Saint John singer-songwriter Brent Mason is perfectly fine with being a bit of an unsung musical hero. Being a bit of an underdog doesn’t necessarily mean that Brent has been lacking musical achievements along the way, however.
Since 1992, the musician has released eight full-length records. A multiple East Coast Music Award and Music New Brunswick Award nominee, Brent was awarded the Stompin’ Tom Award by the East Coast Music Awards in 2007. The latter award serves to recognize Brent’s numerous contributions to the Atlantic Canadian music scene.
He has toured the United Kingdom on four occasions and performed in China while also touring throughout North America, including a successful Home Routes tour in British Columbia and Alberta in 2012.
And if the above isn’t quite enough, Brent has also served as the host of Saint John pub O’Leary’s Open Mic night for the last 22 years.
Considering all that he has done and continues to do, it is hard to believe that Brent is not a bonafide superstar. In speaking with the humble musician however, it is clear that he simply wants to continue to follow his passion and admits being fortunate enough to do so:
“What keeps me ticking?” an affable Brent asks. “I haven’t given up yet. I still see things that I want to convey. I still hear melodies in my head. As long as I am feeling inspired, I can’t see me doing anything else. Getting out there and performing as a songwriter, striving to constantly improve while also seeing the way that something I write might affect people, it recharges the batteries in a way I can’t quite describe.”
It is shows like the one that he will be performing on Saturday night at Albert County’s Parkindale Hall which help to give Brent his biggest charges. Having the opportunity to perform his music for an intimate crowd suits him well.
“I love getting into venues like Parkindale Hall where it is just me and a guitar. I have been fortunate enough to play a wide variety of stages throughout my career but truly enjoy those intimate shows the most. Playing for a room of 30, 50 or 100 people, where I can ramble and feed off the energy of those in attendance is the best. I feel they are the shows where I am getting the most artistic return.”
Growing up in the Belleisle region of the province, Brent admits that he was a bit of a latecomer to the music game. Although a musical family surrounded him as he grew up, it was not until he had graduated university with a degree in history that he decided to pick up the guitar.
Latecomer or not, Brent’s longevity in the music business is undeniable proof that he is doing something right. He is preparing to release his ninth studio record later this year. What will follow the record’s release will surely mimic his prolific career to date. That suits him just fine.
“I have been doing this for more than 20 years now and I am still trying to figure it out,” he laughs. “Ultimately, my next record reflects that voice I have developed over the last two decades: There will be a few story songs as well as a few love songs but nothing too political this time around. There remains a newness to the songwriting and recording process that I continue to find exciting. Being able to share those insights and ideas with people is just amazing.”
What: Brent Mason
When: Saturday Mar. 22, 8:00 p.m.
Where: Parkindale Hall, 3434 Route 895, Parkindale
Tickets are $10. Tickets are available at the door or can be reserved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org