Dave Mason’s Traffic Jam tour hits Maui this Thursday, June 11 at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center’s Castle Theatre. There, Mason’s music and a multimedia slide show will pay tribute to both his Traffic bandmates and his rock and roll life, which began in England in the 1950s.
Mason is a prolific artist. By age 17, he had formed a band called the Jaguars. A year later, he was part of another band, the Hellions, which is where he met Jim Capaldi. Through Capaldi, Mason further met Steve Winwood and Chris Wood. Together, those three formed Traffic, which was heralded in 1967 for bringing about a new, evolved sound. Mason was in and out of Traffic’s various configurations, which ranged from as few as three members to as large as seven. Their psychedelic rock sound blossomed, but Winwood quit the band in 1974, and the remaining members soon after went their separate ways.
Mason embarked on a successful solo career, bouncing from Traffic in 1969 for a spell, when he joined Blind Faith. His song “Only You Know and I Know” went to #2 in 1970, and his first album Alone Together made the top 25. He briefly joined Mama Cass Elliot, before jumping back into Traffic for a few shows.
Mason was a strong performer and did a string of concert stage shows from Red Rocks to Madison Square Garden in the 1970s, as well as recording hits for Columbia. His album Let It Flow went Platinum, and Mariposa del Oro went gold.
He jumped labels again in the 1980s when rock and roll tastes were changing. But he struggled in those years, saying it was a difficult time because he wasn’t sure what he wanted. After releasing Some Assembly Required in 1987, Mason joined a new configuration of Fleetwood Mac from 1994 to 1996. Their album time included two songs co-written with Mason.
In 2008, he released 26 Letters and 12 Notes. He’d realized that he has gusto for performing and began touring again. With his 2015 world tour Traffic Jam, Mason draws on all the appearances and work he’s done with musicians as diverse as Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, Graham Nash, David Crosby, Eric Clapton, Winwood, Paul McCartney and Joe Walsh, producing a huge stage performance replete with images and his own recollections.
“I think that it’s important to keep alive the legacy of four young men from the heartland of England and their contribution to contemporary music,” says Mason. “And Traffic Jam–aside from the obvious material–will hopefully grow into the basis for other artists to participate. Keep the spirit alive!”
Traffic Jam will feature hits and album cuts from photos, stories from Dave, new material and a selection of his classic music. Proceeds from Mason’s tour will also go to his philanthropic efforts, like supporting Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit organization that provides instruments for childrens’ musical education. Mason is also involved in Work Vessels for Vets and Yoga Blue.
For show tickets, call the Maui Arts and Cultural Center at 808-242-7469. Tickets are $35, $45, $55 and $65 for reserved seating. Doors open at 7pm, show starts at 7:30pm. For more information, visit Davemasonmusic.com.