November 09, 2014
By James Patterson
Photo by James Patterson
For those who enjoyed the sounds of "Traffic", the Dave Mason "Traffic Jam" tour will take you back to those reverberations and not disappoint you. Dave walked onto the stage in his black outfit and long classy scarf and to the cheering audience said. "We'll do two sets tonight, the first will be songs from "Traffic" and the 2nd set will be Dave Mason tunes."; and with that the band started into "Forty Thousand Headmen". The enthusiastic crowd loved it! Then came the really perky songs, "You Can All Join In" and "Pearly Queen".
Instead of an audience continually standing, it was like they all wanted to sit and take in each song; then after each song, they stood, clapped and screamed. One time Mason paused to change guitars and from the audience came the shouts, "We love you, Dave". It was also at that moment that Dave went into some history, complete with a slideshow, of his early years in his home town of Worcester England. Explaining it was there where he had teamed up with his mates Steve Windwood, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood and formed the legendary "Traffic". And, it was there in a small cottage where they worked on their music creations, a cottage that had no running water or electricity (a generator was used to power their amplifiers). "Heck we were kids, we didn't care, of course all of that changed", Dave said as he began, "Medicated Goo".
Mason stated, "Here is a song that I've arranged a bit different hope you enjoy it"; right away he ignited the audience with the beginnings of his long and slow bluesy version of, "Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys". Then behind the band with projections on the screen of psychedelic graphics, the crowd screams with the intro of "Dear Mr. Fantasy".
After the break and before Dave goes into his tunes he has another slideshow and enlightens everyone of the many groups and individuals he has worked with including the many who had faired well recording and having successful song hits from his originals. One such duo on the screen, with photos and videos, Bonnie and Delanie as "Traffic Jam" played, "You Know and I Know".
"And you may remember this song which became a huge hit for Joe Cocker", which Dave also explained he wrote when he was 16 years of age…"Feeling Alright". As the band played other Mason hits like, "Alone Together", World of Changes" and "We Just Disagree" it became apparent that not only did Dave Mason still have his strong and awesome vocals, but his band was instrumentally great and were adding terrific harmonies. Alvino Bennett, Drums; Johnne Sambataro, Guitar/Vocals; and Tony Paler, Keyboards/Vocals. As always, complimenting any band's sound was the wonderful acoustics found in the Knoxville, Bijou Theatre.
Dave, ending his outstanding performance; showing his personable side, said, "I'll see you on the way out, and I'll shake the babies, and kiss the hands!" Laughter ended a marvelous evening of classic tunes!