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Dave Mason

British guitarist and singer/songwriter Dave Mason made his initial splash as a key member, alongside Steve Winwood, of the beloved '60s rock band Traffic, penning one of their biggest songs, "Feelin' All Right." After a brief stint with the band, he grew restless and left to pursue his own vision. Mason's first full-length outing, 1970's Alone Together, was a critical and popular success, showcasing superior songwriting, soulful singing, and great taste in guest artists. He continued releasing albums through the '70s and '80s, and found a hit with the 1977 single "We Just Disagree." Mason was born May 10, 1946, in Worcester, England. He was a professional musician by his teens and, as a member of the instrumental group the Jaguars, made his recording debut on a locally released single, "Opus to Spring," in 1963. It was with the Jaguars that he first encountered drummer Jim Capaldi, and the two became members of the Hellions, who played around the U.K. and in Hamburg, West Germany, as well as cutting a few singles in 1964 and '65. Mason quit the Hellions in the spring of 1965 to study music formally, while also sitting in occasionally with another band featuring Capaldi, Deep Feeling. In early 1966, he took a job as road manager for the Spencer Davis Group, where he encountered Steve Winwood; various reports suggest he also played with the band on-stage and may have sung backup vocals on the hit "Somebody Help Me." In March 1967, Winwood left the Spencer Davis Group and formed Traffic with Mason, Capaldi, and flautist Chris Wood. The group's first single was the Winwood/Capaldi composition "Paper Sun," followed in August 1967 by Mason's "Hole in My Shoe," which hit number two in the U.K. Mason also participated in Traffic's debut album, Mr. Fantasy, but as it was being released in December 1967 he left the band. He recorded a solo single, "Little Woman," in early 1968, then rejoined Traffic. "Feelin' Alright?," a song expressing his ambivalence about his association with the group, was released as the first single off the second album, Traffic, in October 1968; although the single did not chart, "Feelin' Alright?" would go on to become Mason's signature song, particularly after it was covered by Joe Cocker in 1969. Mason left Traffic again, and it broke up shortly afterward in the fall of 1968, as Winwood joined Blind Faith. Mason, Capaldi, and Wood teamed with Mick Weaver in the short-lived Wooden Frog. Mason moved to Los Angeles and joined Delaney & Bonnie & Friends in 1969. In 1970, he signed a solo contract with Blue Thumb Records and released his debut solo album, Alone Together, which reached number 22 and went gold in the U.S., spawning the chart single "Only You Know and I Know." Despite this success, he continued to work in group contexts, serving temporarily as second guitarist in Eric Clapton's band Derek and the Dominos; recording with George Harrison on All Things Must Pass; and forming a duo with Cass Elliot. He and Elliot recorded an album, Dave Mason & Cass Elliot, released in February 1971. The LP reached number 49, but they quickly broke up. Mason rejoined Traffic for a few dates in the summer that resulted in the live album Welcome to the Canteen. Meanwhile, Mason was preparing his follow-up to Alone Together, but a royalty dispute with Blue Thumb led to the company's assembling the half-finished, half-live Headkeeper, which was released in February 1972 over Mason's objections; it reached number 51. As the legal conflict continued into 1973, Blue Thumb released the chart LP Dave Mason Is Alive!, also without the artist's approval. After a settlement, Mason signed to Columbia Records, which released It's Like You Never Left on October 29, 1973; it got to number 50. Mason formed a band and toured extensively, raising his profile sufficiently that his second Columbia LP, Dave Mason, released in October 1974, reached number 25 and went gold. Split Coconut, his third Columbia album, released on September 19, 1975, was another success, getting to number 27, as he played major venues such as New York's Madison Square Garden and the Spectrum in Philadelphia. His appeal as a concert attraction was confirmed by the appearance of the double-LP Certified Live in the fall of 1976; it hit number 78. Mason reached a new career plateau with his next studio album, Let It Flow, released in April 1977. It reached an early peak at number 37, but stayed in the charts 49 weeks and went platinum on the success of the single "We Just Disagree" (written by Mason's backup guitarist, Jim Krueger), which reached number 12. (The singles "So High [Rock Me Baby and Roll Me Away]" and "Let It Go, Let It Flow" also charted.) Mariposa de Oro, Mason's next album, was released in June 1978, preceded by a cover of "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow," a Top 40 single; the LP reached number 41 and went gold. Two years passed before Mason released New Crest of an Old Wave in the summer of 1980. After it peaked at number 74 and produced the chart single "Save Me," he parted ways with Columbia. Another major-label berth was not forthcoming, but he continued to tour, paring down to an acoustic duo with Krueger. In 1987, he released two albums, Some Assembly Required on the Canadian label Maze Records and Two Hearts on MCA, the latter featuring "Dreams I Dream," a duet with Phoebe Snow that reached number 11 in the adult contemporary charts. In 1993, Mason joined a new lineup of Fleetwood Mac, appearing on the 1995 album Time, but soon after, the band reverted to its previous configuration. In 1998, Mason reteamed with Jim Capaldi for a tour that produced the 1999 album Live: The 40,000 Headmen Tour. In 2008, Megaforce Records released the first Dave Mason studio album in more than 20 years, the excekkebt 26 Letters 12 Notes. It was followed by Future's Past in 2014. ~ William Ruhlmann
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Stations Featuring
Dave Mason

