Reviews > Shows
Dave Mason in Annapolis
Rams Head on Stage
The audience was so clamorous after Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Famer Dave Mason played “Let It Go, Let It Flow,” the opening song of a recent set, it prompted his to nod at the audience and an “OK, Good night!” shout out.
Although Dave Mason is broader and balder than he was in his heyday when he was playing with Steve Winwood and the rest of Traffic, he still has the nimble fingers and seemingly note-perfect vocals he displayed as in the classic prog-rock band and recording partner with Jimi Hendrix, Cass Elliott, Fleetwood Mac and other luminaries.
As Mason went through his set, that included Traffic classics including “Dear Mr. Fantasy,” “Look at You, Look at Me,” “Forty Thousand Headmen,” many audience members kicked off their shoes, nodded their heads, and otherwise sunk into a 1960s Laurel Canyon, groove.
Band members Alvino Bennett (drums), Alex Drizos (bass), Tony Patler (keyboards), and Johnne Sambataro (guitar), seemed the perfect players to accompany Mason. They stayed right in the groove but also took care never to swipe the spotlight. Mason may have wanted the literal spotlights turned down, though, as he continually turned away from the audience to mop his brow.
Not that he showed his discomfort to the capacity crowd that frequently burst into chants of “Dave” even as he veered from his tried-and-true hits – including “Feelin’ Alright,” and “We Just Disagree,” – into newer songs. “Good 2 U,” “Let Me Go,” and “How Do I Get to Heaven,” – a song that Mason finished for Traffic member and long-time Mason friend Jim Capaldi after his death – slipped almost seamlessly into the set.
They also led into Mason’s talk about one of his favorites charities – Jacksonville’s Veterans Farm and Work Vessels for Veterans – that he capped with a song he wrote to honor veterans aptly titled “Thank you.”
It was interesting to hear Mason, an Englishman from Worcester with nary a trace of accent, talk about the United States and how the Jacksonville Farm charity supports “giving a hand up not a hand out. That’s the American way.”
So, indeed, are classic rock songs such as “Along the Watchtower,” which Mason and his band played as an encore.
This is one Traffic jam the Washington, DC area truly embraced.
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