Mason in 2003
|Birth name||David Thomas Mason|
10 May 1946 |
|Genres||Rock, folk rock, pop, psychedelic rock, soft rock|
|Instruments||Guitar, vocals, bass guitar, keyboards, sitar|
|Labels||Blue Thumb, Columbia|
|Associated acts||Traffic, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Fleetwood Mac, Cass Elliot, Rory Gallagher|
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 pop and rock musicians, including Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix, Delaney Bramlett, 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.
In 2004, Mason was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a founding member of Traffic.
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."
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 12-string acoustic guitar. According to session engineer Eddie Kramer, it took Mason about 27 takes to get his part recorded satisfactorily, because he had difficulty mastering the tricky rhythmic 'turnaround' in the introduction. The song was released on the Electric Ladyland album in September 1968. When it 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.
|Oral History, Dave Mason shares moments of his life story and career. interview date February 23, 2007, NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Oral History Library|
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 played himself in the film Skatetown, U.S.A., performing two songs in a roller disco as well as writing and performing the film's theme song.
In 2002, he released the DVD, Dave Mason: Live at Sunrise. It featured a live performance at the Sunrise Musical Theater in Sunrise, Florida, 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.
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.
With Traffic 
Solo studio albums 
- 1970 Alone Together
- 1971 Dave Mason & Cass Elliot (w/Cass Elliot)
- 1972 Headkeeper
- 1973 It's Like You Never Left
- 1974 Dave Mason
- 1975 Split Coconut
- 1977 Let It Flow
- 1978 Mariposa De Oro
- 1980 Old Crest on a New Wave
- 1987 Two Hearts
- 1987 Some Assembly Required
- 2008 26 Letters – 12 Notes
Live albums 
- 1973 Dave Mason is Alive!
- 1976 Certified Live
- 1999 Live: 40,000 Headmen Tour (w/ Jim Capaldi)
- 2002 Live at Perkins' Palace (originally recorded 1981)
- 2002 Dave Mason: Live at Sunrise
- 2007 XM Live (originally released in 2005 on Dave Mason's website, released to general public in 2007
as Live / The Deluxe Edition with 3 bonus tracks) (cd is missing the intro , the closing and interview)
- 1972 Scrapbook
- 1974 The Best Of Dave Mason
- 1975 " At His Best"
- 1978 The Very Best of Dave Mason
- 1981 The Best of Dave Mason
- 1995 Long Lost Friend: The Very Best of Dave Mason
- 1999 Ultimate Collection
- 2006 The Definitive Collection
- 1968 "Just for You" b/w "Little Woman"
- 1970 "Only You Know and I Know" US #42
- 1970 "Satin Red and Black Velvet Woman" US #97 (was only a 45 rpm B-side until it was released on the Ultimate Collection CD in 1999)
- 1972 "To Be Free" US #121
- 1977 "So High (Rock Me Baby and Roll Me Away)" US #89
- 1977 "We Just Disagree" US #12, US AC #19
- 1978 "Mystic Traveller"
- 1978 "Don't It Make You Wonder"
- 1978 "Let It Go, Let It Flow" US #45
- 1978 "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" US #39
- 1980 "Save Me"(With Michael Jackson) US #71
- 1988 "Dreams I Dream" (duet with Phoebe Snow) US AC #11
Other Appearances 
- 1968 Electric Ladyland - Jimi Hendrix
- 1968 Beggars Banquet - Rolling Stones
- 1969 Lily the Pink - The Scaffold
- 1970 All Things Must Pass - George Harrison
- 1970 On Tour with Eric Clapton - Delaney and Bonnie and Friends
- 1971 Motel Shot - Delaney and Bonnie and Friends
- 1971 Songs for Beginners - Graham Nash
- 1971 Winwood - Steve Winwood
- 1972 Graham Nash David Crosby - David Crosby and Graham Nash
- 1972 Oh How We Danced - Jim Capaldi
- 1974 Wild Tales - Phoebe Snow
- 1974 Phoebe Snow - Phoebe Snow
- 1975 Venus and Mars - Paul McCartney
- 1976 You Can't Argue with a Sick Mind - Joe Walsh
- 1978 Thoroughfare Gap - Stephen Stills
- 1979 Gimme Some Neck - Ron Wood
- 1979 Skatetown, U.S.A. (original motion picture soundtrack)
- 1983 Airborne - Don Felder
- 1995 Time - Fleetwood Mac
- "Dave Mason Reviews on Yahoo! Music". Music.uk.launch.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
- "Classic Rock » The Archive » Summer 2005 » Page 92 » DAVE MASON Itâ€™s Like You Never Left". Archive.classicrockmagazine.com. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
- Traffic biography, Rolling Stone
- Huey, Steve. Dave Mason biography at Allmusic
- DeYoung, Bill. "We Just Disagree: The Story of Dave Mason", Goldmine, February 1996
- Black, Johnny (May 1997). Feature: Steve Winwood, Mojo.
- Classic Tracks: "All Along The Watchtower"
- Doran, Bob. "The Hum", North Coast Journal, June 2, 2005
- Reverb Nation, this article is linked to directly from Dave Mason's Facebook page (Band Profile->more), as of Feb. 14, 2011.
- D'Agostino, John. "Dave Mason Isn't Just Older, He's Better", Los Angeles Times, March 18, 1992
- "Amazon DVD info". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-11-08.