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The Contenders / Hugh Masterson (Americana) $10
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm UTC-6
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$10 cover charges on the tab.
8pm – Hugh Masterson
8:40pm – The Contenders
Maybe Katy (Live at SPACE): https://youtu.be/EDvCSGuj9cw
Back in Time (Live at Southern Ground): https://youtu.be/GdrzKF8sjPw
Long Way Down (Live at Southern Ground): https://youtu.be/88EYIiyfIzk
Americana/folk rock band The Contenders follow up their 2014 release ‘Meet The Contenders’ with their first full length studio album ‘Laughing with the Reckless’ on Rock Ridge Music on November 3, 2017.
Lady luck had introduced singer songwriter Jay Nash and singer and drummer Josh Day in Los Angeles over a decade ago when they bonded over a shared love of The Band, roots music and a sacred admiration for the great American songbook. As their paths continued to cross over the years, collaboration, they concluded, would be inevitable.
Together as The Contenders, the pair make the sort of music found in the intricate and varied tapestry that is real Americana – full of grit, with a steady heartbeat and a hint of honky-tonk – writing songs that speak of wanderers and highways, lovers and losers, good times and missed chances, all of it with a ferocity born of hard work and honed skill.
Country Weekly have said “The duo’s sound paints a picture of open stretches of road as well as lazy days at home – sonic comfort food constructed on a bed of groove and storytelling.”
The Contenders start a 10-date tour of Europe in October before heading back to the States in November for a nine-show run in support of the album release with stops in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, New York, Minneapolis, Chicago, Spring Lake (MI), Columbus and Nashville.
The Contenders’ raucous foundation of rhythm and harmony is finding unmistakable resonance with audiences. ‘Laughing with the Reckless’ is very much about the perseverance of hope in dark times along with the powerful connection of music, old friends and loved ones, all delivered with a wry and wistful narrative.
So, sit back, pour yourself a glass of something good and meet The Contenders.
Lost + Found is an apt title for Hugh Masterson’s first solo effort, set for a June 2, 2017 release on Rock Ridge Music. The six songs cover a heartfelt journey through surviving loss and life changes while gaining self-awareness through experience. His self-deprecating way of viewing himself is endearing, and his songs are deeply personal. “I use songwriting as therapy,” he says. “I think other people will relate to these songs. Finding happiness daily is not an easy thing.”
Recorded at Key Club Recording Co. in Benton Harbor, Michigan, the album was co-produced by Masterson and Bill Skibbe, best known as engineer for The Black Keys, Dead Weather, The Kills, and many others. The duo succeeded in bringing Masterson’s own unique perspective to the Americana music he makes, his sound boasting a Midwestern bounce and jangle coupled with Nashville wail and grit. It’s easy, it’s familiar, it’s twangy-goodness, pedal-steel Southern rock; it’s a dusty ride down a road winding through rural Wisconsin or backwoods Tennessee.
Growing up in Butternut, Wisconsin, Masterson lived a very rural life in a tiny town: population (as of 2013) is 372. “There were no businesses, really, besides the gas station, a bakery, bars and taverns,” Masterson explains. “The bar was the meeting place. The parents would take the kids there so people could socialize and listen to whatever music was playing on the jukebox.” Their dad’s ultimate favorite was The Band, which was a constant in the Masterson household, along with the Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones, along with John Hiatt and Lucinda Williams.