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Mason Lively: Texas Country's New Crop

Mason Lively has developed his own brand and sound while sticking to his Inez Texas roots. Combining his ability to craft a clever lyric with his warm vocals, Lively is helping bring the classic country style to the modern day fan. With Texas sized dreams, determination and talent Lively has shared the stage with many Texas legends including childhood hero, Pat Green. Mason's motto "Sometimes, you just gotta knock and the door will open.” Keep knocking Mason!

Check Out The IGTV Interview and Performance At


Who is on your Mount Rushmore of country music?

That's a good question. I'm going to throw Willy up there. Just cause you know, Texas and everything. Alan Jacksons. Kristofferson for his song writing. I was listening to “Sunday Morning Coming Down” the other day for the first time in awhile. I was like, God, I forgot what such a well-written song the song is. So he's got to be up there for sure. And Hank Williams, you know, just because of the legendary status. I think that's, those are probably my four. Now those aren't like my four biggest influences, but as far as country music goes and like what I think the four that should be on there. That's I think that's my hands down for sure.

What music was played when you were growing up?

My upbringing, it a huge eclectic mix. It was all circumstantial to what we were doing and where we were as a family. Because if it was my parents, my dad liked anything from rock and roll. He also liked lot of the Texas music greats really killing it in the nineties, like Pat Green. It’s funny. I'm opening for these guys now. For as long as I can remember, I was listening to those guys. My mom loved like Southern rock and like soul blues kind of stuff too. Even on pop radio, she would listen to like Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys. I liked some of that stuff, the soul of that music really like stuck with me. Around my grandparents, it was Willie, Merle Haggard. It was like also when it came to some blues, Ray, Charles, Rhe Eagles, some classic rock. My grandma loved Elvis. It's this big melting pot. Every once in a while when people pick apart my sound they can see each of these influences. So that's cool. I liked it. I wear that melting pot of influences kind of on my sleeve with my music. And I went back and listened to some Christiana Aguilera recently. Some of the older stuff, very like early two thousands fives. And I was listening to it again and I was like, there's some good stuff

What prompted you to pick up a guitar at age 14? What was the first song that you felt really confident playing for everybody?

Oh, that's a good question. I started singing technically. I would sing along to what was on the radio. The first song I got noticed for a decent voice. I was singing along to was She'll Leave Me With A Smile by George Strait. I was singing along to that. I was in a theater class in junior high and somebody pointed out to me, “Hey, you got to put a good voice.” I shrugged it off, I was in seventh grade. I had never gotten a compliment in my life. Not long after that I picked up a guitar. The first song I ever learned how to play that I played in front of people that was probably Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash. That's always one that you pull out of the acoustic shows.

Your new self titled album has this beautiful flow even within the placement of the songs. Was that intentional?

That was definitely the intention. We were first planning on kind of breaking it up. So I don't know if you can hear that in the record too. However, the cohesiveness stands out to me. It starts out a very bright record. Then it kind of goes into like this really cool kind of funky vibe. I'm not going to lie to you and be like, that was the plan the whole time. It was kind of a loose outline.We know what we're going to do as far as like this kind of cohesiveness, but wow. That's awesome. That's cool. And first of all, thank you for listening to the record and loving it so much.

When you sit down to write a song, what comes first the lyrics or the melodies?

As far as the song process goes. Some songs we wrote right before going into the studio. A lot of times me personally, I'll have a melody and maybe a line or something to that I'm singing along. Even if it's just for a few words, something that I sing along with a melody with chords. That's usually where it starts rarely is it like I’ve got these words and I need to find something that sounds good with them.

I'll be playing something on the guitar and then I'm just messing around with one night. I hear a little hum, or I have one line that I hold on to for the next co-write. There are two songs on the record that I sat down and I wrote by myself just right there, the rest were co-writes. But those songs I wrote myself were Happy Home and Demons. Both those songs, I sat down one night late at night and literally in like a short amount of time wrote them. I say this because a lot of times when I'm writing songs about myself, it takes a long time. I want to do a little bit here and then stop and then come back to it. But those two songs were those were rare moments that you get a song where you sit down and you pour out something. And oddly enough, those were like songs that we all thought were good enough to make the record.

Was there a song on the new record that was really difficult to write?

