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The Mastersons

Good Luck Charm (New West)

Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., Aug. 8, 2014

Crazy From the Heat

The Mastersons

Good Luck Charm (New West)

Good Luck Charm arrives as the Mastersons' second effort, but it's the couple's first full-on collaboration. On 2012's Birds Fly South, marrieds Eleanor Whitmore and Chris Masterson offered mostly their own songs. Here, they both had a hand in bringing all 11 tracks to life. Accomplished musicians, she playing with Regina Spektor and Kelly Willis, and he with Son Volt and Jack Ingram – they're both current members of Steve Earle's band – they now match those abilities with tunes of spunky wit and a rare measure of emotional maturity. Boasting famed producer Jim Scott, Good Luck Charm strikes close to the jangle of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers, while the effortless harmonies bring to mind the Jayhawks' brand of Americana. A busting-out-of-the-gate title track, the effortless mix of guitar hooks and orchestral strings on "It's Not Like Me," and the soaring vocals of "Uniform" are but a trio of highlights on an album filled with the Mastersons' tantalizing new dimensions.

***.5

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