Mason Jennings, where hath thou gone? Things seemed so promising a couple of years ago when, after years of refusing major-label offers, Jennings finally caved in and signed to Isaac Brock's Glacial Pace Recordings (a subsidiary of Epic). It appeared everyone's favorite hometown folk singer was about to shoot into the stratosphere. But Jennings and the Glacial Pace label soon parted ways, allowing him to be scooped up under the wing of surfer-turned-adult contemporary rocker Jack Johnson. The resulting album, this year's In the Ever (Brushfire Records), was a disappointment to longtime fans who had come to rely on Jennings's continuously thought-provoking and inspiring output; whether by choice or by proximity to his labelhead, his work has become a watered-down version of what it once was. And despite the fact that he used to be an omnipresent force on the local scene (he started out playing weekly gigs at the 400 Bar and then consistently played sold-out shows at First Avenue), his local appearances have become sparse. Come back to us, Mason. We liked you fine just the way you were. With Zach Gill.
Sat., Oct. 18, 8 p.m., 2008