It seems Willy Mason is the latest poor bastard to be saddled with the label of "the new Dylan". Just when I thought we were settling down to a long-term bullying of Bright Eyes with that burden, this young man from Martha's Vineyard hits the scene only to be bestowed with that sizeable pile of bullshit that is such championing. Anyway, his new single from album Where The Humans Eat, is okay, if not remarkable.
With Hard Hand To Hold, the most prominent Dylan comparison I can see is the fact his lyrics take precedence over a rather uninteresting melody. It's about homelessness and how we should pay attention to those on the street as, you know, they are human beings too and sometimes can even provide those of us in the whirlwind that is modern life with spiritual nourishment. Willy sings such lines as; "Though his face is well worn and his clothes a bit torn / That don't mean that you shouldn't believe" in his deep tones over a fairly low-fi, simple guitar part, reminiscent of Adam Green.
While nice enough, this track wears itself out after a couple of listens and the slightly self-righteous lyrics come to grate. With this extra time I decided to knock up a top five of songs about homelessness or tramps, so here we are: 1) Morning Glory - Tim Buckley, 2) Aqualung - Jethro Tull, 3)Evenflow - Pearl Jam, 4) Mr Wendal - Arrested Development, 5) Back To The Wall - Steve Earle. Phil Collins's Another Day In Paradise just misses out, of course.