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Mason Jennings
Mason Jennings

If you go

Who: Mason Jennings plays the Pearl Street Music and Arts Festival

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St.

Cost: $35 for Friday night and $69 for two-day, all-venue pass

Pearl Street Music and Arts Festival


Boulder Theater: Mason Jennings, The Head and the Heart, Gregory Alan Isakov and Ian Cooke.

Conor O’Neill’s: The Congress

The Lazy Dog: Oakhurst

Topo Ranch: The Lumineers

The Laughing Goat: Sticky Mulligan

Tahona: Wicked Won

Absinthe House: Live DJs


Boulder Theater: Dr. Dog, Paper Bird and Boulder Acoustic Society

Conor O’Neill’s: Springdale Quartet

Lazy Dog: Jet Edison

Topo Ranch: Ian Cooke

Laughing Goat: Whitney Mann

Tahona: DJ Psi

Absinthe House: Live DJ’s

Mason Jennings is busy working on his new album, so he’s only playing one music festival this season. Yes, Boulder made the cut.

Friday, the singer-songwriter headlines the Pearl Street Music and Arts Festival at the Boulder Theater. The concert also features The Head and The Heart, Gregory Alan Isakov and Ian Cooke.

The Pearl Street fest makes its debut this weekend and the two-day event features an eclectic roster of acts. Saturday’s Boulder Theater show features Dr. Dog and Paper Bird. See sidebar for a complete line-up of the musicians and clubs.

“They asked me to play the festival and it sounded like a lot of fun,” Jennings said. “I love Boulder and this sounds like a cool festival.”

Jennings hasn’t played Boulder for over a year, but he spent 2010 cranking out two albums, Live at First Ave. and The Flood.

“I just love doing this,” Jennings said. “I love spending time in the studio, traveling and meeting people at shows. It’s all about striking a balance.

“My musical styles change with every record — it all depends on how I’m feeling at the time. I try to make each record different and keep it fresh.”

Jennings loves to create new music projects, so he released two different styles of records last year.

“I put out Live at First Ave, because I hadn’t put out a live record before this,” Jennings said. “I thought this might be good time to do it.

The Flood is a collection of lost and unreleased songs. I found some old tapes, and re-recorded the songs and stripped them down. There were some songs I’d totally forgotten about. I’ll definitely be playing some of these songs in Boulder.”

Jennings is putting the finishing touches on a new album and he’s changed up the format once again. The new record’s called Minnesota, and it pays tribute to the musician’s home state and lifestyle.

“The new record has a lot of piano songs,” Jennings revealed. “I got into the piano more, because Minnesota has such intense winters and I was listening to a lot of classical music. The piano sounded really good to me.”

The musician’s serious about getting his tunes to the masses and he’s finding new ways to release the material.

Jennings released several albums on Jack Johnson’s Brush Fire Records, but he opted to start his own label called Stats and Brackets. The label gives the artist the freedom to release projects he believes in.

“It’s a really exciting time in the music business now and I like the idea of putting out my own thing,” Jennings said. “This way, I can put out a collection of songs every year and people will have access to it quicker.

“That’s a good thing for me. I can write music and release it when I want to. And I’m having a fun time doing it.

Jennings is a busy guy, and he’s getting his music out via TV shows and movies. The artist says many fans have discovered his music via those mediums.

“It definitely helps — a lot of people hear my music on TV or at the movies,” Jennings said. “My songs have been on ‘Parenthood,’ ‘House’ and in Ricky Gervais’ film ‘Ghost Town.’

“I also had the closing song for the movie ‘180 Degrees South.’ It’s a neat way of getting songs into a lot of different places.”

Jennings has a lot on his plate, so he’s already planned out 2011. The musician’s looking at a September release for the new record and he’s planning a fall band tour.

For now, Jennings is ready to play the Pearl Street Music and Arts Festival.

“They wanted me to play a solo guitar show,” Jennings said. “I love playing stripped-down shows. You can really do whatever you want and go in the direction the night takes you.

“I’ll be playing stuff from The Flood and new stuff. Pearl Street will be the ‘exclusive festival’ I’m playing.”