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Live Music Review: Dave Mason Feelin’ Alright Spring 2024 Tour at The Plaza Live

Dave Mason
the artist
Dave Mason

Dave Mason: Feelin’ Alright SPRING 2024 TOUR at The Plaza Orlando, FL

Dave Mason needs no introduction being an iconic guitarist/songwriter and inductee to the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame. He was a founding member of the group Traffic, but left following the release 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) was a compilation of odds and ends, which features his song "Just for You". I had interviewed Dave for my show Guitar Trax when he was in town and he simply said that fame came all too quick and he was too young to handle it. This is reflected in his world-famous song “Feelin’ Alright” which he wrote when he was 19 years old. He left Traffic in 1969 to pursue a solo career in America. He has 3 gold albums: Alone Together, Dave Mason, Mariposa De Oro, and platinum album Let It Flow, which contained the top-ten single “We Just Disagree”. Also, during our conversation, I was really surprised that he was on the Jimi Hendrix recording of “All Along The Watchtower”, a Bob Dylan song. He plays the 12-string rhythm guitar on the song, which I never knew. He has also recorded with The Rolling Stones on Beggars Banquet, George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass, Paul McCartney and Wings’ Venus and Mars, and Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland. Additionally, he has collaborated with Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, Rita Coolidge, Delaney & Bonnie, Leon Russell, Ron Wood, Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, and Jim Capaldi. In fact, he was in the original formation of Derrick & the Dominos with Eric Clapton, but because nothing was progressing, he left the band. Later Clapton took the band and went on to record the album at Criteria Studios in Florida.

I was really looking forward to seeing Dave Mason, as I was always a Traffic fan. When I was young guitarist in the 70’s and early 80’s I didn’t appreciate his talents as much as I should have because of the shear amazing guitarists that were on the scene. What first struck me was the odd choice of Pat Travers being the opening act; musically they are very different. Travers guitar tone sounded very muffled and processed. I think it was his amp choice of Blackstar because I’ve seen him using Marshall amps in the past that sounded great. Don’t get me wrong I am an old fan of Pat, but this wasn’t his best moment. The contrast was so prevalent when Dave Mason came on with clear pristine Fender guitar tones that soared off of the stage. The band consisted of Dave on Guitars & Vocals, Mark Stein (Hammond B3), Johnne Sambataro Guitar & Vocals, Marty Fera Percussion, and Ray Cardwell Bass & Vocals. Dave performed an array of songs through his career starting with his tenure in Traffic, “Dear Mr. Fantasy”, “Rock 'N' Roll Stew”, “The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys”, moving on to his solo career “We Just Disagree”, “Let It Go, Let It Flow”, “Every Woman”, “Only You Know and I Know”. I was really impressed with the band and with Dave’s performance sprinkled with intriguing stories behind the songs. Dave sang about my generation of Baby Boomers with lyrical melodies dealing with our issues, emotions and dissolutions. He even reached back to The Shirelles covering the 1961 hit “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” a song written by Carol King and Gerry Goffin. Of course, his finale of “Feelin’ Alright” brought the house down which everyone young and old got up on their feet and danced. If you haven’t already, go out and see Dave’s Feelin’ Alright Tour, a great Rock N’ Roll Stew!

Multi-Emmy award winning Brian Tarquin is an established top rate composer/guitarist/producer. Through the past 30 years he has enjoyed Top 10 radio hits in several formats. His recent release "Beyond The Warrior's Eyes" went #1 on the Roots Music Reports Top 50 Fusion Albums. His music has been heard by tens of millions on a plethora of television and film scores.