Only 19 years old when he wrote the classic Traffic track “Feelin’ Alright,” singer-guitarist Dave Mason has continued to benefit from the legacy he left with that band. He and Steve Cropper of Booker T. and the MG’s have spent the summer together touring as Rock & Soul Revue. The two Rock Hall inductees stopped at the Kent Stage last night, and earlier today, they made a lunch-time appearance at the Rock Hall.
Initially, Rock Hall CEO Greg Harris introduced the two and described it as a “special day at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
” as he spoke about their “remarkable careers.”
The two then donated a guitar that the Rock Hall could auction to benefit its educational programs, and radio personality Rachel Steele conducted an interview with the guys as well as with singer Gretchen Rhodes, who’s part of the Rock & Soul Revue group. While Mason and Cropper didn’t perform, they talked about the forthcoming Rock & Soul Revue album and Steele even had a DJ played cuts from some of the live album on the Rock Hall PA system.
Mason spoke about meeting guitarist Jimi Hendrix and recording some tracks that appeared on Electric Ladyland
. He admitted he doesn’t know what happened to some of the tunes he and Hendrix cut. “There are a lot of great guitar players,” he said, “but there are no more Jimi Hendrixes.”
Rhodes said she's cultivated a friendship with the guys and said that she’s been “blessed” to perform with them.
Prior to hearing the Rock & Soul version of "Feelin' Alright," Mason talked about the tune.
“I think every bar band still plays ‘Feelin’ Alright,’ but Joe Cocker’s version is the way I wish I could’ve recorded it,” said Mason. “That was [almost] 50 years ago, and it still sounds great. It’s an exercise in simplicity. It’s two chords. That’s all it is.”
Mason and Cropper also spoke about their various influences too. “The British Invasion is really an American story because all the music came from here,” said Mason. “There would be no Dave Mason if it weren’t for the great blues players. The stuff we all listened to all comes from here — blues, jazz, gospel, country.”
Cropper cited Chet Atkins and Les Paul as early influences.
Cropper also talked about working with Otis Redding on “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay.” “He was an incredible guy,” Cropper said of Redding.
Cropper and Mason recorded their album at a single show with no overdub, and Mason spoke highly of touring with Cropper.
“I’ve been doing Dave for 50 years," said Mason, "so it’s been nice to mix it up and do something else.”