Dave Mason Explained

Dave Mason
Background:solo_singer
Birth Name:David Thomas Mason
Birth Date:10 May 1946
Birth Place:Worcester, England
Instrument:Guitar, vocals, bass guitar, keyboards, sitar
Genre:Rock, folk-rock, pop, psychedelic rock
Occupation:Session musician, singer-songwriter
Years Active:1960s–present
Label:Blue Thumb, Columbia
Associated Acts:Traffic, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Fleetwood Mac, Cass Elliot

David Thomas "Dave" Mason (born 10 May 1946) is an English singer, songwriter, and guitarist from Worcester, who first found fame with the rock band Traffic. In his long career, Mason has played and recorded with many of the era's most notable rock musicians, including Jimi Hendrix, Delaney Bramlett, Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Fleetwood Mac and Cass Elliot. Mason's best known song is "Feelin' Alright", recorded by Traffic in 1968 and later by many other performers, including Joe Cocker, who had a major hit with the song in 1969. For Traffic, he also wrote "Hole in My Shoe", a psychedelic pop song that became a hit in its own right. "We Just Disagree", Mason's 1977 solo hit written by Jim Krueger, has become a staple of Classic Hits and Adult Contemporary radio playlists.

Musical career

Mason's tenure with Traffic was disjointed. He co-founded the group, but left following the recording of their debut album, Mr. Fantasy (1967), only to rejoin halfway through the sessions for their next album, Traffic (1968), after which he left again. Last Exit (1969), a compilation of odds and ends, features little material by Mason apart from his song "Just For You". Traffic later re-formed without Mason, although he briefly toured with the band in 1971 as captured on Welcome to the Canteen. Even during his brief spells with the group, Mason never quite fit in; Steve Winwood later recalled "We all [Winwood, Jim Capaldi, and Chris Wood] tended to write together, but Dave would come in with a complete song that he was going to sing and tell us all what he expected us to play. No discussion, like we were his backing group."[1]

Mason was a friend of legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix, whose career was launched in England in 1966. Hendrix first heard the song "All Along the Watchtower", by Bob Dylan, at a party to which he was invited by Mason, and promptly decided to record his own version. That night he recorded the song at Olympic Studios, South West London, with Mason playing acoustic guitar. It was released on the Electric Ladyland album in September 1968. When the song came out as a single in October, it hit #5 on the UK Singles Chart and was a Top 40 in the U.S. Mason later recorded his own version of the song on his self-titled 1974 album, Dave Mason, with Bob Glaub on bass.

Mason appears on the Rolling Stones' 1968 album Beggars Banquet, although uncredited. Mason's connection was Jimmy Miller. Miller served as producer for the Stones and Traffic. In 1969–1970, Mason toured with Delaney and Bonnie and Friends along with Eric Clapton and George Harrison. Mason appears on George Harrison's 1970 solo set All Things Must Pass. In 1970, Dave was slated to be the second guitarist for Derek and the Dominos, but left the group before they entered the studio. He co-wrote the song "Big Thirst" on Oh How We Danced by Jim Capaldi (Mason's bandmate in the Hellions, Deep Feeling, and Traffic), as well as playing the guitar solo on "Don't be a Hero".

After Traffic, Mason pursued a moderately successful solo career. His first single, "Just for You" had "Little Woman" as the B-side, with Family backing him, following his production of Family's first album. His song writing and sound culminating on his 1970 album Alone Together with backing of drummer Jim Gordon. In the early 1970s he enlisted his friend, singer-songwriter Ray Kennedy to tour and write for his next album. In the mid-late 1970s, he toured and recorded with guitarist Jim Krueger, keyboardist Mike Finnigan, bassist Gerald Johnson and drummer Rick Jaeger. The 1976 album, Certified Live is a display of Mason's songwriting, arranging, vocal and guitar talents. In 1977, Mason had his biggest hit with "We Just Disagree", written by Jim Krueger. Reaching #12 on the Billboard Hot 100, it was later successfully recorded by country singer Billy Dean. Mason's 1980 single, "Save Me", featured a duet with Michael Jackson.

For a brief period in the 1990s, Mason joined Fleetwood Mac and released the album Time with them in 1995.

In 2002, he released the DVD, . It featured a live performance at the Sunrise Musical Theater in Sunrise, Florida,[2] backed by Bobby Scumaci on keyboards, Johnne Sambataro on rhythm guitar (who rejoined Mason for the DVD, after previously touring with him in 1978), Richard Campbell on bass and Greg Babcock on drums.

At one time, Mason lived in the Ojai Valley in California. As of 2005, he was performing about 100 shows a year with the Dave Mason Band across the U.S. and Canada.

Philanthropy

Mason is a proponent of music education for children. In 2005, he signed on as an official supporter of Little Kids Rock, a non-profit organization that provides free musical instruments and lessons to children in public schools throughout the U.S. He sits on the organization's board of directors as an honorary member. Mason also is a founding board member of Yoga Blue, a non profit organization devoted to teaching yoga and other holistic practices to those recovering from substance abuse and other self destructive disorders. Mason, together with his longtime friend John Niekrash, is also involved in the program Work Vessels for Veterans (WVFV), an all volunteer movement that provides veterans transitioning to civilian work with tools that have ranged from computers to boats to tractors.

Discography

Studio albums

Live albums

Compilations

Singles

External links

Notes and References

  1. Black, Johnny (May 1997). Feature: Steve Winwood, Mojo.
  2. Web site: Amazon DVD info. Amazon.com. 2011-11-08.