Take a look behind the scenes and watch The Making of Good Luck Charm, available now on New West Records.
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The Making of Good Luck Charm
NEW RECORD, GOOD LUCK CHARM, OUT TODAY!!!
New York Times
The Mastersons album, Good Luck Charm is streaming on the New York Times website. Check it out.
NEW ALBUM, GOOD LUCK CHARM, AVAILABLE JULY 8TH
Hey folks -
Thanks to all of you that have already pre-ordered a copy of the new record! We wanted to inform you of a slight change of plans here at Mastersons HQ. The release date for Good Luck Charm has been moved to July 8th due to a manufacturing error. We will have advance copies available starting June 10th at our shows.
Check out our tour schedule and pick up your copy early.
Sorry for any inconvenience. We hope to see your faces at a show near you soon!
THE MASTERSONS READY SOPHOMORE LP, GOOD LUCK CHARM, PRODUCED BY JIM SCOTT, ANNOUNCES TOUR WITH JUSTIN CURRIE AND STEVE EARLE
LOS ANGELES, CA, April 9, 2014 – Filled with irresistible melodies, buoyant harmonies and stellar songwriting, The Mastersons’ sophomore LP, Good Luck Charm, due June 17 on New West Records, embodies the singular spark husband and wife duo Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore have developed in their experiences living, touring and making music together. The title track, which is premiering over at Paste today, was inspired by Senator Wendy Davis’ historic filibuster in the band’s hometown of Austin last summer. “This isn’t meant to be a political album, but there are definitely some tracks that touch on that,” Eleanor says. “But it’s meant to be galvanizing, not polarizing. In the current political climate, people are frustrated and feel like they don’t have a voice, but I know from experience that if people organize and speak up, they can make a difference. That’s what that song’s about.”
Their second record together, yet in many ways their first full-on collaboration, all of Good Luck Charm’s songs were co-written by the couple, giving the material added depth and a powerful collective lyrical identity matched by their expressive harmonies. Recorded in Southern California with noted producer/engineer Jim Scott, whose resume includes work with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Wilco and Dixie Chicks, it’s evident from the first note that the California sunshine seeped into the album as it’s both more upbeat and positive than their critically lauded 2012 debut LP, Birds Fly South. From the effervescent pop-rock opener, “Good Luck Charm” to the country-fried “Closer To You,” to the gentle romance of “I Found You” and the soaring “Cautionary Tale,” this new collection raises the stakes with 11 emotionally precise new songs that are firmly rooted in sometimes-harsh reality, yet which radiate hope and optimism.
“Playing a few hundred shows has really solidified us as a band and focused our vision for the new record,” Chris says. “Every song is crafted for the two of us. When we made Birds Fly South, it just seamed like a good idea to do a record. Now we know it is.”
While Chris (vocals/guitar) and Eleanor (vocals/fiddle) are seasoned songwriters and virtuosic multi- instrumentalists in their own right, they have also become integral members of Steve Earle’s band The Dukes. They were featured on Earle’s 2013 album, The Low Highway, and have played hundreds of shows with him since meeting in 2006. In fact, most of Good Luck Charm was written while on tour with Earle, stealing whatever time they could to work on the songs. Of the duo, Earle proclaims: “Chris is the best guitar player that’s ever been in this band and Eleanor’s a better musician than any of us.”
Denton, TX-born Eleanor and Houston-bred Chris have both been making music for most of their lives. The daughter of an opera-singer mother and a folk singer/airline pilot father, Eleanor began playing fiddle at the age of four and studied with legendary Texas fiddler Johnny Gimble, and she and her sister Bonnie (a respected singer/songwriter in her own right) played in the family band. Chris, meanwhile, was a teen guitar prodigy, playing the blues in Houston clubs by the age of 13. Both future partners had considerable success as instrumentalists-for-hire, with Eleanor backing the likes of Regina Spektor, Kelly Willis, Diana Ross and Will Hoge, and Chris playing with Son Volt, Jack Ingram, Bobby Bare Jr. and Wayne Hancock. After meeting at a festival in Colorado in 2005, each released a solo project — Eleanor’s Airplanes and Chris’ The Late Great Chris Masterson — but eventually found more satisfaction in writing, performing and recording together.
The Mastersons are currently in Australia for a tour with Steve Earle as both part of his band and as the opening act. Upon their return home, they will join up with Justin Currie of Del Amitri for a run of shows that will take them across the U.S. with stops in Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, Dallas and Austin. With a successful SXSW and dates with Los Lobos under their belts, the year is already off to an
For Immediate Release
exciting start for the duo. With the release of their confident and compelling Good Luck Charm, as the Austin-American Statesman exclaimed, they’re “poised to be one of Austin’s breakout acts in 2014.”
SXSW 2014 APPEARANCES…
Hey friends, it’s that time of year again. When everyone converges on Austin to eat tacos, drink beer and hopefully listen to some good music. We wanted to let you know where we’ll be playing and hanging out during the festivities. Please come and say hi. (Please note, some of the events require that you RSVP. We’re assuming that you all have smartphones and can figure this out). See you soon.
