Sunday, August 3, 2014

There's No Gridlock For Dave Mason's “Traffic Jam” in Hamden

Legendary rocker Dave Mason brought his  “Traffic Jam” tour to Town Center Park in Hamden, CT on Friday, August 1. The show was the last in the town’s 2014 outdoor summer concert series. Luckily, the weather held out, and there was no rain in sight during the evening. Kicking off the show with “40,000 Headmen,” Mason led his stellar backing band through a solid set of Traffic classics & songs from his solo career. The first portion of the evening focused on Traffic, and included “Pearly Queen” & “Medicated Goo.” Interestingly enough, Mason performed a couple of Traffic tunes more closely associated with fellow member Steve Winwood, who sang lead vocals on the originals.  Mason altered the arrangements to “Dear Mr. Fantasy” & “Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” to suit his own bluesy style, and while the songs sounded different from the originals, the new versions sounded great.

After “Dear Mr. Fantasy” Mason remarked “it’s time for some Dave songs” and he launched into a group of solo numbers including the well-remembered 70s hit “We Just Disagree” and the often-covered “Only You Know & I Know.” He also performed a couple of tracks from his recent release Future’s Past, including “How Do I Get To Heaven” a song co-written by Jim Capaldi, another member of Traffic. Mason spoke warmly of working with him in Traffic and during his solo years. He talked about the genesis of the tune, which was left partially finished when Capaldi passed away in 2005. Mason later finished the song and recorded it. The emotional performance was one of the highlights of the concert. The excellent show finished with great renditions of “Let It Go, Let It Flow” (a personal favorite of mine) and a cover of “All Along The Watchtower.” By the way, Mason actually played on the Hendrix version of that song back in the 60s.

The crowd wasn’t quite ready to let Dave go, however, and he returned for an encore featuring another classic that he wrote “Feelin’ Alright,” which became a huge hit for Joe Cocker. The funky arrangement of the song was the perfect way to end the night with the appreciative audience grooving along as the evening drew to a close. Dave Mason’s “Traffic Jam” tour will be on the road for some more dates this summer, and if you’re a classic rock fan, this is most definitely a show you'll want to see. Here are links to Dave performing “Feeling Alright”, “Only You Know & I Know,” and “We Just Disagree”

I’d also like to note that Remember September, an excellent jam band based in Trumbull, CT were a great opening act at the show. Their set featured songs from their CD The Roads We Travel as well as some new material. They have a cool sound that’s a mix of rock & funk and delivered some great grooves to kick off the evening. This was the group’s second visit to the Hamden Summer Concert Series after opening for Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes in 2012. They are worth checking out, and you can find out more about them at:

Set List for Dave Mason:
40, 000 Headmen
Pearly Queen
Medicated Goo
Rock & Roll Stew
Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
Dear Mr. Fantasy
World in Changes
We Just Disagree
How Do I Get To Heaven
Good 2 You
Only You Know & I Know
Shouldn't Have Took More Than You Gave
Let It Go, Let It Flow
All Along The Watchtower
Feelin' Alright

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