    Sailing Away

    Sailing Away
    1 song

    Classic Rock

    Classic Rock
    1 song

    Classic Hard Rock

    Classic Hard Rock
    1 song

    Jam Bands

    Jam Bands
    5 songs

    Love Songs

    1 song

    Super '70s

    1 song

Albums by
Dave Mason

Top Songs by
Dave Mason

  1.   Song
  2.   We Just Disagree
  3.   Only You Know and I Know
  4.   Shouldn't Have Took More Than You Gave
  5.   Take It to the Limit
  6.   Look at You Look at Me
  7.   All Along the Watchtower
  8.   Sad and Deep as You
  9.   Let It Go, Let It Flow
  10.   World in Changes
  11.   Feelin' Alright
  12.   So High (Rock Me Baby and Roll Me Away)
  13.   Seasons
  14.   Will You Love Me Tomorrow
  15.   Can't Stop Worrying, Can't Stop Loving
  16.   Every Woman
  17.   Waitin' on You
  18.   Show Me Some Affection
  19.   Gimme Some Lovin'
  20.   Paralyzed
  21.   Mystic Traveler
  22.   You Can't Take It When You Go
  23.   What Do We Got Here?
  24.   Spend Your Life With Me
  25.   Just a Song
  26.   One Day
  27.   Don't It Make You Wonder
  28.   Tryin' to Get Back to You
  29.   Gotta Be on My Way
  30.   I'm Missing You
  31.   The Lonely One
  32.   Baby...Please
  33.   Takin' the Time to Find
  34.   Goin' Down Slow
  35.   Give Me a Reason Why
  36.   Relation Ships
  37.   Bring It on Home to Me
  38.   Pearly Queen
  39.   Headkeeper
  40.   Save Me
  41.   Toro
  42.   You're Standing In My Light
  43.   Harmony & Melody
  44.   It's Not Fair
  45.   Whatever
  46.   Love Will Keep Us Alive
  47.   Full Circle and Then
  48.   World Of Hunger
  49.   That's Love
  50.   Pink Lipstick
  51.   Let Me Go
  52.   Good 2 U
  53.   Deaf, Dumb and Blind
  54.   Dear Mr. Fantasy
  55.   Sad and Deep by Jim Capaldi
  56.   40,000 Headmen by Jim Capaldi
  57.   The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
  58.   No Doubt About It
  59.   The Words
  60.   So Good to Be Home
  61.   Share Your Love
  62.   Searchin' (For a Feeling)
  63.   A Heartache, a Shadow, a Lifetime
  64.   Here We Go Again
  65.   In My Mind
  66.   To Be Free
  67.   Old Crest on a New Wave
  68.   Get It Right
  69.   Life Is a Ladder
  70.   Talk to Me
  71.   You're a Friend of Mine
  72.   It's Like You Never Left
  73.   Side Tracked
  74.   Silent Partner
  75.   Misty Morning Stranger
  76.   Maybe
  77.   If You've Got Love
  78.   Then It's Alright
  79.   Sweet Music
  80.   Two Guitar Lovers
  81.   Save Your Love
  82.   She's a Friend
  83.   You Can Lose It
  84.   Warm Desire