Mason Rivers, the original recipe, cooked up in 2000 by founding member, Kelly Ott. They carved out a modest little spot in the Chicago country music scene and engrained their sweet sound into the grey matter of a wide group of fans. Seven years later, during a restless period and borderline identity crisis, Mason Rivers disbanded when Kelly temporarily left the wholesome goodness of her country roots for the bright lights and excitement of the rock scene. It was a long, strange trip, but like they say, you can’t take the country out of the girl.
Back on her hillbilly horse and on a mission, Kelly rounded up the musicians on her most-wanted list at a late-night jam session … some killer pickers of the kinder, gentler persuasion. The resulting harmonious event was more than just a chance encounter, it was a musical and spiritual awakening. It was the precise alignment of the planets. It was like … Karma. “Ahhh, Karma” they said quietly, as if in sacred prayer. “What a great name for a band.” But as the band found their identity … and their roots … it was ultimately decided that Kharma, a name near and dear to their hearts, just didn’t holler “country”.
Kelly Ott - Lead Vocals, Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin
Robert Martinez - Bass, Vocals
Gary Enerson - Lead Vocals, Guitar
Joe Kunkel - Drums
Gary Victorine - Steel Guitar
Thomas Yurik - Guitar
Exit Kharma, re-enter Mason Rivers.
“We’re a country band, we need a country name!” A little soul-searching later, the decision was clear. Kelly still owned the website. Heck, she still had the banner (albeit a bit dusty) and the drum head (yeah, that was pretty dusty too). It was a destiny that was already a part of this band and ran as deep as the friendships that brought them together in the first place. With a little elbow grease and a big vision for the future, Mason Rivers was reborn.
Performing at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville TN
So, what makes us different?
Big vocals, big sound, and your favorite songs…Mason Rivers is live entertainment performed at a high level. Whether opening up for large touring bands, playing clubs or festivals, or making your corporate/private event complete, Mason Rivers is a sure crowd pleaser, guaranteeing a quality performance and professional business relationship.
A high-energy country band that covers the best of today’s country music as well as your favorite classics, Mason Rivers was formed from some of the finest musical talent in the Chicagoland area. Strong male and female lead vocalists and a rich diversity of musical background and skill result in an exciting sound that’s bigger than country, stronger than rock.