The Mastersons

After years of polishing their résumés with some of the biggest names in roots-rock and Americana, it's time to meet the Mastersons. Guitarist Chris Masterson and his violinist — or is that fiddler? — wife Eleanor Whitmore have put in time with Son Volt and most recently the touring company of Steve Earle's Dukes and Duchesses, stealing away for Continental Club or Mucky Duck gigs in Masterson's hometown as the Brooklyn-dwelling couple's schedule permits. Don't look for many hearts and flowers on the Mastersons' first album as a couple, though. Birds Fly South, due next month on New West Records, is closer to the Jayhawks' tortured but melodic folk-rock than some sappy country-duets album. "We're more a band than a duo, and we're not going to be George and Tammy," the Mastersons tell biographer Peter Cooper. "We might not even be John and Exene."

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