NEWS: New West Records Signs The Mastersons


“…the husband-wife pair Chris Masterson (guitars, vocals) and
Eleanor Whitmore (fiddle, guitar, vocals) were scintillating.”
The Telegraph (UK) of a recent performance with Steve Earle

New West Records is excited to announce the signing of The Mastersons, a Brooklyn based band who make “music that fuses indie pop and folk music with big, sweet melodies…” (Houston Chronicle.) Eleanor and Chris, who were married in 2009, spent most of the last year on tour with Steve Earle as an integral part of his band The Dukes and Duchesses.  Each night, Earle stepped aside mid set and let the Mastersons play. The young couple took the opportunity to introduce audiences to songs from their debut record Birds Fly South, which will be available from New West Records on April 10th, 2012 as both a CD and limited edition 180-gram vinyl. The Mastersons will continue to play with The Dukes and Duchesses as Earle adds more tour dates, but also will be out on the road promoting Birds Fly South throughout 2012.

Chris and Eleanor met in 2005 appropriately at a music festival; Chris was playing with Jack Ingram and Eleanor with Susan Gibson.  Their accomplished songwriting talents and inherent musical ability have allowed them to co-write and play with many high-caliber musicians over the years.  Chris, who at the age of 13 could be seen playing guitar regularly around his hometown of Houston, collaborated with Jack Ingram on the song “Don’t Want To Hurt” and co-wrote “Virginia Belle” and “Sleeping With The Lights On” with Pat Green for his record Cannonball.  He’s played in Son Volt, with Bobby Bare Jr, Hank Williams III and Ingram.  Eleanor, who fell in love with the violin after attending an Itzhak Perlman concert with her opera singer mother, has played with an impressive list of musicians herself including Regina Specktor, Diana Ross, Kelly Willis, Bruce Robison and Angus and Julia Stone.  She also has co-writing credits including writing “Shape I’m In” with Susan Gibson (who wrote “Wide Open Spaces.”)

Both Eleanor and Chris have released solo albums but Birds Fly South is the first Mastersons album.  As Chris recently told the Houston Press "We've been on the road so much the past few years it took some time to jell as one act," says Masterson. "We've been writing songs as they came, and we finally started to sound like a band instead of a song swap. So we thought we were ready to do an album together."

On Birds Fly South, The Mastersons worked with friends in Austin including Grammy® Award Winning Engineer Steve Christensen to record their rootsy, melodic, twangy, pop songs. Eleanor’s whimsy, sultry vocals meet Chris’ angular guitar playing while their harmonies tangle as they sing dark words dressed in bright melodies.  Chris and Eleanor showcase their musical talents playing most of the instruments on the record themselves.  They both play electric and acoustic guitar, mandolin, and high strung guitar with Chris also playing 12-string and resonator guitars while Eleanor also adds tenor guitars, violin, and baritone violin.  Rounding out the sound on the record is George Reiff playing bass guitar and Falcon Valdez on drums and percussion.  Additional players include Mike Hardwick, Sweney Tidball and Andrew Duplantis.

Produced collectively by Steve Christensen, Chris Masterson, George Reiff, Falcon Valdez, and Eleanor Whitmore, Birds Fly South was recorded at The Finishing School in Austin, TX. 

Current Tour Dates:
February 4 - Peace Dale, RI - Roots Hoot House Concerts 
February 8 - New York, NY - Joe’s Pub (w/Adam Levy)        
February 19 - Washington, DC - The Mansion on O Street
March 1 - New York, NY - John Varvatos
March 11 - Mobile, AL - Callaghan’s Irish Social Club
March 14 – 18 - Austin, TX - South By Southwest
March 23 Austin, TX - Continental Club
March 25 -  Houston, TX - McGonigel’s Mucky Duck

*additional dates to be added
For up to date listings please visit:


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