Mastering Americana

Austin-based husband-and-wife duo The Mastersons

Austin-based husband-and-wife duo The Mastersons
Austin-based husband-and-wife duo The Mastersons

“We sound like Brit Pop with Americana trappings,” says Chris Masterson of Austin-based husband-and-wife duo The Mastersons, who are touring in support of their latest LP, Good Luck Charm.

But just because he plays in an Americana band, Masterson doesn’t feel like he has a grasp on what Americana means. “Johnny Cash? Coca Cola?” he posits, continuing, “One of the beautiful things about it is how open it is. What we do is just as informed by Ray Davies as it is Ray Price.”

Overall, Masterson isn’t overly concerned with genre in his work. On Good Luck Charm you’ll hear a Tom Petty-esque riff kick-off on “If I Wanted To,” and an immaculately pop, Belle and Sebastian-style string arrangement on “Good Luck Charm.”

“Different people relate to a different body of work,” Masterson says. “A good artist makes art without thinking about the repercussions.”

Alongside wife and vocalist Eleanor Whitmore, Masterson cut his teeth as a member of Steve Earle’s backup band The Dukes (& Duchesses). In fact, the last time Masterson and Whitmore came through Eugene they played with Earle at The Shedd.

“We always enjoy Oregon,” Masterson says. “You can eat good and healthy, and people are laid back.”

This time through, The Mastersons are headlining their own tour. “We’re nervous, excited and everything in between,” Masterson says, urging audiences to also catch the tour’s opening act, singer-songwriter Aaron Lee Tasjan. “He’s not to be missed,” Masterson says.

The Mastersons and Aaron Lee Tasjan play 8:30 pm Wednesday, Feb. 18, at Axe & Fiddle, Cottage Grove; $10. 21-plus.

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