Monday, June 18
Willy Mason is the textbook definition of today’s young, American folk artist. Clad in a Louisiana T-shirt and sporting an unkempt mop of hair, he evoked the carefree, artistic style of an early Bob Dylan Monday at LUNA Music in Broad Ripple.
Mason began playing with local bands in his Massachusetts high school, and has since toured with such established acts as Radiohead and Death Cab for Cutie. Exploring the depths of life, love, friendship and war, he has the sort of deep, quiet voice that easily commands the attention of an entire room, creating a warm environment that resembles a gathering amongst close friends.
Leaning into his microphone at LUNA, Mason strummed his guitar and relayed poetic stories of his life. He paused to explain the origins of the first song he ever wrote; bored in Saturday school, Mason began writing lyrics on a sheet of paper that later became a simple, beautiful song.
He also played several new songs from his 2007 release, “If the Ocean Gets Rough.” Mason later stopped to ask for requests, to which “Hard Hand to Hold” and “Oxygen,” both from his previous album, “Where the Humans Eat,” were called out.
He played the songs beautifully before realizing he was late for a plane flight. As he packed his equipment, he thanked his audience in an incredibly humble manner and even paused for a few quick pictures before rushing out.
That warm, summer evening, Willy Mason proved the strength of music; even the simplest of songs can convey the deepest of human emotions and induce powerful feelings of comfort and assurance in listeners.