The Rocks Off 100: Mason Lankford, Folk Family Revivalist
Welcome to the Rocks Off 100, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too.
Photo by Mark C. Austin
Who: Mason Lankford is the young songwriter behind many of the tunes performed and recorded by the Folk Family Revival. The band's debut, Unfolding, was an amazing collection of spiritual and moving Americana tracks that was easily one of the best albums of 2011. Since then, he and his band of brothers (plus Caleb Pace) have kept on a regular schedule of concerts, including one alongside Willie Nelson at a 5,000-strong show.
Next year the Revival will be branching out into other states like Arizona and California, as well as returning home for another outing with Willie. The big news is that the group has begun recording another album. Considering how unbelievable Unfolding was, especially with songs like "Fallin" and "Chasing a Rabbit," it'll be a tough act to follow.
Home Base: Folk Family Revival was one of the many bands to take advantage of the space available at the Magnolia Red record-label offices, but with producer Jeffery Armstreet now working out of Red Tree Studio and Katie Renfro managing the band from her Montrose home, the Revival is back in a shed they call the "The Space Station."
Lankford declines to name a specific venue he favors in Houston, noting only that any day he wears a yellow shirt onstage is a good day. A good deal of the time, you can find them at Dosey Doe alongside Magnolia Red labelmate Shellee Coley.
Lankford and Ray Wylie Hubbard
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Why Do You Stay in Houston? "I love Houston, but I don't plan on staying here," says Lankford. "I think Earth is a pretty big place and I wanna see it all. I wanna live everywhere and travel everywhere else. Houston is where I grew up and started my career, but as soon as I get the chance to move anywhere else -- I'm gonna take it."
Music Scene Pet Peeve: "Pop music," he begins. "Pop radio. Major labels. VH1. MTV. Rolling Stone magazine. The Grammys. All of the ridiculous puppets that buy into the schemes and lies of the Illuminati. These things really grind my gears."
5 Desert Island Discs:
- The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, East West
- Jon Foreman, Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer EPs
- Bob Dylan, Hard Rain
- The Beatles, Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
- Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes ("on vinyl so it would also have the EP Sun Giant")
Best Show Ever: "Probably our CD release party," Lankford says. "It was the first show that felt really magical. That being said, I feel like we do better than the last one every time we perform. So I guess the best answer would be our last show in Corpus Christi at House of Rock with Wanda Jackson."
First Song You Ever Fell in Love With: "Johnny B. Goode."
Folk Family Revival plays Saturday, December 8 at Dosey Doe, 25911 I-45 N., Spring, www.doseydoe.com.
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