Press

 

2016

“Bluegrass musicianship meets jam-band exploration, delivered with a self-confident Philly attitude.” J.H. Rolling Stone

“This is a band that knows what it wants to play, and they do just that, and do it well.”
Deborah Grabien, No Depression

“Heart Of the Mountains is a strong statement from Mason Porter about the state of the band and its future, which is certainly as clear and wide open as the parks that the album celebrates. With the amount of material already released this year, it’s a safe bet we’re not done hearing from them, but for now, fans of modern bluegrass have six new songs of gold to treasure.”
Rex Thomson, Live for Live Music

“‘Heart Of The Mountains,’ while only six songs long, is a fully immersive experience that will leave you wanting to throw your tent and sleeping bag in the trunk and get away from it all, even if just for a weekend.”
Michael Lello, Highway 81 Revisited

“Mason Porter has drawn notice for its well-received Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan nights in Philly, but its original material is top-shelf, and with six releases under its belt has established it as the total package, both on stage and in the studio.”
Michael Lello, Highway 81 Revisited

“Here’s a group that has all the dynamics going for them; profound songwriting, effortless harmony, and genre-bending compositions that change on a dime. Never slowing down, allowing the currents of their tributaries to flow even further, Joe D’Amico (mandolin, guitar, vocals), Tim Celfo (upright bass, vocals), Paul Wilkinson (guitar, vocals), Sarah Larsen (violin) and Evan Smoker (drums) crafted their influential new studio statement to benefit and celebrate the National Park Service centennial.”
Dylan Muhlberg, Grateful Web

“…this record shows more than that, Mason Porter is progressing in all aspects of their musicianship, songwriting, and live performance.”
Zach Roumaya, Ear Nuggets

“It might be hard to pin down exactly what genre they fall into, their acoustic roots combined with the ability to explore and improvise might lead some to label them ‘jamgrass’. But, their funky/rock elements and use of drums create a wider pallet than any “-grass” name could do justice. One thing is for sure, they have the songs, they have the chops, and they have a bright future ahead.”
Becky Blumenthal, 215 Music

“Mason Porter has become one of my favorite cross-over bluegrass inspired bands. With a nod to tradition, they also jam and rock out. This show was no exception. They fit the Brooklyn Bowl stage very naturally and had heads bopping and feet dancing!”
Will Hanza, Brookladelphia

2015

“…a leap forward in both confidence and sound for the band.”
Mike Mannon, No Depression

“…have clicked tremendously and their chemistry shines on their fourth studio outing.”
Dylan Muhlberg, Grateful Web

“…they continue to showcase their excellent acoustic music chops and songwriting.”
Bruce Warren, The Key

“The full band has a power and joyful energy that’s absent from many other folk bands in town, and the crowd loved it on Friday, with most staying until the encore and many dancing with abandon. “
Elizabeth Thorpe, The Swollen Fox

“The band’s latest studio project, Key To The Skyway, holds true to it’s name, offering hypnotic melodies to lift your spirits.”
Randy Harris, Grateful Music Publications

“Top 10 Musical Acts at the 54th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival. #2 Mason Porter”
Greg H, The Jaunty Jam Report

“There’s a lovely delicate piano, a moving mandolin, vocals that sound as if the singer were genuinely having fun with it”
Deborah Grabien, No Depression

“…and another tour de force set from Mason Porter. They really rose to this occasion and sounded as good as I’ve ever heard them. Like the Dead, Mason Porter is mixing many influences to great effect. For example, Sarah Larsen’s classical violin solo (from “Scheherazade” by Rimsky-Korsakov) on Friday night was a highlight for its unexpectedness and virtuosity. The band has also added a funky/electronic element to their sound, and were able to really jam out with the long sets on consecutive nights.”
Elizabeth Thorpe, The Swollen Fox

“On its website, the band calls the EP ‘a soundtrack for the days where you blow off work, turn up the radio and just head out on whatever open road you can find.’ And the opening track, ‘A2B Machine’ sets that tone perfectly. It’s a toe-tapping, road-tripping song inspired by D’Amico’s prized possession, a 2001 Honda Accord that’s the only car he ever has owned. He and a rotating cast of characters have traversed 226,000 miles together in the trusty sedan, and he chronicles a few of those shared experiences in the lyrics.
Don Botch, Reading Eagle

“Pennsylvania’s Mason Porter is a perfect example of a successful 21st century bluegrass-folk-rock band, a close-knit group of buds hitting traditional folk-bluegrass buttons while also tossing in a hit of country rock energy and power for good measure.” Steve Houk, Mid-life Rocker

“The band’s live show, as Wilkinson alludes to, has been the primary driver of the buzz, with Mason Porter winning over fans not only at its own headlining dates, but also while sharing stages with the likes of Ralph Stanley, Peter Rowan, Greensky Bluegrass, Spirit Family Reunion, Carolina Chocolate Drops and Charlie Daniels.”
Michael Lello, Highway 81 Revisited

2014

“Pristine”
Joseph Hudak, Country Weekly

“West Chester folk ensemble Mason Porter conveys a sense of warmth. Its CSN-esque harmonies ring out, its songs (and interpretations of others’ songs) carry strongly performed as a full band as much as an acoustic trio”
John Vettese, The Key

“Besides being a great, versatile band, Mason Porter have consistently brought creative ideas to the Philadelphia Folk Festival program. Their workshops, such as “The Songs of Woody Guthrie”, have brought the community together and made for great entertainment.”
Jesse Lundy, co-Artistic Director, Philadelphia Folk Festival

What continues to make West Chester, PA’s Mason Porter a force to be reckoned with in the Americana and roots community, especially regionally, is the intimacy that they bring to each song. Whether it is in live performance, on record (like their latest Home For The Harvest), or, now, with their Folkadelphia Session, the trio of Joe D’Amico, Tim Celfo, and Paul Wilkinson have an uncanny ability to draw the listener in and keep them close. I can only think that this magical power is the result of a strong and long-standing chemistry between the members.
Fred Knittel, Folkadelphia

“…love these dudes. What can you say about these fellas? They’re great friends, they write and play excellent songs, and they have fun doing it: what else is there?”
Mike Batchelor, Kettle Pot Tracks

Older

“The music of Mason Porter could be best described as alternative bluegrass, and while the instrumentation is acoustic, their music borrows from genres such as acid rock, jazz, and punk. In this debut recording, the eclectic trio show musical prowess that is difficult to overlook.”
Les McIntyre, Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine

“..their cheerful old-timey sound does have a way of transporting listeners somewhere else”
Ryan Dembinsky, State of Mind Magazine

“Women, booze, drunks and hobos populate most of this West Chester quartet’s songs; so does mandolin, dobro guitar and upright bass, with which Mason Porter makes a rousing racket like a folk–bluegrass Replacements, offering humor and accomplished playing in equal measures.”
Michael Alan Goldberg, Philadelphia Weekly

“Mason Porter is capable of ramping up from a delicate three-part harmony to an all-out hand-clappin’ jam, to take the energy in the room from a whisper to a roar within seconds. This is the allure of Mason Porter that can only be experienced when you witness their show firsthand.”
Kevin Stanton, Ticket Entertainment

“They really rallied everyone at the Folk Fest around with their old timey folk feel – but with a real indie spirit.”
Helen Leicht, WXPN

“The band I was most impressed with, was Mason Porter”
Dennis Bakay, Philly2Philly.com

“Mason Porter’s songs are incredibly catchy…above anything else, Mason Porter is just plain fun.”
Brian McCarthy, The Phoenix