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West Chester, PA based Roots/Americana group Mason Porter announce the release of Story of the Rifle. Reaching into their repertoire of traditional folk and cover songs, the band decided it was time to record this material which has been such a big part of their sound since its beginning. The album was recorded this past summer at Second Story Sound Studios in West Chester, PA by engineer Mike Bardzic and mixed by Bill Moriarty (Dr. Dog, Hoots and Hellmouth). Following up their 2009 release Thunder In the Valley, the band took a more raw and organic approach to the Story Of The Rifle and the result is bursting with energy.
The album was initially released as a limited run (just 50 copies) at the Philadelphia Folk Festival in August. The album sold out that weekend and their performance was one of the most talked about of the festival “The band I was most impressed with, was Mason Porter” says Dennis Bakay of Philly2Philly.com. And Helen Liecht of WXPN Philadelphia says “They really rallied everyone at the Folk Fest around with their old timey folk feel – but with a real indie spirit.” The extended release features four additional tracks that were not on the Folk Fest release as well as new artwork and liner notes by publisher and folklorist Max Spiegel.
A complete album from start to finish, Story Of The Rifle is not a single story, but a collection of great folk tales. Mason Porter expertly puts their spin on classics like “Long Black Veil” and “Wayfaring Stranger” and isn’t afraid to reach outside of the box for a cover of the White Stripes “Hotel Yorba” and a hard hitting blues medley of “Spike Drivers Blues” (Traditional) and Robert Johnsons “If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day”. A masterfully crafted rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Girl From The North Country” and a sparse but powerful arrangement of Merle Travis’ “Dark As A Dungeon” showcase the bands strong dynamics fans are used to.
Both vinyl and CD editions are available for pre-order at www.masonporter.com. The band will celebrate with an album release show at the World Café Live in Philadelphia on Dec. 17th 2010.
* CD edition only
** Vinyl edition only
Artwork by Carpe Diem Construction Co.