Mason Lankford: "Born-Again Texan" Leads A Folk Family Revival

Tonight at Warehouse Live you can catch Robert Ellis & the Boys with Mason Lankford and the Folk Family Revival, all for free. Ellis and his gaggle of musicians are ramping up activity ahead of their weekly Whiskey Wednesdays debut at the new-era Fitzgerald's on September 29.

As for Lankford, this is very much the band's coming-out party, and their most high-profile gig to date. Aside from a win at this year's Battle of The Bands at Sam Houston Race Park and lead singer Lankford's edition of the Backseat Jukebox series, the band hasn't seen much club action. Tonight that changes as they open up for Ellis. We chatted with Lankford this week about his roots, his faves and Robert Zimmerman.

Rocks Off: State your name, age, place of birth, and rank...

Mason Lankford: My name is Mason Lankford. I was born in Bartlesville, Okla., in 1981, but I have been a born-again Texan since I was seven. I'm the lead singer & play guitar in Mason Lankford and the Folk Family Revival.

RO: We got wind of you through the Backseat Jukebox series. How did that come about?

ML: That started back at the "Battle of the Bands" at the Sam Houston Race Park. We ended up taking home first prize which consisted of some cash, 16 hours of free recording at 226 recording studio, and a photo shoot with the great Mark C. Austin. After the photo shoot Mark asked if I wanted to come downtown the next day and ride around in a car playing one of my songs. It sounded fun and it was free so I did it.

RO: What makes up the Mason Lankford and The Folk Family Revival sound?

ML: Man, that's a hard question! The best way to say it is, four brothers that love music, make the sound that is the Revival.

RO: Who are some of your favorite artists, the ones that got you to this point?

ML: First of all the inventor, poet, and shape-shifter Robert Zimmerman aka Bob Dylan. I'm also a big fan of Jon Foreman and his band Switchfoot. I really appreciate their respect and love for God. I'm a fan of Woody Guthrie and any of the old-time, honest, heart-wrenching folk music that today's world has chained up in a shack somewhere.

I pretty much like all kinds of Texas Country music, anything from Nashville before the '80s too. My favorite is Hayes Carll. I also love every bluegrass band ever, and a bit of African tribal drum music.

RO: What is the plan for the rest of the year, sir?

ML: This year? Just hang in there, get one step further ahead everyday, and write a song that changes my life. I say my life for a reason, but I'm gonna leave everyone hanging.

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