Nashville by way of Wisconsin singer-songwriter Hugh Masterson puts forth insightful stories on his first solo effort, Lost + Found, a six-track outing (all written or co-written by Masterson) that while deeply personal, is also relatable, impactful, and undeniably enjoyable. Recorded at Key Club Recording Co. in Benton Harbor, Michigan the album was co-produced by Masterson and Bill Skibbe [engineer for The Black Keys, The Kills] and the result is a sound that blends Americana and Southern Rock with jangle, grit, and heart.
Lost + Found kicks off with the sultry, bluesy-jam “Everything To Me” where Masterson’s smoky vocals captivate, conveying just the right amount of flawed bad-boy mixed with touching regret and sensuality as he lays himself bare to the one he loves. “I screwed up again and again/spend my time trying to make amends/I don’t like being alone/Hold me, darlin you own me/You’re only everything to me.”
Punctuated by powerful horns [Ben Clark on trumpet and Nate Heffron on saxophone], “Bigger Man” is an exuberant tune peppered with “folk sayings” about simply doing the best you can in life. “Work hard, got city soft hands/I broke my motivator, tavern tan/Sleep cab that I call home/I’ve slept with women with troubles worse than my own/Hey lordy momma I do the best I can.”
Melodically upbeat, the title track recounts the true-life story of Masterson getting mugged (he was hit in the head with a tire iron and his jaw was broken in two places) and the aftermath: navigating life and wondering why things happen to you. “I got beat up just walking around town/Hold my head up high still on the ground/Don’t know why I came here/Don’t know what I’m fighting for.”
Featuring harmonies from Jaida Dryer “Show on the Road” narrates Masterson’s move to Nashville from Wisconsin with the desire to leave the negativity behind and move onto something better after experiencing more than his share of personal upheavals. “I’m gonna rename this town, Yesterday/I’m pretty sure it’s about time I trade these county roads for dust/You can watch that old mill rust as for me I’m driving away.”
With a palpable despondency in Masterson’s vocals “Small Town” conveys an overwhelming ache, a feeling of loneliness that exists for many in life and love. “Would you let me down easy if you’ve had enough/I take my chances even for a loss on good luck….I’m waiting for good luck, it’s not enough/no it’s never enough.”
The project closes out with “Leaving” a slide guitar-laden roots rocker about a friend who committed suicide and the emotions one experiences coming to terms with being left behind and finding something to believe in. “All that’s left is a memory/A bunch of what if’s and what could be/You want to serve someone that deserves it buddy/It ain’t me”
On Lost + Found, Masterson takes you on an honest, emotional journey of life's challenges - experiencing loss and enduring (and overcoming) rough patches that can often leave one feeling lost at the time, yet eventually, leads one to a greater strength and sense of self.