Mas Leo

Mas Leo: Thousand Screaming Whales

$11.46 $13.98
Artist: Mas Leo

Artist: Mas Leo
Title: Thousand Screaming Whales
Product Type: COMPACT DISCS

This is the first heartfelt recorded material from Mas Leo in over 20 years. Most of this collection was recorded, performed, and produced at Slippery Tail Studios in Chester, VT. Mas says 'It had been so long since a real song had come out. After years of trying too hard, I told my brain to get busy and make up some songs and to get back to me when something was ready. In the quiet woods of Nova Scotia, the faintest kernal of a song started to show. I had to use my inner binoculars to see it and lost it several times, but finally was able to coax it out. That first kernal became 'Come Sit' with the line 'I can barely see it, going out to meet it...' More songs came over the next few months and the inspiration to make a record became stronger. One of the triggers was the timing of Anne Watt's release ' Your Wound is Your Crown'. Mas relates, 'as the very moment were pulling out of the driveway on the way to Nova Scotia, the mail truck pulled in with a package shape that could only be one thing - a real LP record! And an awesome one at that. It was 'Your Wound is Your Crown' by Anne Watts. I liked the song 'Sycamore' so much I asked Anne if I could cover it. It made me realize - I've never truly appreciated this whole amazing human process of sharing your music with the world. It also made me realize - hey, I want to do that too!' Two songs were recorded at remote locations. A chance meeting with Sean Mencher after wandering into the Dogfish Bar and Grille in Portland, Maine a year or so before led to a great recording session at Acadia Studios in downtown Portland with Sean on electric guitar, Dave Wakefield on harmonica, Kris Day on bass, and Marc Cousins on drums. These guys are great players as well as great people that you would want to know. You can feel the fun and electricity in the room as you listen. The resulting song, 'Diner Cook Meltdown', is based on Mas's real life experience as a line cook at the Country Girl Diner in Chester, Vt. Coming from an old school background of 2' tape and vinyl pressings, Mas was amazed by the current digital ability to craft,arrange, and fix any part of a recording. He had dismissed digital recording when his first attemps about 15 years ago left a bad impression, but current technology allows just about anybody to have their own recording studio with incredible tools for manipulating a performance with only a laptop, interface, and some mics. This led to a bit of a philosophical question: how far is too far when 'fixing' an artist's perfomance via computer manipulation? After much rumination, Mas says he equates it to a woman going out for the evening. 'She is beautiful before she even starts to get ready, but when she puts on her chosen clothes and fixes her hair and makeup, she feels even more beautiful. Because she feels beautiful, she is even more beautiful. I wouldn't want to take that away from anyone. However, plastic surgery is really not needed.' There does exist the purist thought that any manipulation at all is not genuine. As a nod to that ideal, and with an enthusiasm that crested coincidentally at the same time as the conceptually similar recordings of The 78 Project, Mas and his son took a 1300 mile detour on a car delivery trip to Baltimore and landed at Jack White's Third Man Record Store in Nashville. At present, this is the only place in the country that maintains a working 1940's-50's era coin operated recording booth. For the song Oak Isle which was inspired by mystery of the island of the same name, there was only one 'take' played and sung into this phone booth style machine with it's flashing retro lighted signs saying 'get ready' and '10 seconds to go' and lighted window showing the actual record being cut. There was 'no fixing' as it was recorded directly to a 6' plastic record. You can read about it in the stories section of masleomusic.com. In the same concept camp of Neal Young's Pono project, (Neal has recorded in this very same booth) this scratchy little record was transferred for this project to the highest quality digital format available with all it's scratches, pops, and other wonderful human imperfections. Mas says, 'Thanks for listening and reading about this music. I'm just a kid on the diving board screaming, 'Hey Mom, Mom, Mom, look at me, are you watching?, look at me.......' But I don't really want people to look at me. I want them to hear the music.... I simply want to share that feeling I get when I play these tunes. I had a blast making this album. Now that I found that thing I had lost for so long, I hope to keep doing it forever.

Tracks:
1.1 Sycamore
1.2 Mesdames
1.3 Come Sit
1.4 Oak Isle
1.5 Almost Breathing
1.6 Coffee at Night
1.7 Diner Cook Meltdown

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