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    Dave Mason

    26 Letters 12 Notes

    Dave Mason - 26 Letters 12 Notes

    2008 | Out The Box Records 

    • CD

      $15.99

      26 LETTERS 12 NOTES

      10/14/2008

    • iTunes

      Prices may vary.

      Subject to availability.


    All Music Guide Review

    Dave Mason is a co-founder of the legendary rock band Traffic. He's played on some of the greatest rock albums in history: Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland, George Harrison's All Things Must Pass, and Delaney & Bonnie's Motel Shot among them. 26 Letters 12 Notes (issued on his own Out of the Box imprint through RED Distribution) is his first new album in a decade. Originally produced by Mason at home in California, additional recording was done in Detroit and Miami. It's a back to basics, '70s style rock and Brit soul record. It contains some modern co-production by a number of folks including the Motor City's Mark and Brian Pastoria (some of the mixing was also done in Detroit). It reveals Mason not only as a solid, focused, and relevant songwriter in the rock idiom, but as an expressive vocalist of uncanny power and depth (he's actually gotten better over the decades). His guitar playing has continued to develop and grow: he is a far more interesting player than his peer Eric Clapton is at this stage of the game. There isn't anything showy or hyper-consciously "dazzling" in the presentation, Mason's always been humble, and he sets his playing and singing to be true to his songs. There are some stellar guests on the set, including Willie Nelson (playing guitar, not singing), and percussionist and vocalist Sheila E. The big surprise is soul/gospel vocalist Beth Griffith belting it out with great firepower. The production is warm, lively, and immediate. It's not in your face; instead it concentrates on presenting the music as alive dynamically, though it is rich and deep in its textures. The opener, "Good 2 U," is classic Mason, with a bluesy guitar riff backed by a taut string arrangement. The blues ring out in fills against Mason's open, emotional baritone. The guitar winds around a funky backbeat on the refrain, complete with a chorus of backing vocalists, a tight snare, and a slithering B-3. "One Day" opens with the same raucous Stratocaster playing a gospel blues, with Mason belting it out on top. The chorus, piano, and organ interact with that guitar and are infectious. The keyboard sounds meld into Mason's rough-edged guitar in a chorded riff; they feel like the sound of the mid-'70s radio rock roaring out of the dashboard speakers. This is a highway anthem disguised as a broken love song. Mason's lyrics serve his voice; they are wonderfully written. In "How Do I Get to Heaven," his writing is emotionally worthy of Barrett Strong and lyrically of Bob Dylan. This is a hymn to busted love so emotionally authentic, we keep expecting the singer to break down. There's a beautiful pedal steel here played by Dana Keller that does exactly what it's supposed to do: add a ton of atmosphere without being intrusive. Mason loves late R&B and early rock & roll, as evidenced by the swagger in "Ain't Your Legs Tired Baby," with a smoking baritone sax adding raunch to the roll. Other winners include the midtempo torch song "Passing Thru the Flame," and two pumped up slippery funk tunes in "That's Love," and "World of Hunger" with Sheila E. There's also a happening Spanish guitar-tinged instrumental called "El Toro." The set ends with the country-ish "Full Circle and Then," a gorgeous love song with wonderful acoustic and electric guitar work as well as Mason's deeply committed vocal. 26 Letters 12 Notes stands tall in Mason's catalog; it's proof that some veteran rockers are still hungry for the Muse; they've have been stashing diamonds in the dust of age -- this album is full of them and proof that Mason doesn't rest on his laurels. ~ Thom Jurek, Rovi

    26 Letters 12 Notes Track Listing

    26 Letters 12 Notes Notes

    Dave Mason's first full album of all new songs in over 20 years.

    It contains twelve classic new tracks and features the singles "Good 2 U", "Pink Lipstick", "How Do I Get To Heaven" (Featuring Willie Nelson on guitar), "That's Love" (featuring Sheila E), and "Full circle and Then".

    Dave Mason gets back to his roots writing and recording the songs and music that make him the Rock & Roll legend that he is, on his new album, "26 Letters ~ 12 Notes". From his days playing with Traffic, along with Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, and Eric Clapton, Dave Mason's new CD, "26 Letters ~ 12 Notes" captures the heart and soul again and again with songs like "Good 2 U", "One Day" and "How Do I Get To Heaven".

    Credits of 26 Letters 12 Notes

    • Mark Pastoria
    • Percussion, Producer, Mixing, Engineer, Programming
    • Renato Neto
    • Bass, Piano, Fender Rhodes, Orchestral Arrangements, Strings
    • Jonathan McEuen
    • Guitar (Acoustic), Vocals (Background), Guitar (Electric)
    • Dave Mason
    • Guitar, Composer, Vocals, Vocals (Background), Producer, Artwork, Design, Mixing


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