,” he says. “Major amounts of time arranging the songs and recording them.”
Which goes a long way toward explaining the close, intimate and somewhat scaled down vibe of Mason Porter’s latest record, Home For the Harvest, which we’ve explored all week on Unlocked. Fleshed-out rockers like “Fill My Cup” notwithstanding, the record sounds like the trio of players, even when there are drums and other instruments present. The band says this was a very conscious decision.
“There is a tendency when you’re have different players coming in and out of a lineup where you end up shaping the band around who’s playing with you,” D’Amico says. “So more for this record, and the time period during which it was recorded, that year, we weren’t inviting people to play with us very often. We said ‘let’s get our own space here.’”
Bassist Tim Celfo and guitarist Paul Wilkinson nod in agreement. “Other musicians should add,” Celfo says. “But we don’t want to feel a big loss when they’re not there.” Continue reading →