Album Review

Ray Mason's Shyness Shines

Ray Mason - The Shy Requester

Ray Mason is an intrepid troubadour. With any number of both solo releases and group offerings with his band the Lonesome Brothers, this New England based singer-songwriter has had no shortage of outstanding albums released over the years. Still, his latest effort, the ironically titled The Shy Requester, finds him far in a more vulnerable situation than ever before, relying only on his voice, songs and solo guitar to connect with listeners in a basic and unabashed way. Selections such as “Heavenly Ladder” and “Passenger” are built on repetitive riffing and a consistent strum, using simple melodies to emphasize the intent. However, it’s the cheery references made in songs such as “Not Everyone Can Live in California” (with its Beach Boys vibes, natch), “You’re Supposed to Wish the Best for People” and “Come Out and Play” that create the bond necessary for effortless engagement. While most of these tracks take a mellow acoustic stride, Mason does occasionally exert some electric engagement to toughen up the tone. Mostly though, The Shy Requester stays true to its title by coming across as an unassuming and somewhat incidental effort, one which still affirms his everyman intents.