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Ray Mason Band ~ 2017 September 15 ~ Luthiers Co-op ~ Easthampton, MA

... by Joanne Corsano ...

Ray Mason Band
Ray Mason Band
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for a photo gallery of the concert

Band Personnel: Ray Mason, vocals and Silvertone guitar; Tom Shea, lead guitar, vocals; Frank Marsh, drums, vocals; Stephen Desaulniers, bass, vocals; Jimmy Ryan, mandolin

Opening acts: The Nocturnal Adoration Society (Jimmy Ryan, mandocello, vocals; Donna Sartanowicz, bass, vocals); Prone To Mischief (15 member brass band)

Set List

Always Stay - Don't Turn Me Down - Forever Out of Town - Summer Kind of Thing - Reverb & a Zip Code - Castanets - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere {Neil Young} - Step Back Melody - Missyouville - Big Hug - Between Blue & Okay - When She Walks By - Lonesome Cowboy's Lament {Charlie Chesterman} - Happy Birthday {sung by Steve to Ray} - Up But So Loose - Bright Lit Blue Skies {The Rockin' Ramrods} - Excitement Transfusion

Scroll down past the videos for review of the show.


Always Stay

Step Back Melody

When She Walks By


Ray Mason celebrated his 67th birthday by playing a show with the full Ray Mason Band. It was a delight to hear the full band; Concert Going Partner and I had not heard them in almost six years.

Their 90 minute set included three covers, one ballad (the poignant "Missyouville"), and a wide range of rockers from the RMB's extensive catalog. Ray told a few stories from his years in the rock 'n' roll biz, and guitarist Tom and bass player Steve worked up a comedy routine based on the obviously untrue assertion that they don't get along.

A special guest star added to the music. Jimmy Ryan, who had opened the show in a duo format with Donna Sartanowicz, joined the band on mandolin after the first four songs. The trebly folk instrument added an enjoyable sonic texture to the music. He shared the right side of the stage with lead guitarist Tom Shea. As the show went along, other musicians joined in on a song or two on either bass or backing vocals.

A cupcake presented to Ray before the show, and a rousing rendition of an alternate "Happy Birthday" sung by bass player Steve, were celebrations of Ray's special day.

The evening featured three astonishly diverse and entertaining bands. The opener was Jimmy Ryan and Donna Sartanowicz, the husband and wife duo calling themselves The Nocturnal Adoration Society. For their set, Jimmy played the mandolin's big brother, the mandocello, while Donna played the electric bass, and both sang. Their songs were well written, their harmonies beautiful, and their hour long set was very enjoyable. Jimmy reminded me of Commander Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The second band to perform couldn't have been more different. Prone To Mischief is a brass band, and somehow they squeezed fifteen musicians onto the stage. The band included six saxophones and a gaggle of percussion and wind instruments. The band leader was a puny but powerful woman who played trombone and directed the band. She was a whirwind of energy at about five feet tall, wearing devil horns. The band played some rock, some blues, a klezmer tune or two. They were mostly dressed in either pirate or devil costumes, and they had a lot of fun on stage.

Concert Going Partner and I had never been to the legendary Luthier's Co-op in Easthampton (suburb of Northampton) in western Massachusetts' Pioneer Valley. However, we'd heard of it often, since this instrument store is also a venue for live local music most nights of the week. A surprisingly ample stage faced the wide side of the room, where two rows of chairs provided room for a few dozen music fans. The seats were full, and the audience spilled over into the bar area in the front of the room. Guitars and other stringed instruments decorated the walls behind the stage and all over the room.

More Ray Mason

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