Fired Up – Adam Masterson Ignites Timeless Rootsy Sound on ‘Delayed Fuse’ EP

Adam Masterson blends elements of rock, soul, gospel, folk and country on his latest EP, “Delayed Fuse.” Photo – Robert Ascroft

Adam Masterson beautifully ignites a fiery, sonic explosion of emotion and experience.

The New York City roots-rock singer-songwriter solders timeless, electrifying elements of early rock, soul, gospel, folk and country into his latest high-voltage, five-track EP, Delayed Fuse.

“Every song is like a gift so I’m very grateful when I finish a song. I’ve never really thought about what I want other people to take away. How we form a connection with a song is our own unique experience, and I try not to second guess that,” said Masterson, who’s originally from West London.

“But it’s been a pleasure to write the songs, and if there are people out there who will take these tunes to heart, then that will make me very happy.”

Masterson instantly jolts listeners with combustible tales of misfortune, parenthood, isolation, grit and regret against a sizzling, cinematic backdrop of spirited rootsy instrumentation. A fateful partnership with producer James Hallawell kindled a new, multi-genre musical flame for writing and recording Delayed Fuse in London.

“It was great finding James Hallawell because I felt he understood me and where I was coming from. Who you are as an artist is something you can never really explain because it’s something that has to be felt rather than explained. You need to find someone who’s equally as passionate in their love of music that they know instinctively the feeling you’re looking to create,” Masterson said.

“James has also toured the U.S. extensively working in the studio with a real hero of mine, Willie Mitchell, the great Memphis soul producer who produced Al Green and Syl Johnson, two of my all-time favorite vocalists, for his Hi record label. I know why Willie liked working with James because he has great feeling for soul organ, early rock ‘n’ roll, American country and the English hymnal style. All these styles feed into what inspires me as a musician, singer and writer.”

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Family Ties – Detroit’s Brother Elsey Forges Strong Sibling Bond for Roots-oriented Rock

Brother Elsey’s Brady Stablein performs at The Blind Pig in January.
Brother Elsey’s indie folk rock roots run deep within their musical family tree.

The Detroit-based band of brothers credit their family with planting a love of music from one generation to the next.

Together, twins Brady Stablein (vocals, guitar) and Beau Stablein (harmonies, bass), both 21, and their 23-year-old older brother, Jack Stablein (harmonies, guitar), changed their band name from Fifth and Main to Brother Elsey last year to pay homage to their great-grandparents, Elsey and Mary Prater. They also thought the new moniker would resonate more with fans.

“Everyone in that family respected Mary and Elsey on a very deep level, and they really loved who they were,” Brady Stablein said. “Our grandfather, Elsey’s son, he got us into music. He was in a country band for a long time, and growing up around him, he always had us playing guitar, singing old country songs and stuff like that.”

The Stablein brothers’ love of music also grew while spending time with their father. Known for his eclectic music taste, the senior Stablein played everything from America to Enrique Iglesias to 50 Cent to musical theater for his sons.

“There were more genres such as folk or stuff that I don’t think a lot people got into as kids like we did,” Beau Stablein said. “That kinda pointed us in the direction that we’re in now.”

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‘Painkillers’ – Brian Fallon’s Title Track Gives Small Dose of Escapement

It only takes a small needle to make the pain go away.

No, I’m not talking about a hypodermic needle, but a record needle. There’s a calm sense of euphoria that washes over me when I hear a needle drop delicately on a vinyl record.

At that moment, I can leave the present day and escape briefly into a new world the artist has personally created with his music and lyrics.

In a sense, I’m taking a quick journey into the mind of someone I’ve never met and imagining life through his eyes. It’s akin to personifying the emotions of Joy, Fear and Sadness in the 2015 Pixar animated film, “Inside Out.”

I can picture all three emotions running through Brian Fallon’s head when he sings “Painkillers,” the title track off The Gaslight Anthem frontman’s new solo album, which dropped March 11.

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