Mason Rather : IDEARS Release Date: 2005 Mason Rather has tales to tell and a voice - rich with sincerity and sympathy - to tell them with. The songs on his debut CD, Idears, have their roots in the everyday sounds and stories of his native Arkansas, where 'people sing their words.' Explains Rather, 'Back home, everyday conversation has a lilt and melody. Whether it's a waitress taking your order, or a farmer complaining about the weather, everyone sings a song, a story.' 'Ironic' may best describe the story behind the recording of Idears. In 1999 Mason left his home state headed for New York City. 'New York was going to be a turning point. I'd connect with some like-minded people and consistently write and play music.' After four years and multiple band breakups he found himself right back where he started - alone. 'That's when I decided to do something simple. To just get some things down.' Rather called in favors from some old friends, hopped a plane back to Arkansas and hit the studio. 'It felt backwards at the time, me going back home to record, but it also felt right.' Countless flights later Rather held a gem of a recording featuring his closest allies. 'Reconnecting with friends was the best part about this album, no doubt about it.' Idears is filled with an enchanting, dreamy 'alt. Country' sound that, while embracing you, whispers bad news into your ear. Bittersweet musings carry a dramatic edge that suits Rather's purpose just fine. 'On this album I wanted to tell those stories. Of everyday life - as joyful and mournful as they might be.' On life back in New York Rather proclaims, 'There's no sweet tea in New York City and no one calls you Honey.' When asked about obstacles to making Idears, the honesty and openness of his rural upbringing quickly surface, 'Going it alone was a humbling experience. Of course, now I know that just wasn't the case - I'm lucky to have such great family and friends.' 'Did I climb a mountain?' asks Mason. (A long pause) 'Probably in my own mind.' And it's a mountain - engraved with experience and wisdom, hope and disappointment, love and loss, stories, that Rather captures so wonderfully on Idears.