Singer-songwriters/multi-instrumentalists The Mastersons are premiering the first single from their upcoming Red House album, NO TIME FOR LOVE SONGS, today with The Bluegrass Situation. When they’re not touring the world as valued longtime members of Steve Earle’s band the Dukes, the musical and marital twosome of Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore make inspired albums of their own emotionally vivid, deeply humanistic songs. The duo recorded the song, “Eyes Open Wide,” at L.A.’s legendary Sunset Sound Recorders with Shooter Jennings and it was engineered and mixed by five-time Grammy Award-winning engineer, Ryan Freeland.
“‘Eyes Open Wide’ was one of the first tunes we wrote for the record,” The Mastersons explain. “It took on Byrds/Gene Clark feel the moment the Rickenbacker 12-string came out, which seemed apropos for a record cut in LA at Sunset Sound. Once Shooter Jennings had Bonnie Whitmore and Mark Stepro add their harmonies it added a Fleetwood Mac vibe and turned into a pretty fun track. It also feels like a song for the times as we can’t bury our heads in the sand with so much going on in the world. It’s tempting to check out with so much bad news every day, but it’s time for all hands on deck.”
“Their take on music and singing and instrumentation is so original, and I knew that I’d be getting something great out of the experience, just by being there,” says Jennings of the recording. “They both bring so much to the table as musicians, and they sing so beautifully together, and they write these intricate, beautiful songs. I just love working with them.”
NO TIME FOR LOVE SONGS explores the emotional challenges of a morally compromised era, and reflects the experiences that the pair has accumulated in their travels.
“We’ve had a lot to write about over the past three years,” says Eleanor. “After the 2016 election, we felt a profound sense of loss, not only for our loved ones but for our country. We felt a shift away from decency and kindness, towards ugliness. We’ve traded truth, reason, justice, journalism, facts and revering the Constitution for utter chaos.”
Chris and Eleanor’s new songs are also partially influenced by the loss of several people close to them, including Chris’ father, who passed away just after the release of the Mastersons’ 2014 album GOOD LUCK CHARM; friend and fellow musician Chris Porter; Austin musician and producer George Reiff, who played extensively with the Mastersons and produced their 2017 album TRANSIENT LULLABY. The pair also recently lost Dukes bassist Kelley Looney, with whom they toured and recorded for the past decade.
“The changes in our country and in the world make us long for the people we’ve lost along the way,” adds Chris. “Only by cataloging and acknowledging loss and grief can we move forward with gratitude for what we have.”
With NO TIME FOR LOVE SONGS, the duo also celebrates the 10th anniversary of their partnership and continue their creative journey, crafting a collection of songs that could easily serve as the soundtrack to our lives—or at least one version of it.
JAN 23-24 New Orleans, LA – Folk Alliance International
JAN 29 –FEB 3 Miami, FL – Sirius/XM Outlaw Country Cruise w/Steve Earle
FEB 3-10 Miami, FL – Cayamo Cruise
FEB 29 Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up Tavern w/Steve Poltz, The Rugburns, Anthony da Costa
MAR 5 Homer, NY – Center for the Arts of Home w/The Jayhawks
MAR 6 Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl w/The Jayhawks
MAR 7 Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl w/The Jayhawks
MAR 8 Northampton, MA – Academy Of Music Theatre] w/The Jayhawkss
MAR 18-21 Austin, TX – SXSW
APR 16 Iowa City, IA – Englert Theatre ww/The Jayhawks
APR 17 Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall Ballroom w/The Jayhawks
APR 18 Chicago, IL – Old Town School of Folk Music w/The Jayhawks
APR 19 Chicago, IL – Old Town School of Folk Music w/The Jayhawks
MAY 6 Dallas, TX – Granada Theater w/The Jayhawks
MAY 7 San Antonio, TX – Sams Burger Joint w/The Jayhawks
MAY 8 Austin, TX – 3TEN ACL Live w/The Jayhawks
MAY 9 Austin, TX – 3TEN ACL Live w/The Jayhawks