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. Over the course of his career, Mason has played and recorded with many notable pop and rock musicians, including Paul McCartney, George Harrison, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Steve Winwood, Fleetwood Mac, Delaney Bramlett, and Cass Elliot. One of Mason’s best known songs 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 US hit written by Jim Krueger, has become a staple of US 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.

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 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. However, Dave Mason himself has denied that this happened. [6] The song was released on the Electric Ladyland album in September 1968.[7] When it came out as a single in October, it hit No. 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.[8] Mason’s connection was Jimmy Miller, who 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, Mason was slated to be the second guitarist for Derek and the Dominos. He played on their early studio sessions, including the Phil Spector production of “Tell the Truth” that was later withdrawn from sale (and is now a collectors item). He also played at their first gig at the London Lyceum, but left the group soon after that. 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 songwriting and sound culminated on his 1970 album Alone Together, with backing of drummer Jim Gordon,[9] featuring “Only You Know and I Know,” which reached No. 42 on the Billboard charts. 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. In 1977, Mason had his biggest hit with “We Just Disagree”, written by Krueger. Reaching No. 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.

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 1997 Mason was scheduled to be a member of Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band performing “Only You Know And I Know”, “We Just Disagree” and “Feelin Alright” however, for unknown reasons, he was dropped from rehearsals before the tour started.

In 2002, he released the DVD, Dave Mason: Live at Sunrise. It featured a live performance at the Sunrise Musical Theater in Sunrise, Florida,[10] 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.

More information about Dave Mason at the official website.

Selected Discography

Old Crest On A New Wave

Columbia Records 1980

Tracks: Paralized, You're A Friend Of Mine, I'm Missing You, Talk To Me, Gotta Be On My Way, Save Me, Life Is A Ladder, Tryin' To Get Back To You, Get It Right & Old Crest On A New Wave.

Musicians on the Old Crest On A New Wave album: Dave Mason, Jim Krueger, Bob Glaub, Mike Finnigan, Mark Stein, Rick Jaeger, Ray Devis & Michael Jackson.

Mariposa De Oro

Columbia Records 1978

Tracks: Don't It Make You Wonder, Searchin' (For A Feeling), All Gotta Go Sometime, Warm Desire, Warm And Tender Love, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, Share Your Love, Bird On The Wind, So Good To Be Home, The Words & No Doubt About It.

Musicians on the Mariposa De Oro album: Dave Mason, Jim Krueger, Graham Nash, Jerry Williams, Bob Glaub, Gerald Johnson, Mike Finnigan, Mark Stein, Rick Jaeger, Jeff Porcaro, Ron Greene, Ernie Watts, Gerry Beckley, Ron Greene, Jon Sambataro & Stephen Stills.

Let It Flow

Columbia Records 1977

Tracks: So High (Rock Me Baby And Roll Me Away), We Just Disagree, Mystic Traveler, Spend Your Life With Me, Takin' The Time To Find, Let It Go Let It Flow, Then It's Alright, Seasons, You Just Have To Wait Now & What Do We Got Here?

Musicians on the Let It Flow album: Dave Mason, Jim Krueger, Gerald Johnson, Mike Finnigan, Rick Jaeger Percussion, Bobbye Hall, Ernie Watts, Yvonne Elliman, Brooks Hunnicutt & Stephen Stills

Split Coconut

Columbia Records 1975

Tracks: Split Coconut, Waiting & Hoping Crying, You Can Lose It, She's a Friend, Save Your Love, Give Me a Reason Why, Two Guitar Lovers, Sweet Music & Long Lost Friend.

Musicians on the Split Coconut album: Dave Mason, Rick Jaeger, Jim Krueger, Gerald Johnson, Jai Winding, Mark Jordan, David Crosby, Graham Nash & The Manhattan Transfer.

Dave Mason

Columbia Records 1974

Tracks: Show Me Some Affection, Get Ahold on Love, Every Woman, It Can't Make Any Difference to Me, All Along the Watchtower, Bring It on Home to Me, Harmony & Melody, Relation Ships & You Can't Take It When You Go.

Musicians on the Dave Mason album: Dave Mason, Rick Jaeger, Jim Krueger, Bob Glaub, Mike Finnigan, Tim Weisberg, Sal Marquez, Jock Ellis, Jerry Jumonville & Gary Barone.

It´s Like You Never Left

Columbia Records 1973

Tracks: Baby... Please, Every Woman, If You've Got Love, Maybe, Head Keeper, Misty Morning Stranger, Silent Partner, Side Tracked, The Lonely One & It's Like You Never Left.

Musicians on the It´s Like You Never Left album: Dave Mason, Rick Jaeger, Jim Keltner, Chuck Rainey, Carl Radle, Charles Fletcher, Greg Reeves, Lonnie Turner, Mark Jordan, Stevie Wonder, Steve Madaio, Dennis Morouse, Norma Bell, Graham Nash, Maxine Willard, Clydie King, Julia Tillman & John Batdorf.