Chat to Steve Mason about his fifth solo album – the stirring and stunning Brothers & Sisters – and all manner of musical touchpoints crop up. From Wu-Tang Clan and LTJ Bukem to Adam & The Ants and Public Image Limited by way of Mahalia Jackson and The Cramps, Mason not only knows his musical onions, but remains resolutely a fan. However, when it came to looking for guidance and inspiration for the best album of his career – no mean feat when you consider his back catalogue – his cultural lodestar was expertly chosen.
The finished album is arguably the most open, honest and vibrant record of Mason’s career. Like many of his previous records it marries the personal and the political but does so in an emotive and uplifting manner. Written against a backdrop of fear and uncertainty, and at a time when those in charge lurched from one disaster to the next mismanagement with increasing regularity, Brothers & Sisters is in fact an incredibly joyous, even spiritual, listen.