Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Mason Jar Music - Decoration Day, Volume 2 (Album Review)

When serendipity’s a session musician, you’ll find there’s magic in the music. On Memorial Day weekend last year, Brooklyn’s Mason Jar Music had a recording session get cancelled at the last minute. Instead of just locking up and heading home, the called a few friends over and had their own impromptu recording session that paid tribute to some of their favorite American music. Covering Billie Holiday, Fats Domino, Sam Cooke, Cheap Trick and more in their soulful, indie-folk leanings, they popped out an amazing 6-track EP in just a weekend. Using the original name for Memorial Day, they dubbed the EP Decoration Day, Volume 1 and you can pick it up here at NoiseTrade.

Deciding to make somewhat of a tradition out of it, they reconvened exactly one year later to record the equally tasty Decoration Day, Volume 2. Over Memorial Day weekend of this year, they pulled together another rag-tag collection of musical friends – including a four-piece horn section that includes members of The Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, EMEFE, and The Westerlies – and this time paid homage to the gorgeously soulful, funky side of the 1960s.

More than just a covers project, these songs are exactly what you’d want them to be - impassioned, lively, authentic and free of pretense. They stomp and sway their way through songs by The Beatles, Nina Simone, Curtis Mayfield, Sly and The Family Stone and Bill Withers. They also tackle one of the most beautiful unofficial anthems of the Civil Rights Movement, “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free,” made famous by a whole host of legendary artists. With two of these fun and poignant EPs under their belts, I sincerely hope this becomes a regular ritual. To help that happen, consider supporting Mason Jar Music by tipping generously and checking out their website for other great artistic endeavors that might interest your eyes and ears.

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