6pm – Barrelled II (invite only)
3:00pm KDRP @ El Mercado (duo)
2:30p – New West records day party @ Threadgills (band)
4:30p – KDHX Twangfest @ Broken Spoke – (duo)
6:30p – Rachael Ray’s Feedback House (duo)
10:00p – New West/Normaltown official showcase @ Velveeta Room (band)
5:45p – “Freebirds! Stage @ St. Vinnies” @ St. Vincent de Paul Thrift store (band)
1:30p – Folk Alliance @ Threadgills (duo)
6:30p – Alejandro Escovedo hosts Maria’s Taco Xpress – (band)
5:30p – Continental Club w/ Alejandro Escovedo – (band)
8pm – Continental Gallery @ Jon Dee & friends – (duo)
Good Luck Charm (2014)
- Good Luck Charm
- Closer To You
- If I Wanted To
- It's Not Like Me
- Anywhere But Here
- I Found You
- Easy By Your Side
- Cautionary Tale
- Nobody Knows
- Time Is Tender
Already recognized for their critically-lauded 2012 debut album Birds Fly South, Austin, TX-based husband-wife duo The Mastersons are now “poised to be one of Austin’s breakout acts in 2014…” (Austin American Statesman). While they are seasoned songwriters and virtuosic multi-instrumentalists in their own right, they have also become integral members of Steve Earle’s band The Dukes, having been featured on Earle’s The Low Highway and playing hundreds of shows with Earle for the better part of 3 years.During a break between tours, the duo recorded their sophomore album Good Luck Charm with noted producer/engineer Jim Scott (Tom Petty, Wilco, The Dixie Chicks). The new collection raises the stakes with 11 emotionally precise songs that are firmly rooted in sometimes-harsh reality, yet which radiate faith and optimism. While Good Luck Charm is their second album together, in many ways it’s their first full-on collaboration. All of the songs were co-written by Chris and Eleanor, giving the material added depth as well as a powerful collective lyrical identity that’s matched by their expressive harmonies.
Birds Fly South
- You Don't Know
- Crash Test
- The Other Shoe
- Tell Me It's Alright
- Would It Really Be A Sin?
- One Word More
- No Dancing
- Birds Fly South
The Mastersons are Brooklyn based husband-wife band who make “music that fuses indie pop and folk music with big, sweet melodies…” (Houston Chronicle.) Eleanor Whitmore and Chris Masterson spent most of the last year on tour with Steve Earle as an integral part of his band The Dukes and Duchesses. Each night, Earle stepped aside mid-set and let the Mastersons play. The young couple took the opportunity to introduce audiences to songs from their debut record Birds Fly South, which will be available from New West Records on April 10. The Mastersons worked with Grammy® Award Winning Engineer Steve Christensen to record their rootsy, melodic, twangy, pop songs. Chris and Eleanor showcase their musical talents playing most of the instruments on the record themselves. They both play electric and acoustic guitar, mandolin, and high strung guitar with Chris also playing 12-string and resonator guitars while Eleanor also adds tenor guitars, violin, and baritone violin.
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"The first thing people usually ask us is 'What's it like as a husband and wife playing music together?,'" says Chris Masterson. "We always say that the lows are low, but the highs are really high."
There are plenty of highs on Good Luck Charm, the second album by The Mastersons, the collaboration that Chris shares with his marital and musical partner Eleanor Whitmore. Generously filled with infectious melodies, instinctive harmonies and vividly insightful lyrics, Good Luck Charm embodies the uncanny rapport that singer- guitarist Chris and singer-violinist-guitarist Eleanor have developed in their experiences living, touring and making music together.
The Austin, TX-based duo's lilting songcraft and charismatic chemistry have already won over listeners around the world, thanks to the couples ongoing status as members of Steve Earle's band The Dukes, their frequent opening sets for Earle, and their critically-lauded 2012 debut album, Birds Fly South.
Although Good Luck Charm is the Mastersons' second album, in many ways it's their first full-on collaboration. Whereas Birds Fly South consisted largely of songs that they'd composed individually, all of Good Luck Charm's material was co-written by Chris and Eleanor, giving the material added depth as well as a powerful collective lyrical identity that's matched by their expressive harmonies.
"This is a more purpose-driven record," Eleanor states. "The first record was kind of his/hers, but this one is entirely ours."
"Playing a few hundred shows has really solidified us as a band and focused our vision for the new record," Chris observes. "Every song is crafted for the two of us. When we made Birds Fly South, it just seamed like a good idea to do a record. Now we know it is."
Good Luck Charm – recorded with noted producer/engineer Jim Scott, whose resume includes work with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Wilco and the Dixie Chicks – raises the stakes with 11 emotionally precise new songs that are firmly rooted in sometimes-harsh reality, yet which radiate with hope and optimism.
"It's cautiously optimistic," Eleanor says of the twosome's new material, adding, "I think we tried to steer the songs in a direction that was a little more positive and a little more upbeat. Our last record had a lot of broken-character songs, but I think that this one reflects the place we're in now."
