A native of Blacksburg, Virginia, Lemasters, 24, came to Marion, Ind. to attend Indiana Wesleyan University and decided to stay past his 2007 graduation. Currently the director of music and multimedia at Needham Storey Wampner Funeral Homes in Swayzee, Ind., Lemasters lives and writes where he works: in the funeral home, in a room adjacent to the chapel.
Despite the woebegone surroundings, his music bears resemblance to mainstream acoustic crooners like Jack Johnson or Jason Mrzar, though with a bit of a twang.
After a long hiatus from songwriting, Lemasters set out to record and release one song a week via the web. Over the past two months, Lemasters has recorded seven songs that are available for free to subscribers to his Web site.
Why the one song a week campaign? "A lot of people think you have creativity and passion that make you disciplined," Lemasters explains, "but I think that my discipline brought out my passion and creativity."
His songs, he said, take hours to write, others days; some beginning with a melody, others with a mental image. "Folded Pages," the song Lemasters is currently working on, took life when Lemasters began to reflect on the significance of a folded page in a book. The content on those pages - one's own "back pages," to borrow a Dylan title - might remind listeners of important moments in their own life.
Lemasters returns to the theme of home and heart most often in his work, in "Green Bridges," a song about a drive home and the feelings he feels as he draws closer to home, and "Ardmore Street," which tells of childhood innocence in a lullaby-like tempo. Maybe Lemasters is drawn to take about home life because he lays his head the same place he lays his tracks. Recording at home has its benefits.
"After work I can go and record," Lemasters said, "but if I want to take a break or watch TV, my couch is just a few feet away."