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Zen and the Art of Wide Mouth Mason

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Zen and the Art of Wide Mouth Mason

New album Stew debuts with funky grooves, lyrical delights

Hey what’s up/ It’s Earl Here

So if you are reading this

You’ve probably already listened to the music

— from the inside CD cover

Who: Wide Mouth Mason

Where : Dusty’s Bar

When : March 31

Just like their interview style, Wide Mouth Mason’s album Stew is very personable, and a little bit funky.

A note from each member of the Saskatchewan trio – Shaun Verreault, Earl Pereira, and Safwan Javed – adds a personal touch to the cartoony, outer-space feel of their latest album cover, designed by A Man Called Wrycraft.

Verreault also has a similar ethereal calm when you chat to him about making music and his long-term band.

"You get better at things as a band as you do them," says Verreault, whose long days of play as an only child left him eyeing the guitar.

"When I first picked up a guitar my fingers immediately hurt, and I couldn’t play," describes Verreault.

"Then I started to see the guitar as more of a toy, and at a really primal level, making noise made me happy."

The trio, who have been together since high school, once played under the name Mason, a king who had his mouth opened up by a wizard’s spell. The name was made up by Pereira’s sister, but became the foundation for their long-term name, Wide Mouth Mason.

Javed’s percussion and vocals add to the R&B-with-funk mixture that is the Wide Mouth Mason sound. Their results are courtesy of new producer, Gordie Johnson of Big Sugar. Johnson describes the lead track on the new album, Who’s There, as a combo of "dirty guitar riffs."

This was the first time the band worked with a producer.

"Producers leave a big enough imprint on a band, but you really need them to say, ‘trust me, that’s the take’," says Verreault.

Wide Mouth Mason opened for Big Sugar on 25 dates of a cross-Canada tour, and were dubbed by one review as "Sweeter than Big Sugar."

Verreault says Wide Mouth Mason considers the studio a "really big instrument," with lights, buttons, and whistles at their fingertips.

Studio productions have included debut album Nazarene in 1996. After a self-titled follow-up in 1998, reviewers like Drop-d magazine were describing them as an "alternative blues trio."

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