Dave Mason is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, being a founder of the legendary band Traffic, composer of such hits as Feelin' Alright? and We Just Disagree, a solo star, a sideman with performers like Jimi Hendrix and Delaney and Bonnie, and in the 1990's was briefly in Fleetwood Mac. Dave still performers regularly, sings as well as ever, and his reputation as one of rock's finest guitarists is still in tact.
But nowadays he adds a couple of more hats to his impressive collection....that of advocate for returning veterans from the wars in the Middle East, and giving the gift of music to America's school children.
I've been a fan of Mason's music for years...I had the album TRAFFIC on vinyl, and at onetime owned Mason's LP's ALONE TOGETHER, IT'S LIKE YOU NEVER LEFT, DAVE MASON, and LET IT FLOW, and now own several on CD (replacing the worn out at scratchy LP's). And I did see him on stage once...VERY briefly. The reformed TRAFFIC (minus Mason) was performing in New York. Their encore was "Heaven is Your Mind". Mason came on stage to play the guitar solo while Steve Winwood played piano and sang, to a surprised and appreciative audience.
But it wasn't until I was doing my FLEETWOOD MAC (for my Classic Rock blog) research that I learned of the philanthropy of Dave Mason.
The British born Mason (born in Worcester, UK May 10, 1944) sits on the board of directors (honorary) of Little Kids Rock, an organization that provides free instruments and lessons to public school children throughout the United States. Other notable supporters include Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Ziggy Marley, Paul Simon, baseball's Al Leiter, Carlos Santana, JOURNEY founder Greg Rollie, and many others. The kids have some videos on the website, click here to check them out.
Dave Mason is also a supporter and donor of Work Vessels For Veterans Below is an excerpt that explains their mission from their home page.
Work Vessels for Veterans is an all volunteer movement assisting returning veterans begin their civilian careers or educational pursuits by acquiring and distributing the necessary start-up tools. Founded with the gift of a fishing boat beginning a commercial fishing career for a returning Iraq veteran, the Foundation is expanding its outreach to other industries, to assist our returning military.
The foundation is currently developing relationships in many industry sectors to secure necessary products for distribution. All donations of products or services are directly distributed to veterans and all financial contributions are used to acquire, prepare or enhance those items to be gifted.
For both donor partner information or veteran sign up, please follow the links here to contact us.
More about Dave Mason and his contributions to WVFV (from their website)
Dave Mason, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and founding member of the classic group Traffic, has joined the Work Vessels for Veterans Foundation. Dave has always been and continues to be a strong supporter of the cause. He has done multiple benefit shows to raise both financial support and awareness for the foundation. His donations and financial support have helped the progress of this every growing organization. His addition to the board of directors is welcomed with open arms and his role will be very instrumental in the future growth of WVFV. With the release of his latest CD and supporting concert and media tour, Dave has brought the awareness to the public throughout the United States. To learn more about Dave Mason, visit his website at http://www.dave-mason.com/
On a personal note I thank Dave Mason for his caring so much for America's kids, and for our veterans. The young ones are some of America's most vulnerable, the vets are among our most neglected, and in some cases, our most scarred. Dave Mason is a great artist...and a greater human being.
Let's close with a clip from one of his shows from SUNRISE, FL from a few years back.