Surprise guests are common at shows in Music City and last night’s performance by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dave Mason’s acoustic trio was no exception. While I briefly pondered the unlikely reunion of Dave with the only other surviving member of Traffic, Nashville-area resident Stevie Winwood, it was another local resident that got to briefly grace the War Memorial stage with Dave. Bonne Bramlett, along with her daughter Bekka, joined Mason for a rendering of his “Only You Know and I Know,” a song that Delaney & Bonnie made famous in 1972. After the rousing rendition that brought the late-in-their-years crowd to their feet, Dave coaxed the ladies back to close the main set for his “Feelin’ Alright,” another of his songs best known for the cover version, this one by Joe Cocker.
The singer was in great vocal form all night remarking how after 50 years performing he still sings in his original key. One of classic rock’s better-known guitarists, Dave did share some of the lead guitar duties with young Jonathan McEuen, who expertly carried on in the tradition of his dad, John, of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band fame. McEuen sang lead on two numbers including a tender version of “Sad and Deep as You” from Dave Mason’s 1970 debut solo LP, Alone Together. In all, five of the album’s eight tracks were performed.
Early on in the set, Mason did three Traffic numbers in a row, oddly including two that he did not sing with the band. He also gave us two of his big radio songs from his 1970’s solo career: “We Just Disagree,” penned by late band mate Jim Kruger; and “Let it Go, Let it Flow.” One of Dave’s other radio staples, “Every Woman,”only got a brief appearance in the set when Dave told the tale of getting a compliment on the song from Bob Dylan—returning the nod by giving us a few lines of the song in a great impersonation of Mr. D. And, speaking of Dylan, the evening ended with a version of “All Along the Watchtower,” a song that Dave recorded in tribute to the classic Hendrix version—an honor he truly deserves having played backup acoustic on Jimi’s original recording.
- World in Changes
- 40,000 Headmen
- Dear Mr. Fantasy
- You Can All Join In
- Can’t Stop Worrying, Can’t Stop Loving
- We Just Disagree
- (Unknown) (Instrumental)
- Sad and Deep as You (Jonathan McEuen on vocals)
- Ain´t Your Legs Tired Baby (Jonathan McEuen on vocals)
- Let It Go, Let It Flow
- Good 2 U
- How Do I Get To Heaven
- Just a Song
- Only You Know and I Know
- Feelin’ Alright
- All Along the Watchtower
Dave Mason – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Jonathan McEuen – Guitar, Vocals
Alvino Bennett – Drums
Bonnie & Bekka Bramlett – Backing Vocals on “Only You Know and I Know” and “Feelin’ Alright”