Rocking a classic guitar, under tousled hair, and behind vintage shades, Adam Masterson represents a timeless ideal of what a Rockstar should be—yet he does so for a new age. Unabashedly embracing old school influences as he updates tradition with heaps of spirit and soul, he taps into the kind of magic we yearn for, but don’t get enough of.
In doing so, he emerges as an outlier built from his own design, bucking trends and emanating stadium-size charisma at the same time.
“You have the freedom to create yourself entirely,” he exclaims. “It’s the one place where there are no constraints. Music and poetry are the truest forms of magic I’ve encountered. Find out what sets you free and create yourself from there. ” He most certainly did…
Standing at his own juncture between English panache, heartland empathy, gospel ambition, and pop prowess, the West London-born and New York-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist brings a rock ‘n’ roll edge to pop.
Most importantly, he’s not afraid to “not fit in” on his 2020 independent EP, Delayed Fuse.
“I don’t fit in,” he affirms with a grin. “It’s my greatest blessing. If there was a musical niche, clique, or scene where I could’ve fit in, I would’ve gotten bored and probably quit a long time ago. All of the awkwardness and rejection makes being on stage the only place to be. It’s a gas,” he laughs.
Since his full-length debut One Tale Too Many, Adam has consistently enthralled audiences. As a charismatic live performer, he’s shared stages with everyone from Tori Amos and Amy Winehouse to The Stereophonics at the world-renowned Earls Court and the Cardiff Millennium Stadium. Additionally, he has guested with Mick Jones of The Clash, Patti Smith, and Joseph Arthur, to name a few.
Along the way, a chance encounter with producer James Hallawell [The Water Boys, Graham Parker] planted the seeds for what would become Delayed Fuse. At a pub in London, Masterson bumped into Hallawell, and the two hit it off. Shortly thereafter, they commenced writing and recording in Hallawell’s studio—right in the middle of Masterson’sold stomping grounds. They instantly caught a vibe.
“We immediately had a flow and a chemistry,” he says of the partnership. “We were consciously talking about all of thesame inspirations and interests. I’d been living in America, yet I’ve got my British roots. We were able to marry the two.”
In order to do so, they welcomed an all-star bevy of high-profile collaborators into the fold such as drummer Jeremy Stacey [King Crimson, Ryan Adams], guitarist Paul Stacey [Oasis, The Black Crowes], bassist Charlie Jones [Page & Plant, Goldfrapp], guitarist David Rhodes [Peter Gabriel, Scott Walker], mandolinist and violinist Peter Tickell [Sting], and bassist Glen Matlock [Sex Pistols]. This union of powerhouse musicians “really understand American rock ‘n’ roll, but gave it a uniquely British tilt.”
As a result, Delayed Fuse wields a fresh fire. Sparked by a rugged riff, slick rhythm and the swaggering down ‘n’ dirty groove of “Bad Luck Baby” (produced by Sean Genockey). Elsewhere, plaintive guitar and gravelly delivery evoke landscapes of longing on “Farewell Blue Eyes” as “Avenue Walk” saunters towards a cathartic final chorus. With its brass section, soaring strings, and electric tremolo, “Crazy Rain” pours emotion down on a rich and robust soundscape.
Ultimately, Masterson merges styles and eras into a sound wholly his own.