Good Luck Charm's title track, for example, is an uplifting ode to human connection that was originally inspired by the pairs visit to the Texas state capitol during Sen. Wendy Davis' pro-choice filibuster in June 2013.
"It was really striking," Chris recalls, "how many people we saw there – friends, family, all kinds of people from our community. It was so powerful to be around a bunch of people trying to speak up for what they believe in."
"This isn't meant to be a political album, but there are definitely some tracks that touch on that," Eleanor asserts. "But it's meant to be galvanizing, not polarizing. In the current political climate, people are frustrated and feel like they don't have a voice, but I know from experience that if people organize and speak up, they can make a difference. That's what that song's about."
Elsewhere on Good Luck Charm, "Uniform," "Anywhere But Here" and "Cautionary Tale" offer a sublime blend of unflinching honesty and heartfelt positivity, while the heart-tugging "I Found You" and "Easy by Your Side" poignantly celebrate enduring romance with sensitivity and humor.
"'Cautionary Tale' took us a couple of years to write, and it's one that a lot of people seem to be responding to," Eleanor offers. "It's a cautionary tale for the digital age, where people are trying to numb themselves from their jobs or their struggles. There's a lot of loneliness out there, but it's important to connect with people. That's a theme that comes up a lot in these songs."
Denton, TX-born Eleanor and Houston-bred Chris have both been making music for most of their lives. Eleanor, the daughter of an opera-singer mother and a folk singer/airline pilot father, began playing fiddle at the age of four and studied with legendary Texas fiddler Johnny Gimble, and she and her sister Bonnie (now a respected singer- songwriter in her own right) played in the family band. Chris, meanwhile, was a teen guitar prodigy, playing the blues in Houston clubs by the age of 13.
Both future partners had considerable success as instrumentalists-for-hire, with Eleanor backing the likes of Regina Spektor, Kelly Willis, Diana Ross and Will Hoge, and Chris playing with Son Volt, Jack Ingram, Bobby Bare Jr. and Wayne Hancock. After meeting at a festival in Colorado in 2005, each released a solo project – Eleanor's Airplanes and Chris' The Late Great Chris Masterson – but eventually found more satisfaction in writing, performing and recording together. After a five-year stint living in Brooklyn, they realized that there was little point paying to live in New York when they were spending most of their time on tour, and relocated to the more hospitable environs of Austin. By then, they were already touring and recording with Steve Earle, performing together on numerous Earle tours and playing on his acclaimed album The Low Highway.
"Playing with Steve has been great for us," Eleanor says. "For one thing, he's an amazing songwriter, so that kind of holds us to a certain standard. He's also a great storyteller, and that's taught us a lot about relating to an audience. One thing we've learned in touring with Steve is that people remember the stories that you tell as much as the songs you sing. If you make them laugh or make them cry, they take that home with them as much as they would a song.”
"You learn something different from every artist you work with," Chris adds, "whether it's how they handle the crowd or how they write songs or how they handle rehearsing or recording. We've accumulated all of this experience in our time working with other artists and I'm grateful for it."
While Chris and Eleanor have learned a lot from Steve Earle, they themselves are an integral part of his band. "Chris is the best guitar player that's ever been in this band and Eleanor's a better musician than any of us,” exclaims Earle.
Chris and Eleanor wrote most of Good Luck Charm while on tour with Earle, stealing whatever time they could to work on the songs. "We spent a lot of time hiding out in dressing rooms with our guitars,” Chris notes. "On our days off, we didn't go out or do anything fun; we were just holed up in hotel rooms writing these tunes."
"It was a challenge," Eleanor adds, "but having a deadline lit a fire under us, and I think that some of that urgency is reflected in the songs."
By then, they'd found a sympathetic ear in producer Jim Scott, whose clear, unfussed production spotlights the strengths of Good Luck Charm's songs and the honesty of the Mastersons' performances. "Jim was high on our list of dream producers," Eleanor states, "so when he said he was interested in working with us, we packed up the van and the dog and drove out to California, and recorded and mixed the record with Jim in 15 days. It was a tall order, but he made it easy."
"We've always loved the way Jim's records sound," Chris adds. "They always sound organic, without a lot of trickery or bells and whistles. After working with him, I can say that his records come out sounding as good as they do as the cumulative effect of a series of good decisions. He has a real ability to get the best out of every performance, and he got it to sound good without us ever having to spend four hours playing ping-pong while he got a snare sound."
Jim Scott stated, “Chris and Eleanor might be the hardest working husband and wife team in the business. They had a great spirit in the studio, pushing themselves and each other to greatness in every phase of the recording process. From the songwriting to the live performances, they are true professionals that bring joy to music."
With Good Luck Charm under their belt, The Mastersons plan to promote it in the best way they know how: by getting in front of people and singing and playing together.
"At some point, we got to a place where it felt like the shows we were playing had really started to connect with people on an emotional level," Chris observes, adding, "I think all the success we've had out on the road comes through on Good Luck Charm.”
"We're really lucky," he concludes. "We get to get out of bed every day and write a song or go play a show together, which is pretty much all that we've ever wanted out of life."