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Mason's Feelin' & Playin' Alright

July 28, 2008 - Phyllis Sigal
"They're not just old songs, they're good songs," said Dave Mason as he introduced yet another great song from his repertoire Friday at Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack.

The showroom was just a few seats from a sell-out Friday night, and well, just about everyone was my age, or a few years older.

For 39 years, Mason's has been producing, performing and writing; he's truly one of rock's great guitarists. At the age of 18, he got together with Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood to form the legendary band Traffic. At 19, Mason wrote the song "Feelin' Alright," which he termed his "money song," Friday night as he introduced it. The song has been recorded by more than 48 artists, the best known version being Joe Cocker.

Mason left Traffic after the band's second album, and in 1969 came from his native England to the United States to pursue a solo career — and a successful one it was, with a string of hits.

He started of the evening with "Let It Flow," a great choice for being on the Ohio River.

"It's nice to be here," he said. "Of course, after all these years, it's nice to be anywhere!"

I really don't think his voice has changed a bit since I first heard him in the late 1970s. He does look a bit different, I'd say, but I guess we all do.

Besides his solo hits, he played a few Traffic songs: "40,000 Headmen," "Dear Mr. Fantasy" and "Shouldn't Have Took More than You Gave," which he wrote when he was 22 and he noted it still applies to the state of the nation right now.

Other hits on the night's playlist included: "We Just Disagree," "Only You Know and I know,""Every Woman" and "All Along the Watchtower." And speaking of playlist, one lucky person sitting next to me in the front row asked for the playlist that was taped to the floor in front of the the bass player ... and the bass player, Alex, obliged. What a cool souvenir!

Besides his hits, Mason played a couple of new songs. One of the new songs had the recurring phrase, "Ain't your legs tired baby, because you keep on running through my mind?" He described it as a country/rock "song lacking any redeeming qualities." But, it was funny.

And, he ended the night with his money song ... and the crowd sure was "Feelin' Alright."

It really is something special to experience those songs again, those songs from our youth, that bring back memories of love, life, pain, partying, divorce ... We were in our 20s then, and Dave Mason took us right back there Friday night.

Thanks, Dave. It's a nice place to visit, even if just for a couple of hours.


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