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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Dave Mason comes to Englert

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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Dave Mason comes to Englert

Troy Aldrich, [email protected]

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Dave Mason has seen the rock ’n’ roll world change, perhaps a bit, during his 50 years on the road and in the studio, and he will bring his solo show to the Englert today.

Mason was one of the original members of the English rock band Traffic. He left the band to pursue his solo career in 1970 after a slight feud with the band’s leader, Steve Winwood.

“[Mason] was overshadowed by Steve Winwood,” said University of Iowa Associate Professor Don McLeese, a former Rolling Stone columnist and Chicago Sun-Times popular-music critic.

“Mason wrote pop songs; Winwood was more of a musical virtuoso,” McLeese said.

Traffic was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, and the departure was resurrected in an online tiff between Mason and Winwood.

Winwood invited Mason to play bass, not his natural instrument, during their induction performance.

“I have not owned or played either [bass or harmonica] in 39 years; I’ve played pretty good guitar in the last 39 years,” Mason wrote in response to the drama surrounding the band’s reunion performance.

Mason’s departure from Traffic was a blessing in disguise — he went on to perform with many of rock ’n’ roll’s greatest musicians.

Popular rock duo Delaney and Bonnie took Mason on to play guitar, and this led to the duo’s third album On Tour with Eric Clapton.

Mason also played with Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett’s daughter, Bekka Bramlett, who later became a member of rock ’n’ roll supergroup Fleetwood Mac. This led Mason to a short stint with Fleetwood Mac around 1994.

During all of Mason’s guest appearances and collaborations, he managed to record a vast collection of music. His discography spans 38 years and includes 14 full-length albums. Mason has also been on the road for more than 50 years, including time spent with his original band.

“His songwriting abilities have allowed him to have the career that he has,” McLeese said. “His songs have a certain sting.”

His 2008 release, 26 Letters, 12 Notes, is a collaboration of all of Mason’s musical endeavors. On the album, he plays both acoustic and electric guitar.

Stylistically, Mason explores guitar playing that ranges from Clapton-inspired hooks to simple chord changes that could be associated with a Springsteen tune.

This is an accurate depiction of Mason’s ability to adjust to the current rock and roll landscape and make music that is going to be popular on the road.

The local venue hosts many of the older, more popular acts that come to Iowa City.

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