February 21, Nashville, TN — Husband-and-wife duo The Mastersons are sharing a timely new video for their song“Don’t Tell Me to Smile,” featured on their recent Red House album, TRANSIENT LULLABY. Along with touring with Steve Earle, both in his band and as the opening act, they have just announced a series of West Coast dates with The Wood Brothers (scroll down for dates) and will be performating at Merlefest in April.
The video, which features cameos by a cross-section of women of varying ages and ethnicities, was inspired by the culturally pervasive (and insensitive) thing nearly every woman has experienced, being told to “smile.” (Evidently women are supposed to be perky, supportive, smiley and childlike.) The video includes cameos by a great group of ladies including longtime Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richard, Cary Ann Hearst (Shovels and Rope), Margo Price, Nicole Atkins and many others interspersed with vintage pop culture clips of women looking “appropriately” smiley.
Eleanor Whitmore of the Mastersons says that “Don’t Tell Me to Smile” has been waiting for years to be written: “I’ve been meaning to write this song for years but it was a woman in Deadwood SD, at a Steve Earle show that pushed me over the edge. It’s basically a revenge folk song. It’s not the easiest thing to smile and play the violin at the same time, but I do make an effort. It’s not always appropriate during a murder ballad. I felt like I was physically smiling when this woman came up to the stage and pushed her two index fingers up on the corners of her mouth, gesturing for me to smile. I told her she was being rude and she did it again, and again. I finally told her to f-off (had some choice words with her) and wrote this song with the other half of The Mastersons, Chris Masterson.”
THE MASTERSONS on tour
* with the Wood Brothers
• Thursday February 22 – Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up *
• Friday February 23 – Los Angeles, CA – Fonda Theatre *
• Saturday February 24 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore *
• Sunday February 25 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore *
• Tuesday February 27 – Arcata, CA – Kate Buchanan Room *
• Wednesday February 28 – Ashland, OR – Southern Oregon University @ Music Recital Hall *
• Thursday March 01 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom *
• Friday March 02, – Seattle, WA – Neptune Theatre *
• Thursday April 26 – Wilkesboro, NC – Merlefest