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Mason Jennings

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Mason Jenningsmasonjennings.com

From the Promoter

MASON JENNINGS

As one grows into adulthood, remaining steadfastly single-minded about one’s pursuits gets
increasingly difficult. The musician becomes a band mate navigating the creative energies of
those around them. He becomes a boyfriend, a husband, a businessman. She becomes a lover,
a mother, a practitioner of her art. Life becomes multifarious, and the pressure to not let the
disparate threads of a chaotic life unravel can cause strain on any relationship. With his new
album Minnesota, Mason Jennings crafts a collage of love trying to survive the transition into
being a grown-up in a complex world.
“Love is the most important thing to me, my relationship with my wife and kids,” Mason says,
adding “And music has always been as important as breathing to me. I have come to realize that
to have it all, I have to take the long view when it comes to integrating all these parts of my life.”
Increasingly, a sense of place and community has become important to him as well. “The album
is called Minnesota because it’s a metaphor for an ever-changing landscape. More than any
place I’ve ever been, things change so much here, even month-to- month. But even as things
change, Minnesota is where my home is, where my center is.” His profession often takes him
away from that center. Being on the road and finding the personal space to create while at home
has caused him to examine how he balances his loves. He generally writes from an intensely
personal point of view, but Minnesota represents a step toward the light after the darkness of
Blood of Man, his last album. 
A case in point is the first song on the album, “Bitter Heart,” which manages to be simultaneously
plaintive and hopeful. The protagonist recognizes the breach of faith and the sense of
estrangement in the relationship, but sings tenderly of rapprochement. To Mason, the central line
in this song and a central point to the album is “Our world is filled with only what we see/Can we
see love now.” Mason says, “I have come to the understanding that the way that we feel inside is
the most important thing, and that we have a say in that.”
Mason often encounters couples after his shows who tell him his music played a major role when
they were falling in love. “Raindrops On The Kitchen Floor” is an unadulterated love song, with
that love being so visceral that it can seemingly transcend the possible (“How am I gonna live
forever/Promise me you will/Call it off, the age of reason/There’s no more time to kill”). “I guess
this is music to stay in love to,” he jokes.
But this collage is far from monochromatic. “Clutch” looks back wistfully at a love before the
demands of adulthood came knocking. At the end of the song, Mason sings that “Maybe we could
work it out, we could live in a dream, live in a dream,” as though he knows it’s too late to re-enter
the honeymoon phase of the relationship. The song ends in a dream-like instrumental break that
leads directly into “Witches’ Dream,” a fabulist romp that juxtaposes raw lust with fairy tale
imagery. He stays in this dream state with “Rudy,” an allegory in which a good man overcomes
the forces of darkness, while “Wake Up” addresses the need to put self-inflicted darkness behind
one as well.
Musically, Mason paints from a more varied palette than ever. For instance, piano is featured
more prominently than any of his previous albums. “The piano seemed to fit the emotional core of
the album,” he explains. “I felt that it was important to begin and end the album with piano.”
Mason played almost all of the instruments on the album, the one exception being “Well Of Love,”
a Perez Prado-esque number that features his friends in The Living Room, the side project of
Jack Johnson drummer/percussionist Adam Topol. Friend Jason Schwartzman adds additional
piano and background vocals on “Raindrops.”

Minnesota finds Mason Jennings more at home than ever: More at home in his adopted state and
more at home with the integration of the self that is required to live an artistic life while enjoying
the community of his friends and loved ones.

Promoter

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