3rd Annual Dutch Mason Blues Festival


PDA

View Full Version : 3rd Annual Dutch Mason Blues Festival


KonaNuNu
08-13-2007, 07:34 AM
There is a legend on the Blues circuit here in Canada named Dutch Mason. Back in the seventies and early eighties before his health went to hell Dutch was selling out venues across Canada and opening for all the blues legends.

The tales of Dutch's hard living ways are almost mythical (he'd get $20,000 for the week and the band's bar tab would far exceed that; I have watched him chug down a pint of dark rum while waiting for the guitar player to finish his solo and then belt out his verse)
He was a fantastic guitar player until arthritis and the gout caught up to him. His hands turned black and his fingernails and toenails fell off. He switched to piano for a while but in the end he lead the band and did all the vocals. Earlier this year Dutch died penniless in a rooming house in Truro Nova Scotia and the blues world lost perhaps the greatest Canadian blues player ever. He played it AND lived it.

So........there is a Blues Festival named in his honour held in Truro. I went this Saturday night and saw his son, Garrett Mason who has a very tight trio. Garrett plays Texas style blues kinda in the vein of SRV, Albert Collins and the like. Throw in a little Jump and it was all good. He was awesome. Dutch would have been very proud. Next on the bill was Joe Murphy and the Water Street Blues Band. Based out of Halifax, the do straight ahead Chicago blues including all the old standards. They too were awesome.

Then James Cotton hit the stage and turned that mother OUT. As you know his voice is gone so he sat in a chair in the middle of the stage directing the band and blowin' harp like the king he is. I didn't recognize any of his band mated but the two guitarists were gold. One of guys who handled also handles the vocals worshiped BB King and if you closed your eyes it might as well have been him. Even the vibrato technique was exactly the same. James Cotton was unbelievable. Best live musical event I've ever seen and I've seen them all.

Then Buddy Guy hit the stage and I have to tell you I was disappointed. It was way too over the top. I don't doubt he can play but it really was just a Stratocaster jerk fest. Way too much sustain and really was just him doing 12 versions of that one song he does where the band cranks up some rhythm, he steps up to the mike tells everyone to hush or shut up drops a few lines over top of a quiet rhythm section and then it builds to crescendo and he does all the standard guitar player tricks like playing with his teeth, behind his back, left hand only. To be honest I was bored to tears and left. I guess because I play I saw through all the crap. Buddy Guy has become a parity of himself. He doesn't really play anymore. He performs this tired old act where the music is second to his mugging and completely over the top playing.

But a huge amount of love goes out to Garrett Mason, Joe Murphy and James Cotton. Cotton's band did a slow burner and I literally felt tears welling up in my eyes.

Any one else attend? What's your thoughts?

dr_john
08-13-2007, 08:05 AM
well that sounds like one hell of a concert, thanks for sharing it with us.

i have to agree with you about buddy guy, i saw him here in the UK a few years ago and i was so disappointed with his clowning about instead of giving the crowd the music that they had come to hear.

KonaNuNu
08-13-2007, 04:30 PM
Here's some video of Garrett Mason. Not from this year's festival but from last year's

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjZhirNEsQs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8QdY6daJeI&mode=related&search=

Here is the late Dutch mason at his 60th birthday bash

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uI63w1ptfg8