Ray Mason

Idiot Wisdom

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Ray Mason is one of those rare artists who has mastered the art of real rock & roll, embracing all of rock's familiar yet disparate entities (blues, country, soul, roots, etc.) and still creating something exciting, quirky, and fun. Though he started releasing albums late in his career (the first Ray Mason Band album, Between Blue and Okay, was released in 1996), Mason has made up for lost time, releasing an average of one album per year since then, building his catalog up to album number eight, Idiot Wisdom. If you thought that Mason was going to mess with his winning formula, then you were sadly mistaken. Mason remains true to who he is and that's why he's still around. Then again, Mason plays the kind of music that can unite music fans of all kinds. For those not familiar with Mason and his combo, his sound is similar to an upbeat Neil Young fronting NRBQ with bits of Marshall Crenshaw tossed in for good measure. No, he does NOT break new ground, nor does he claim to. His music drips of honesty, warmth, and, best of all, sincerity. "Water Off a Duck" showcases Mason's love of melodic blues. "Ring-a-Ling," "Life Is Full of Missing," and "Slippery" are fun slabs of quirky pop. "When the Ceiling Shakes Hands With the Floor," "Convincingly Mad," and the title track are delicious Mason nuggets. Strangely enough, the only song that doesn't click on the first few listens is "Digging From the Same Dirt," which eventually begins to make more and more musical sense with each listen. In short, yet another recommended release by one of rock music's best-kept secrets!

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