Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dave Mason won’t slow down |

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dave Mason won’t slow down

Dave Mason, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and co-founder of the band Traffic, says he will continue to play live as long as he can stand in front of an audience.
Photo by Stuart Walls/Woodstock Studios

Dave Mason 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 14-6, and 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 17 The Egyptian Theatre, 328 Main St. Thursday tickets range from $43 to $65. Friday’s tickets are $49 to $70 and Saturday and Sunday’s tickets range from $53 to 475 435-649-9371

Update: Dave Mason has canceled his Egyptian Theatre concerts for March 14 to March 17 due to doctor’s orders for strained vocal cords. The replacement band is Iron Butterfly.

Guitarist Dave Mason has no intention of slowing down.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, who will turn 73 in May, loves playing live music.

“It’s what I do, and I’m good at it,” Mason said. “I don’t see any reason to stop, and as long as there is an audience, and as long as I can stand upright and play guitar, then I’ll do it.”

Mason will make a four-night stop from March 14-17, at the Egyptian Theatre. The concerts will consist of an array of songs that span his career, including tunes from Traffic, the band he co-founded with Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood in 1967.

I wasn’t going to work 9 to 5, so my choice was to either become a musician or live a life of crime…” Dave Mason, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee

Mason will perform his own version of the Traffic hits “Dear Mr. Fantasy” and “Low Spark of High Heeled Boys,” the latter of which the band recorded after he had left.

“It was great to be part of that whole thing,” Mason said of Traffic. “I kind of wish I could have extended my time there, but what they wanted to do and what I was doing just didn’t fit. And while going solo wasn’t a choice. It was something I was left with.”

Some of Mason’s solo work include the hits “Only You Know and I Know,” “Look at You, Look at Me” and his biggest hit, “We Just Disagree.”

In addition to his Traffic and solo works, Mason also dove into session work with Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton.

He also played with Fleetwood Mac from 1994 to 1997.

“As a guitar player, working with Hendrix was a great moment for me, as was working with Clapton,” Mason said. “And the other things that I have lent a little something to, have all seeped in there somehow.”

When Mason isn’t touring on his own, he performs in the Rock and Soul Revue with guitarist Steve Cropper of Booker T. and the M.G.s.

“We just finished a date in Oklahoma City, and that was a lot of fun, because I got to sing ‘Midnight Hour,’” Mason said.

Mason’s love for music stems from an early influence from his idols – Buddy Holly, Bill Haley and Little Richard.

“I grew up in that era when rock ‘n’ roll was just beginning,” he said. “I also knew I wasn’t going to work 9 to 5, so my choice was to either become a musician or live a life of crime.”

Although Mason continues to write and record new songs, many people, even including his fans, aren’t aware of it.

The reason is because for artists such as Mason, who have played music since the 1960s, there aren’t outlets to get his music out safely, he said.

“With the internet, everyone is stealing everything, but the biggest problem is there is no radio,” he said. “There is no passion, and for a songwriter, it’s a disaster. They’re getting millions of plays on Pandora and others (streaming services), but they are only getting checks for a couple hundred dollars.”

So, Mason sells his new CDs at his concerts.

“I’m left doing what I’ve been doing since I was 16, and that’s standing on the stage and playing music,” he said. “And we hope people will pick up a copy.”

Mason also spends time working with Rock Our Vets, a nonprofit that he formed with the organization’s CEO, Ted Knapp.

Rock Our Vets helps veterans and their families transition to civilian life, according to Mason.

“We are both very passionate about supporting veterans in the military and law enforcement and fire service,” he said. “This is something I’m proud of and I want to help out any way I can.”

In the meantime, Mason will continue making music with his band – guitarist Johnne Sambataro, drummer Alvino Bennett and keyboardist/bassist Tony Palter.

“We enjoy playing together, and I’ll continue to do this as long as I can.,” he said.

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