Nobody in the history of Minnesota has there been a folk artist as influential as Bob Dylan. Nobody is ever going to get there, but Mason Jennings is the closest we’re going to find.
Whether it’s the harmonica, the off-ball vocal style, or the simple fact that they’re both strong in connection with Minnesota, it’s tough to make a comparison
Despite only being around since 1997, Jennings has music that covers an array of topics, including ones that aren’t from his lifetime. Whether it’s Martin Luther King Jr, the black panther party, the Vietnam war, he was clearly a lover of more than just music. He loved his history too.
He also loves recording. Since his self-titled debut album (an album many see as his best), he has released 11 more. Still, what started his career was his home-recorded first album. It took off with a great sound.
While many see this album as his best, my favorite will always be his second, 2000’s Birds Flying Away. He added some cool and interesting instrumentation to go along with his unique Mason Jennings sound.
This is the album, more than any other, that brought on the aforementioned historical references. Despite not being from the era that he mentions, he still manages to tap into the presumed emotion that was going on in that era.
Fast forward a few years to Jennings’ 2009 work Blood of Man, especially if you want to hear something completely different from anything else he had ever done before. He leaves his Bob Dylan comparison behind with this effort, and makes the most Mason Jennings-sounding work of his career, all while still rocking.
Also, this is a music video! Yay!
Still, throughout Jennings’ career, he’s always been known for his love songs. He’s made a multitude of albums throughout his career, and there has never been one without a love song somewhere on there (except for Blood of Man).
My favorite comes from my favorite album, and it’s how we’ll cap this off.