by Marcus Leach
This week's choice is not so much emerging talent as re-emerging talent as we take a look at American songwriter as he enjoys something of a second coming.
Who Is He: Willy Mason
Where Is He From: White Plains, New York
In A Nutshell: As with many of the best singer-songwriters Mason's style puts the emphasis on his voice instead of hiding behind a cacophony of instrumental music. HIs simple stripped-back approach to music offers a unique sound that is at once both catchy and absorbing. There were many who saw his as a new Bob Dylan, which is huge pressure to live up to and might explain why he has rather eschewed the spotlight and only released three albums in ten years.
What The Critics Think: Ally Carnwath of The Observer says of Mason's third album (Carry On)....'his gravelly tones are set to rootsy guitars and Carey exercises a light touch, adding subtle ambient feints and a slight production sheen – edging the lovely Shadows in the Dark towards the middle of the road. That's no problem: Mason doesn't share the ascetic's fear of a sweetly turned chorus and there's already enough emotional depth to his storytelling without overplaying his ragged edges'.
Where You Can Hear Them: Sadly Mason doesn't have any UK dates at present, but for those wanting to keep abreast of developments, as well as hear some of his music, head over to his website (Ed. We can highly recommend 'Oxygen')
Picture with thanks to @Wjjmason (Twitter)