One Rock and Roll Hall of Famer will be “Feelin’ Alright” in Kauai on Feb. 9 during “The Very Best of Dave Mason” tour.
Dave Mason will be performing hits from his illustrious career, including classics like “Feelin’ Alright,” among other favorites, at Kauai Beach Resort.
“It’s what I love doing, it’s my passion,” Mason said. “I’ll be basically doing it until I can’t do it anymore, or until nobody comes to the shows.”
Mason founded the legendary band, Traffic, with Steve Winwood in 1967 while still a teenager before establishing himself as a successful songwriter, guitarist and solo artist.
“It’s just something I decided to do when I was 15 years old,” Mason said.
While a teen, the Worcester, England native penned the Traffic hit Feelin’ Alright that became a global rock anthem recorded by dozens of artists including Joe Cocker, who had a huge international hit with the song.
After extensive touring throughout the UK and Europe, Mason struck international gold with his debut solo album, Alone Together, which has sold millions of copies since its original release. Five successful albums for the CBS/Sony label followed, four of which received gold album certification in the states.
Mason has performed in Hawaii on and off since the 70s, developing a close connection to the islands with his part-time home on Maui.
“I’m happy to have a little footprint over here,” Mason said. “It’s a beautiful place to enjoy. It’s a little paradise, and I think everybody understands that. I don’t surf, but we’re all pretty much here for the same reasons.”
He was asleep during the ballistic missile threat alert, but said, “If it was real I would have probably gone to the beach to watch it.”
In addition to performing to sold-out audiences and being a permanent staple in record collections, Mason’s unique guitar work can be heard on landmark songs by artists such as the Rolling Stones, George Harrison and Paul McCartney.
“I’ve played with a number of great people, one being Jimi Hendrix,” Mason said.
Hendrix’s major rock standard, “All Along the Watchtower,” features Mason playing the acoustic guitar before Hendrix’s soaring entrance onto the track. The song is a favorite he performs in nearly every one of his live shows.
“I have really good players that are passionate about what they do, and we have a mixture of stuff that’s Dave Mason and also some Traffic songs in there,” Mason said. “So it’s a cool little show.”
“I think we were in Kauai about two years ago,” he added. “I still have the same band, and it’s a great band.”
Dave Mason’s work and career remain linked with numerous other members of rock and roll elite, including Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Fleetwood Mac, Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, Rita Coolidge, Leon Russell, Ron Wood, Jim Capaldi, Mama Cass Elliot and The Spencer Davis Group.
According to Mason, things are a lot different for young musicians now than when he was growing up, with more bands, people and competition.
“If you have a passion for what you’re doing and that’s your dream, all you can do is pursue it.” Mason said. “There’s no record industry any more per say, so it’s a little different in that respect.”
“But I guess, you just take a shot and go after it in hopes you get lucky and get the right breaks,” he added. “Some people have, but it’s a crap shoot.”
The 71-year-old artist’s career spans several eras and encompasses his work as a producer, performer, songwriter and guitarist. In 2004, Mason was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work with the groundbreaking group, Traffic.
He says he has no idea what makes his music so popular except that “people seem to like it.”
“I got lucky,” he said. “I just write what I feel, and whatever it was that I feel, people like.”
The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. at Kauai Beach Resort’s Jasmine Ballroom in Lihue. Tickets are $45 for general admission and $65 for Gold Circle admission. Ticket outlets include Kauai Music & Sound in Kapaa, Hanalei Music & Strings in Hanalei, Progressive Expressions in Koloa, Scotty’s Music in Lihue, and Jacqueline On Kauai in Hanapepe.
Info: www.bluesbearhawaii.com, 896-4845