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The Mastersons

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Good Luck Charm

New West Records

 

When Eleanor Whitmore and Chris Masterson stopped recording individually and joined forces as The Mastersons things really started to take shape. The husband and wife team have found themselves as part of Steve Earle’s backing band and with Good Luck Charm they make a sophomore release that far exceeds expectations.

Whitmore takes the lead role on most songs with a rich voice that is flawless and soulful and is ably aided by Masterson who brings masterful harmonies. When Masterson himself takes on the lead vocals the band offer up tunes such as Anywhere But Here that have a strong Jayhawks flavour.

There are no weak moments on Good Luck Charm with each tune being hummable in its own right and are expertly layered with pedal steel and the sublimely skilled Whitmore taking to her instrument of choice, the fiddle. All boxes are ticked with the heartbreak of It’s Not Like Me, the added muscle of If I Wanted To or the Liz Phair-like pop smarts of Easy By Your Side.

Good Luck Charm isn’t soulless mainstream country and neither is it cool kids cashing in on the Americana wagon. This is how country music should be played – with passion, a weight around the heart and bottle not too far away if all else fails. Being full of cracking tunes doesn’t hurt a bit either.

 

CHRIS HAVERCROFT