Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore. Photo by Paul Robert Wright

With Valentine’s Day approaching, we asked a handful of Austin couples who play music together to share a few thoughts on how love and music intertwine in their relationships. We’ll post their responses here on Austin Music Source each day this week, and feature them in the Sunday print edition of the American-Statesman on Valentine’s Day.

Monday: Carley & Jonny WolfTuesday: Christine Albert & Chris GageWednesday: Chaka Mpeanaji & Qi Dada RasThursday: Lauren & Eric Larson


Eleanor and Chris are partners in the Americana band the Mastersons, and they tour together as members of Steve Earle’s backing band.

How they met:

Eleanor: We met at a crazy after-party at the MusicFest in Steamboat Springs Colorado, 10 years ago. The party wasn’t particularly either of our scene, but we met hiding in a corner. I guess it pays to be a wallflower. Sometimes we lose track of the year, but we know the Rolling Stones played the halftime show at the Super Bowl, and it was the only part of the game that we watched on one of our first dates.

Their special song(s):

Chris: I don’t know if there’s one song we could call ours, but we did walk down the aisle to Big Star’s “Thirteen.” There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. There’s a Nick Lowe record on the turntable as of this writing.

“Dream date” or ideal romantic night:

Eleanor: At the clip we’ve been moving at, we’re gone so often that the idea of a nice hotel or restaurant is a bit commonplace. We have a great hi-fi rig at home and sitting on the couch listening to a few records with the dog sounds divine.

A Valentine’s Day or anniversary spent on the road together or apart:

Eleanor: We’re usually on the road. One year for our wedding anniversary, we left the comfort bubble of the tour bus with Steve Earle and went out to a Canadian eco farm with some fans post show. We sang songs around a bonfire and had a great time. When it was time to go to sleep, we were shown to a dingy shed. This was the closest we’ve ever come to camping together.

Plans for this Valentine’s Day:

Chris: We’ll be holed up at Arlyn Studios working on the next Mastersons record. Our first Valentine’s Day was spent in the studio as well, so I think we’re right on track.

Love your work:

Chris: On one level, creating art and running a business with your partner is completely insane. We’re so lucky to do all of this together though. At one point it dawned on me that a lot of people who pick up guitars do so to meet girls. So no matter what happens with our musical endeavors, I feel like I’ve already won.