8 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Of all the ’70s-era singer/songwriters who were in famous bands, ex-Traffic man Dave Mason might be the most underrated. Here, he has a Stephen Stills–like way of dressing songs down; they’re always sturdy, well-crafted, and heartfelt. And they're more revealing than profound: he sings of finding solace in music on the beautiful and banjo-enriched “Just a Song” and offers up social commentary on the midtempo folky “World in Changes.” He tenders utter love sadness in “Sad and Deep as You” (later sung by Steve Winwood on the 1971 Traffic album Live at the Canteen), sings of relationship truth on “Can’t Stop Worrying, Can’t Stop Loving,” and then hits sing-along folk-rock gold on the single “Only You Know and I Know.” This 1970 debut solo album sways, soothes, and rocks in a slightly understated way, but the only old-fashioned thing about it is that it takes a few listens to sink in. His crack backing band is chockablock with greats, including Chris Ethridge, Rita Coolidge, Bonnie Bramlett, and Leon Russell.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Of all the ’70s-era singer/songwriters who were in famous bands, ex-Traffic man Dave Mason might be the most underrated. Here, he has a Stephen Stills–like way of dressing songs down; they’re always sturdy, well-crafted, and heartfelt. And they're more revealing than profound: he sings of finding solace in music on the beautiful and banjo-enriched “Just a Song” and offers up social commentary on the midtempo folky “World in Changes.” He tenders utter love sadness in “Sad and Deep as You” (later sung by Steve Winwood on the 1971 Traffic album Live at the Canteen), sings of relationship truth on “Can’t Stop Worrying, Can’t Stop Loving,” and then hits sing-along folk-rock gold on the single “Only You Know and I Know.” This 1970 debut solo album sways, soothes, and rocks in a slightly understated way, but the only old-fashioned thing about it is that it takes a few listens to sink in. His crack backing band is chockablock with greats, including Chris Ethridge, Rita Coolidge, Bonnie Bramlett, and Leon Russell.

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