Mason finds evolution in devolution with this 15-track package of folk classics.
Traditional folk songs have seen their fair share of transformations, with artists spanning generations from Doc Watson, to Peter, Paul, and Mary, to Jerry Garcia, to Elvis Costello and Marcus Mumford all offering their own spins on oft-forgotten classics. What Los Osos-bred folk artist Stuart Mason brings to the table with his latest, conveniently titled Tradition, is uncanny in and of itself; he finds evolution in devolution. The 15 tracks present on the album represent purebred American folk music, oftentimes of unknown or disputed birth given their travels throughout such long spans of time. Mason hearkens back to late 1800s/early 1900s vocal conventions with his evocative, yearning twang both vocally and instrumentally, while Amber Cross offers her own, grittier substance to proceedings as a seasoned harmonist.