Willy Mason headlined a sold-out, standing room only show with Island musicians at the Katharine Cornell Theatre Saturday night, March 5.
Produced by KCT Concerts, their first show of the year, the program opened with a touching set of songs from Jemima James and Dan Waters. Both played guitars and sang. Nina Violet and her sister Marciana Jones followed. They sang in a haunting harmony. Nina played her viola, while whistling at one point and occasionally switched to guitar. Marciana played guitar and banjo. In the shadows, Willy backed the sisters on electric guitar. Milo Silva slipped onto the stage for several songs and Dan and Jemima also joined the duo near the end of their set. Most of the music was written by the performers.
Willy, just back from Europe, performed a soulful, thoughtful set of his own music on a stage, he offered, that was the site of plays he acted in when he was in high school as well as junior high. His guitar work revealed the skill of a road-hardened veteran, never flashy. It was a solid accompaniment.
Restyling his hair with a quick swipe of his hand between songs, Willy was the personification of what one would imagine a folk singer to be, relaxed, heartfelt, moving the audience with his words and his performance. He called everybody back on stage for a finale and an encore.