Who’s Who at Bonnaroo: Mason Jennings

Happy Sunday fellow CoS readers! We’ve got one hell of a treat for you. Up until the very middle of June, Bill Fanelli will chronicle several Bonnaroo artists that he thinks you should see in our new feature, “Who’s Who at Bonnaroo.” Wouldn’t Dr. Seuss be proud? As with last month’s Coachella updates, you can expect the same, if not more, indepth coverage from our Fanelli Festivalgoers. -M Roffman

Mason Jennings, born in 1975 in Honolulu, Hawaii, is part of a rare breed of musicians who, in my book, truly earns the title of, Self Made. He spent most of his early musical career in the trenches, playing the local clubs of Minneapolis, recording his albums in the living room of his apartment and selling them directly out of the back of his van. This benefited Jennings greatly, allowing him to maintain complete creative control and freedom over his music. He has come a long way since those days though, having released his last two albums with “Glacial Pace”, the subsidiary of Epic Records, headed by Modest Mouse’s frontman, Isaac Brock. His latest album, In the Ever, due out May 20th, will be released on Jack Johnson’s label, Brushfire Records.


Jennings singer/songwriter style is a combination of pop, easy listening, country, folk with slight hand of blues. He has a talent for writing smart lyrics and catchy melodies that stick with you long after you’ve heard them. His lyrics are sometimes cheesy and lighthearted but always in a style that is fully self-aware. He also taps into more serious topics of love, sadness, death, and politics with complete clarity of voice and emotional honesty.

I definitely plan on seeing Mason Jennings if my schedule permits and I would recommend the same for you. This is not a mandatory assignment, but I would consider checking him out if you fit any of the following scenarios…

  1. You’ve heard and liked any of his albums and are looking for a mellow act to just chill out to.
  2. He’s playing a daytime set under a tent and you want a break from the sun or maybe even to catch a nap.
  3. The only other options are Vampire Weekend, O.A.R or Against Me!
  4. You have no agenda and don’t know or don’t like any other bands playing the current timeslot.
  5. All of the above.

Check Out: 

Mason Jennings – “Crown”


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