Saturday, February 18, 2012

The #83 Guitarist of the Rock Era: Dave Mason

Inside the Rock Era looked at some of the other lists of top guitarists as a basis to go on.  Then we listened and listened to each of the top guitarists of the rock era.  We evaluated them on their overall ability, the sound of their guitar-playing, their popularity, their longevity, their experience, their guitar riffs, the ability to play a melody, their speed, creativity, their entertainment ability and live stage presence.  We narrowed it down to about 160.  Then we listened some more, continuing to evaluate each on the factors above.  We ranked them then re-ranked them, doing our best to compare each guitarist and rank them where they truly deserved to be ranked.  #783is next.
#83:  Dave Mason, Traffic, solo
active guitarist for 46 years
(solo on "All Along the Watchtower)

David Thomas Mason was born May 10, 1946 in Worcester, England.  He became prominent as the singer-songwriter and guitarist with Traffic.  Mason has performed live and in the studio with artists such as Michael Jackson, George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac and Eric Clapton. 

Mason was a friend of Hendrix, who heard "All Along the Watchtower" at a party that Mason had invited him to.  That night, he recorded the song with Mason playing acoustic guitar. 

Although Mason co-founded Traffic, he left the group following the recording of their first album, Mr. Fantasy in 1967, only to rejoin halfway through the recording of the next album Traffic.  He then left again, although Dave did tour with the group briefly in 1971 when they re-formed. 

Mason played guitar on the 1968 album Beggars Banquet by the Rolling Stones, although the band did not credit him.  He also played on the George Harrison album All Things Must Pass, the Jimi Hendrix album Electric Ladyland and on Paul McCartney's song "Listen to What the Man Said".  In 1970, Mason was set to be the second guitarist for Derek and the Dominos behind Eric Clapton, but Dave left before the group recorded any material. 

Mason recorded several solo albums with moderate success, with his biggest hit being "We Just Disagree" in 1977.  Dave's last solo albumwas 26 Letters - 12 Notes in 2008.  He joined Fleetwood Mac for a brief period and recorded the album Time with them in 1995.  He has kept a fairly active tour schedule, in 2005 doing about 100 shows a year in the United States and Canada.

Mason favors Fender Telecaster but is also working with RKS Guitars.

Mason is one of the most experienced of The Top 100 Guitarists* at 46 years.  He ranks #83 for the Rock Era*...

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