With a delicious breakfast recommendation and plenty of insights into his fascinating career, we spoke with Masorti, who leads us into the world of a young Noah Wotherspoon playing live blues and much more. Telling us a wild Bruce Springsteen story and showing us why he absolutely loves making music, we find a highly likeable artist and human.
We appreciate you taking the time to speak with us today, Masorti. What does a nutritious breakfast in your household entail?
Masorti: Thank you A&R Factory for taking the time to interview me and for supporting my music. A typical nutritional breakfast in my household is called “The Artist Shake” and consists largely of blueberries, raspberries, bananas, orange juice or Kefir with some chia seeds sprinkled in then stuffed into a blender. Actual ingredients may vary to include other leftover fruit, plain old fruit, sometimes old salads (if I didn’t use too much dressing), and pumpkin seeds gifted from the previous tenant. I actually much prefer breakfast at City Diner at the corner of Broadway and 90th.
Please tell us about your incredible journey from criminal defense attorney to singer-songwriter?
Masorti: I recall vividly when I became drawn into music and what would become my conversion from listener to artist. In early 2003, I was in Dayton, Ohio when one of my friends suggested we go see a young local guitar player who, at the time, was making considerable waves on the regional scene. It was at The Oregon Express in The Oregon District of Dayton, Ohio that I first saw and heard a young Noah Wotherspoon playing live blues to a sparse crowd on an off night. I was 38 years old at the time. Until that night of my life, I was a music listener. How music was created and why it was created had never occurred to me. But when I opened the door and entered the bar that night, for the first time, I was actually feeling music rather than just hearing it. Plainly, it was soulful. It was extremely soulful, and it moved me to the extent that when I drove back home to Pennsylvania, I immediately bought a guitar and scheduled my first (and only) lesson. I was determined to understand the connection between the instrument and the soul and after learning a few chords, all hell broke loose – as they say. Within a few weeks, I began writing songs and by expressing myself through the process of songwriting, I began to feel relieved and healed…I began to feel good again. Some say art comes from suffering. I emphatically agree. It’s creation is a catharsis.
Like so many others, when the Pandemic hit I took the time to reevaluate my life. By that time I had practiced criminal defense for 27 years and had tried over 120 cases to verdict. During that period, being a zealous advocate was my passion and my purpose. Justice and the integrity of the court system are very important to me. But I was becoming jaded and I was losing enthusiasm for the practice of law and at the same time I was writing more. So I decided to transition from law to music, fully embracing it as my purpose in life. I moved to New York City in March of 2021 to pursue music full-time. My musical genre is best described as New Alternative (“New Alt”) and is widely available across all digital platforms.
If you could open for any artist in the world, who would it be?
Masorti: If I could open for any act, it would be Dire Straits. Mark Knopfler is my most identifiable and undeniable influence. I can see what he writes and Sultans Of Swing is my absolute #1 favorite song of all time. “You get a shiver in the dark and it’s raining in the park but meantime…” It’s like I’m standing right there with him… “South of the river you stop and you hold everything.” Ok, Me and Mark, we stop together just two music loving buddies – Mark and me. “A band is blowing dixie double four time.” Yes, Mark I can hear them too…. ” And you feel alright when you hear the music ring.” No Doubt about that -no doubt at all.
Your latest album called Mirrors has just dropped. Please describe the process and who was involved?
Masorti: The process of making my new record Mirrors was very intense as I had just completed 2 projects From The Darkness (10 song LP) and 80 East (6 song EP). Everybody on my team advised me to stop recording and begin promoting those 16 songs but I felt strongly that I should keep recording as I had written a bunch of new songs, the band was available, and the energy was great. Basically, I felt that I had more to say and I wanted to get it down.
For my record Mirrors I once again relied on the expertise of my producer Conrad Korsch whose steady and gifted hands guided us through the Project. We recorded the 10 track LP at Mission Sound in Brooklyn with studio owner/engineer par excellence Oliver Strauss in a day and a half. Mirrors features Oz Noy on electric guitar, Stan Harrison on sax, Brian Delaney on drums, Conrad Korsch on bass, and me on acoustic guitar and vocals.
How much money do you think musicians should receive from streaming websites (per stream)?
Masorti: If all artists got a penny for each stream across all digital platforms, then there would be a more equitable distribution of the proceeds generated from streaming.
What is the wildest music industry related story you’ve ever experienced or heard of (from a legit source), that you may share with us?
Masorti: My wildest music industry-related story, or for me the most interesting, was told to me by a very close friend who was actually on the plane and in one of the bands about to be mentioned. It was during the Amnesty International Human Rights Tour in 1988 and three bands were loaded on a chartered 737 about to leave from JFK. Bruce Springsteen’s band was in the front of the plane, Sting’s band occupied the middle of the plane, and Peter Gabriel and his band were in the rear. The plane was scheduled to depart at 10 am. By 10 am everybody was on the plane except for Bruce Springsteen. By 10:30 still no Bruce. Some of the passengers became restless and began to get testy regarding the delay and made their feelings known easily enough with the help of an open bar. Now it’s 11 am and still, no Bruce. By this time some passengers began to get really riled up about the wait. Now it’s 11:30 and Bruce Springsteen finally walks onto the plane after an hour and a half delay to a standing ovation by his band. News had reached them that Bruce was at the gate at 10 am but was refusing to get on the plane until he could speak to the CEO of Nike who was sponsoring the tour. Finally, Bruce got on the phone with Nike and explained that in his view all the Artists and bands were being paid well but that the roadies and riggers and related support personnel were not and that he was not going to get on the plane until Nike agreed to double the salary of everyone else who was working the tour in support of the artists and bands.
Last of all, where can we find you live next or do you have any exciting projects lined up for 2023?
Masorti: 2023 is going to be an exciting year as we are in the process of promoting the catalog, booking shows, and rehearsing new material. Our next show is scheduled February 27 at The Bitter End in NYC. I am also excited to announce that we just finished an 8 track LP Lost At Sea that may get released before the end of the year. And on that record is a very special cover. And you feel alright when you hear the music ring.
Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen