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Dave Mason In Concert

January 28, 2011

Granada Theater, Dallas, Texas

It’s always a treat to be able to catch a show at the intimate Granada Theater.  There’s not a bad seat in the house and the sound is usually pretty good.  Because of that, I was really looking forward to the Dave Mason show that stopped by there last night. And, again, I wasn’t disappointed.

The opening act, Big Gus and the Swampadelics, is a local band that I hadn’t had the privilege of listening to until last night.  The leader of the band, guitarist Big Gus Samuelson, says their niche is “Bayou Honky Tonk Soul with a little bit of Zydeco”.  I’d say that just about describes this band.  Tight and solid, these boys know how to rock.  If they were a package on the shelf in a store, the label would say, “Tabasco Included” they’re so hot.  Make sure and catch this band if you ever get the chance.  They’re very entertaining with that Cajun cool vibe thing goin’ on.

After a brief intermission, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Dave Mason, hit the stage at precisely the advertised time.  Walking out on stage with his top notch band, Mason straps on his white Fender Telecaster and launched into Let It Go, Let It Flow.  As I watched the predominantly Baby Boomer crowd, you could see by the look on many of the faces they were immediately catapulted back in time, to memories of past friends and fun. 

All the Traffic/Mason favorites were performed and were definite crowd pleasures.  The Steve Winwood written 40,000 Headmen was one of my favorites of the evening. Mason showed his mastery of the guitar (and the wah wah pedal) with an incredibly moving guitar solo.  The hair stood up on the back of my neck – it was THAT good.  Apparently the crowd felt the same as me as the rewarded Mason with a very warm standing ovation.

I was amused by the very animated Gerald Johnson, Mason’s bassist.  Watching him perform is worth the price of admission alone. Johnson kicked off the Jimmy Reed classic, Baby What You Want Me To Do.  You can’t help but smile and applaud as he smiles, grimaces and shakes his booty as he enjoys jamming with the band.  Joining in the fun was Johnne Sambataro.  No slouch when it comes to playing guitar, Sambataro blew me away with his intricate, soaring solo that absolutely smoked and brought the crowd to their feet yet again.

In the midst of his rich repertoire of rock classics, Mason played two amazing tunes from his 2008 (and last) CD, 26 Letters 12 Notes.  The performance of Good 2 U and Let Me Go Play I’m sure sparked a sell-out of the CD at the sales table in the lobby.  You’ll definitely want to order this CD.  It’s great!

Providing the steady, amazing backbeat was Alvino Bennett on the drums.  The man did some amazing stuff with two sticks and some skins.  Providing hair raising sounds from the Hammond B3 was Tony Patler.

Mason left the Granada crowd satisfied with the flood of memories his rich arsenal of songs brought them.  How I knew that I especially enjoyed the show is realizing that I would gladly pay to see Dave Mason again.  Soon.

You can keep up with Dave Mason and see when he’s going to be appearing in your city by visiting