The folk-rock quintet Mason Adams Project — lead vocalist/guitarist Mason Adams, lead guitarist Gil Altom, bassist Jordan Raymer, mandolin player Kevin Chretien and drummer Peter Lyman — found itself staring down pandemic-thwarted plans in early 2020.
As so many other artists have been forced to do over the last two years (and counting), the band pivoted. The result is the Quarantapes project, released in a quartet of three-song volumes over the course of 2021, now available for streaming via all major services.
The songs are a gripping, gritty fusion of country, rock and folk, anchored by Adams’ expressive voice.
“This band operates best when we have short-term goal to work towards,” Adams said via email. “[We were] on pace to have a record year, performance-wise, in 2020. When the world stopped spinning in March and everything was shutting down, we decided that this was the time to switch from being ‘show-ready’ to ‘studio-ready.’”
The result dovetails with how Adams (who counts Tom Petty, John Prine and Guy Clark among his eclectic influences) describes his creative spark: “As a songwriter, I can be inspired about almost anything,” he said via email. “Music is my outlet and is way cheaper than therapy.” Indeed, the four volumes of Quarantapes joins the ever-growing ranks of pandemic art that’s both reflective and rewarding.
“A lot of my songs are about life experiences, thought-provoking and are a call to action of sorts,” Adams said via email. “If someone out there can relate to one line in one song, then I feel good about that.”
Mason Adams Project is steadily filling up its calendar — the band’s next performance is Friday at Redfield’s Neighborhood Tavern in Dallas — and preparing for the release of its full-length debut, Old Red River, in April.
NOTE: This post has been updated to correct the series of EP’s by Mason Adams Project, which are titled Quarantapes.
Preston Jones is a freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT.
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