I first saw The Mastersons play on the Cayamo cruise in 2011. When I found out that the Austin, Texas-based musical duo of Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore were appearing August 7 at Eddie’s Attic (at 7:30 PM), I reached out to Whitmore for a quick email interview to help spread the word. We discuss the new album, Good Luck Charm, which was released by the husband-wife team in June (and is available on iTunes, Vinyl or your local record store), as well as the advantages of playing a legendary cozy venue like Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Georgia.
Tim O’Shea: How much do you enjoy getting to play more intimate venues like Eddie’s Attic (as opposed to the larger venues you play when opening for or playing with Steve Earle)?
Eleanor Whitmore: It’s easier to connect with your audience when they’re close around you. It’s a lot of fun to play places like Eddie’s Attic because you can interact with the crowd more, but there is a certain challenge to winning over a bigger audience in a large venue and we like doing that too.
Another musician that I met on Cayamo 2011 back in February was guitarist Chad Fagg, one half (vocalist Melissa Barelmann being the other half) of Just Blue, a Melbourne, Florida-based Folk/Rock/Country musical duo. We briefly spoke during a Chuck Cannon show one night and from there we agreed to do this email interview about the music of Just Blue. I missed out when they performed in one of the Open Mike competitions on the boat, but fortunately (as you can see below)–friends filmed it for the duo. My thanks to Chad and Melissa for the interview.
Tim O’Shea: In talking about the formation of Just Blue, it was noted “moments of serendipity have followed Just Blue since Melissa Barelmann (vocals) and Chad Fagg (guitars, backing vocals) met in early 2006, brought together by a love of simple, personal songs” Can you talk about some of the moments of serendipity that have occurred in the band’s history?
Chad Fagg: How we met seemed to be destiny. My wife and I were part of an online gaming community and we were attending an event at a local bar. The bar had kareoke going on and by the second song I remarked that they had already gone back to the real cds. My wife, knowing that I have wanted to work with a female vocalist, turned to me and said ‘No that is Melissa, she is part of our group. Maybe she wants to be your female vocalist.’ So I approached her and asked if she wanted to try to put something together. A few days past and I wasn’t able to reach her. Figuring that she had decided that every idea sounds great in a bar that maybe she had decided to decline. Fortunatley she hadn’t.
So, Sunday I got back from Cayamo 2011, a seven-day cruise with more than 50 performing musicians. Out of the 120 or more concerts that were held on the cruise, I estimate I made it to more than 50 of them. Still trying to process my thoughts. And, on the good news front–I met several musicians willing to do email interviews. Stay tuned for more info as my brain returns from vacation.