Bad Luck Baby
THIS IS ME
"Adam stands in a tradition that unites songwriters
who have followed their muse regardless of fad and fashion or the demand for hit singles."
Rocking a classic guitar, under tousled hair, and behind vintage shades, Adam Masterson represents a timeless ideal of what a Rockstar should be—yet he does so for a new age. Unabashedly embracing old school influences as he updates tradition with heaps of spirit and soul, he taps into the kind of magic we yearn for, but don’t get enough of.
In doing so, he emerges as an outlier built from his own design, bucking trends and emanating stadium-size charisma at the same time.
“You have the freedom to create yourself entirely,” he exclaims. “It’s the one place where there are no constraints. The world has been so misshapen by misshapen ideas; don’t let these shape you. History is just ‘His story.’ It’s not ‘Her story,’ ‘Your story,’ or ‘My story.’ Believe in destiny. Music and poetry are the truest forms of magic I’ve encountered. Theydissolve space, time and ego. Find out what sets you free and have the courage to create yourself, entirely.”
He most certainly did...
Standing at his own juncture between English panache, heartland empathy, gospel ambition, and pop prowess, the West London-born and New York-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist brings a rock ‘n’ roll edge to pop.
Most importantly, he’s not afraid to “not fit in” on his 2019 independent EP and forthcoming album, Delayed Fuse.
“I don’t fit in,” he affirms with a grin. “It’s my greatest blessing. If there was a musical niche, clique, or scene where I could’ve fit in, I would’ve gotten bored and probably quit a long time ago. All of the awkwardness and rejection makes being on stage the only place to be. It’s a gas,” he laughs.
From the first time he depressed the pedal on the family piano as a child, he engaged a pursuit of an elusive sound that stood out, “like going into the belly of the whale.” Since his full-length debut One Tale Too Many, Adam has consistently enthralled audiences. As a charismatic live performer, he’s shared stages with everyone from Tori Amos and Amy Winehouse to The Stereophonics at the world-renowned Earls Court and the Cardiff Millennium Stadium. Additionally, he has guested with Mick Jones of The Clash, Patti Smith, and Joseph Arthur, to name a few.
Along the way, a chance encounter with producer James Hallawell [The Water Boys, Graham Parker] planted the seeds for what would become Delayed Fuse. At a pub in London during 2014, Masterson bumped into Hallawell, and the two hitit off. Shortly thereafter, they commenced writing and recording in Hallawell’s studio—right in the middle of Masterson’sold stomping grounds. They instantly caught a vibe.
“We immediately had a flow and a chemistry,” he says of the partnership. “We were consciously talking about all of thesame inspirations and interests. I’d been living in America, yet I’ve got my British roots. We were able to marry the two.”
In order to do so, they welcomed an all-star bevy of high-profile collaborators into the fold such as drummer Jeremy Stacey [King Crimson, Ryan Adams], guitarist Paul Stacey [Oasis, The Black Crowes], bassist Charlie Jones [Page & Plant, Goldfrapp], guitarist David Rhodes [Peter Gabriel, Scott Walker], mandolinist and violinist Peter Tickell [Sting], and bassist Glen Matlock [Sex Pistols]. This union of powerhouse musicians “really understand American rock ‘n’ roll, but gave it auniquely British tilt.”
As a result, Delayed Fuse wields a fresh fire. Sparked by a rugged riff and slick rhythm, the swaggering down ‘n’ dirty groove of “Bad Luck Baby” (produced by Sean Genockey). Inspired by a bout of and half sleep hallucinations “Bad Luck Baby”paints a picture of psychosis.
Elsewhere, plaintive guitar and gravelly delivery evoke landscapes of longing on “Farewell Blue Eyes” as “Avenue Walk” saunters towards a cathartic final chorus. With its brass section, soaring strings, and electric tremolo, “Crazy Rain” poursemotion down on a rich and robust soundscape.
“It initially began as a lullaby to my infant son,” he explains. “I remember being in the passenger seat of a car in the English West Country. All of a sudden, there was torrential rain, so I started singing, ‘I’m just sitting here in this crazy rain.’ It reallycame to life.”
Ultimately, Masterson merges styles and eras into a sound wholly his own.“ You see the scenery may change,” he leaves off “but the seer remains the same. Everyone is so caught up with the information overload these days that they have forgotten what the beat of their own heart sounds like. If the song maker can remind them of that sound that’s a kind and beautiful thing. If you can master that you’ll separate yourself from everyone that’s gone before, and you’ll have your own name.”
Photo By: Anna Gabriel