The Mastersons

Releases: Transient Lullaby (2017), Good Luck Charm (2014), Birds Fly South (2012)
Years at MusicFest: MusicFest 2018 Debut Artist

Don’t bother asking The Mastersons where they’re from. Brooklyn, Austin, Los Angeles, Terlingua; they’ve called each home in just the last few years alone. If you really want to get to know this husband-and-wife duo, the better question to ask is where they’re going. The Mastersons live on the road, perpetually in motion and always creating. Movement is their muse. On tour, in the unpredictable adventures and characters they cross, in the endless blur of skylines and rest stops and dressing rooms and hotels, that’s where they find their greatest inspiration and where they hone their art. For the last seven years, The Mastersons have kept up a supremely inexorable touring schedule, performing as both the openers for Steve Earle and as members of his band, The Dukes, in addition to playing their own relentless slate of headline shows and festivals. It was Steve Earle, in fact, who pushed the duo to record their acclaimed debut, Birds Fly South, in the first place. Upon its release in 2012, Birds Fly South was a breakout critical hit. Two years later, they followed it up with Good Luck Charm. The album earned The Mastersons slots on NPR’s Mountain Stage and at festivals around the world, from San Francisco’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass to Australia’s Byron Bay Bluesfest. 2017’s Transient Lullaby is rich with Eleanor’s stirring string arrangements and Chris’s masterful guitar work. Ultimately, the road is at the core of everything The Mastersons do. Their song “Happy When I’m Movin'” reflects their constant need for forward momentum, both physically and emotionally, and the title track of Transient Lullaby paints the pair as “pilgrims of the interstate” on an endless voyage. For The Mastersons, all that matters is where they’re headed, and the songs they’ll write when they get there. For MusicFest, it’s a reunion at the place that resulted in “The Mastersons.”

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