I wouldn't say this one was hard to get through, but it's just because who I wrote it with his strategy of songwriting is incredible, that song was The Future. I wrote that one with Drew Kennedy. We wrote it here in New Braunfels, Texas. He is just a freaking scientist when it comes to writing songs. It's like every word he sits there and he thinks about it and he's like, let's see if we can beat it. And he takes his time with it. And I'm not really like a fast paced song writer, but at the same time, I'm like, I think it's good, man. Let's move on to the next line. You never know. But I'm glad he was like that because like you said, this song wouldn't turn out the way it did.

I love the way he was like, let's analyze it, let's bounce this one word. It can take 30 minutes for two words to bounce together. What, what do you think fits right here? I always remember the writing of The Future, he is just really in depth, like thinker status. When it comes to writing and I am not like that. I just throw stuff on paper. What he does whole new level of what he has as a writer is, and whole new level of just concentration.

I know you kind of hinted at this earlier. You've been lucky to open up for some of these heroes that you've had growing up. Is that a full circle moment for you?

I always try and make it clear how thankful I am to be opening for and be friends with someone like Pat Green. Sitting in the back of my dad's truck is a little boy, listening to his records. Now I'm opening for this guy, having a drink with him on his bus. It's just so fun and so rewarding. And it is a full circle thing. You don't really realize how special it is until you like scroll back. You look at some pictures of when you were playing acoustic shows in high school. Look at that guy and you put yourself back there and think, God, he would love what's going on right now. I'm real thankful.

In my opinion, Nashville and Texas Red Dirt seem so disconnected. I'm really excited that they're kind of starting to join, but what is something that you want people to know that maybe don't know that there's this big Texas scene? Like what is, what it's all about? Why is it so special to you? Why is it so special to country music?

The Texas music scene is incredibly special and it started when guys like. Well that' the thing, because you can never give a direct answer as to where it started. It's all these different things. The Texas’s music scene is so diverse. There are people who are considered Texas artists that are from Kentucky. What it really is, it's another example of somebody doing things like outside the normal Nashville radio system. And I hate to say Nashville because Nashville is the city itself and the musicians and Nashville are incredible. You meet many of the Texas artists that are killing it right now. They need Nashville and go to Nashville regularly to write to network and stuff like that.

I'm glad it's finally being brought together too. I’m glad it's finally been kind of this bridge is being strengthened lately with guys like Cody Johnson or like Parker McCollum. Guys who were signing good labeled deals and getting publishing deals up there that are writing like crazy. So it's special because Texas music really kind of just does what it wants. It works obviously because we have crowds like Texas music, Red Dirt does what it wants and it works. So as far as national record labels go, even if Texas artists have been going up to Nashville this whole time, writing with people, networking with the labels, it's a whole different animal. They’re finally seeing what does work and saying that somebody like Cody Johnson or park McCollum can compact or venue of thousands of thousand people and they're coming knocking.

And they're seeing because they did make mistakes back in the day between labels and Texas artists where like somebody like Pat Green or Jack Ingram. It kind of seemed like the label still had the upper hand in those circumstances. And then that just got broken up, you know, with those guys at that time. But now it's like, labels are learning from that. And they’re learning from that too. Cause like, Hey, I don't need to sign the label. I'm packing all these people in these venues and making great money and labels know that like these artists know that too. So they're like, okay, how much creative control do you want? We'll give it to you. Let's do soap. Is it cool? It's becoming like this kind of beautiful synergy between the two worlds. It's really cool to see.

What is something that you were able to do musically in 2020 that maybe you weren't able to do before that you want now to continue?

Well, for starters I got engaged and I lived a normal life. Strengthening a relationship that I really loved. I love this girl and I really wanted to make things work and, and everything like that. And eventually led towards the end of the pandemic, the end of the year getting engaged. I lived a normal life in a way because I wasn't playing, I wasn't on the road as much. I took that time and I didn't write near as much as I wanted to. I was going up to Nashville pretty regularly to co-write and stuff. As far as like writing by myself, I didn't write at all just by myself, you know, and I just wanted to, use that time to take a break and really just kind of focus on what's really important in life. That was the biggest thing for me as far as the pandemic goes. But I mean, at the same time I still was gaining fans. So that time I still was working, I still was writing. I still was making great connections in Nashville. It sucked but it was also some of the best months in my life.

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