Matt Mason ready to be a 'Nashville Star' 

Show Preview

Joe O'Gara
Show Preview Joe O’Gara Matt Mason Matt Mason Thursday, April 20, 8 p.m. Triton Central High School in Fairland Tickets/info: Triton Central High School, Middle School and Elementary School, as well as Three Sisters Books & Gifts, 7 Public Square, Shelbyville, and at www.mattmasonmusic.com There are hundreds (if not thousands) of aspiring musicians and songwriters who move to Nashville, Tenn., with the hope that the right person (i.e., record label exec) will step through the right door (the club the artist is playing in) at the right time, and make them the music business’ “next big thing.” For Matt Mason, making such a move from his hometown of Fairland, Ind., at the age of 19 was a gamble that he was willing to take. “I was a little bit scared at first,” Mason admitted during a recent conversation. “But I did it so I could do what I really want to do, to play and write music.” And now, one year later, Mason has taken another step in making his lifelong dream come true. These days, Mason is getting a lot of exposure, thanks to his being one of the contestants on Nashville Star, a country music version of American Idol broadcast on the USA Network. As of this writing, Mason was one of five contestants left in this year’s competition. Mason believes that his being a musician who plays “traditional” country music should help him continue to win over the judges and the audience. Whether he performs covers of classic country songs, like Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues,” or an original, “Maybe I’m Talking Foolish,” Mason has received nothing but praise from the show’s judges, Anastasia Brown, Phil Vassar and the various celebrities who have taken part this season. Every week, members of Mason’s family make the trip from Indiana to Nashville, to cheer him on. And he has a lot of support back in Fairland. “My family and friends are so happy about it [Nashville Star]. They can’t believe that someone from a town that small has made it this far!” Shortly after his move to Music City, Mason earned a gig at the World Famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge in downtown Nashville. It’s one of several places that Mason and his band (Rodney Griffin on lead guitar, bassist Ger Hoffman, Scott Powell on keyboards and his drummer Bob) hone their musical talents before they begin to search for a record label deal. “We’re trying to get our stage presence down, and get some more experience before we start shopping any demos to the record labels. I have discovered that this is a very demanding business that involves a lot of luck, a lot of politics and a little bit of talent.”

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