Chris Masterson

In Memory of Chris Porter: The Mastersons #1706

Friendships run deep when you are a musician. Friends with whom you can pick up right where you left off, after months on the road, become family. Chris Porter¬†forged deep, fast friendships with people in every town he toured, but especially with his tight-knit chosen family of fellow “lifers.” Eleanor Whitmore and Chris Masterson of The Mastersons were family for Porter. The Masterson’s sound permeates his prior album, This Red Mountain. They dropped into the studio one night, just off the plane from tour, to add their sparkle to Don’t Go Baby, It’s Gonna Get Weird Without You. The Masterson’s latest release, Transient Lullaby, was completed but not yet released when he passed away unexpectedly. They dedicated the album to Porter, and often perform the song they co-wrote, “You Got the Last Laugh,” in his memory.

“Shit Got Dark” from Upcoming Posthumous Album, Porter & the Bluebonnet Rattlesnakes

Long-time pal and friend to everyone he ever met, Chris Porter‘s final album, Don’t Go Baby It’s Gonna Get Weird Without You from Porter & the Bluebonnet Rattlesnakes, will be released 10/20 on Cornelius Chapel Records. Porter recorded with fellow Country Fried Rock alumni and friends, Will Johnson (Centro-Matic), John Calvin Abney, Shonna Tucker (former Drive-By Truckers), Chris Masterson & Eleanor Whitmore (The Mastersons), and intended it to be released as a farewell to Austin, TX, to relocated to Nashville. His plans with his fiancee, Andrea Juarez, were cut short by his tragic death while on tour in October 2016, when their van was rear-ended on the interstate.

Keep your ears peeled for upcoming podcasts with several of Porter’s pals on how they worked to make sure his album reached the world, after he left this one. There will be two album release parties, in his hometowns.
Austin, TX 10/21 Stay Gold
Birmingham, AL 11/4 Syndicate Lounge

Steve Earle #1504

Steve Earle channels his Texas Blues roots with his latest album, Terraplane — named for the noted song by Robert Johnson, but known to me in the well-circulated Canned Heat live tapes. Referencing everyone from Lightning Hopkins to Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Earle interviews himself, but does not get caught up in his script. He deftly name drops his own stint in jail, averting some questions by glossing over them and moving on so quickly that the pace is disrupted when going back to pick up dropped threads of thought. Earle respects those with whom he works, highlighting Chris Masterson’s (previously featured here) role in developing this blues trail during sound checks.

Buy Terraplane here.

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The Mastersons #1427

The Mastersons’ second album, Good Luck Charm, shares Eleanor Whitmore and Chris Masterson’s depth of connection both personally and after hundreds of shows together. Whether playing as a duo or band, they communicate musically in a way that brings the audience in, never crossing over into uncomfortable intimacy or leaving out the listener. Whitmore and Masterson are each stellar multi-instrument players, with years of backing incredible songwriters and bands, including their on-going gig as part of Steve Earle’s touring band. Combining their gifts, though, at first was more give and take, as on Birds Fly South (their debut together). Good Luck Charm demonstrates their comfortable interplay and loops in some of their friends for co-writes, including Country Fried Rock alumni Aaron Lee Tasjan and Steve Poltz, and many other notable pals of theirs.

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#1230 Bonnie Whitmore

Bonnie Whitmore played in her family’s band as a child, joined the Brent Mitchell Band when she was only fifteen, and released her first solo record by twenty-two. Whitmore’s dual roles as sought-after bass player and independent songwriter Read More