Ray Mason – Like Bugs Chewing on Paper

January 01, 1970

(Captivating Music)




Ray Mason’s been a dedicated contributor to the realms of
both roots rock and Americana for well over a decade and a half, but despite a
prodigious output – both on his own and as part of his ongoing amalgam, the
Lonesome Brothers – this Massachusetts homeboy has yet to achieve any more than
a hint of acknowledgement from the public at large.  This latest effort likely won’t change that
situation to any significant degree, but it does affirm the fact that Mason’s
anonymity is certainly undeserved.


That said, Like Bugs
Chewing on Paper
doesn’t reflect any intense ambitions, opting instead for
loping tempos, understated arrangements and a whimsical perspective that
suggests it could have been a children’s album actually retuned for an adult
audience.  Indeed, “Lunch Box” and the
title track purvey a certain adolescent appeal. Still, Mason manages to find
his serious side as well, towing a fine line between cynicism and remorse on
“When Everything Worked” (“When everything worked, before I was crowned king of
all jerks/When everything was fine, when I was yours and you were mine”) and
setting up a scenario that finds “Ceiling” an eloquent expression of


If Mason had given full bent to these notions, then Like Bugs Chewing on Paper might have
made a more formidable impression.  As it
is, its meandering melodies and decidedly off-handed attitude seems to sell him
short.  That’s a shame, because at this
point in his career, Mason merits much greater recognition.


Standout tracks: “When Everything Worked,” “Ceiling” LEE ZIMMERMAN


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