Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
A major problem for many rock musicians who become famous is that they are constantly confronted with the accomplishments of their past and are compelled to live up to them. For some, it produces new achievements, while others try to repeat the past and degenerate into self-parody.
Dave Mason is a musician with an awesome past. He was a founding member of Traffic, the magical English group of the late '60s, and his 1970 solo record "Alone Together" is a rock classic.
Appearing Thursday at the Merriweather Post Pavilion, Mason demonstrated that he is not content to rest on the successes of his past. His set drew upon material from his long (by rock standards) career. "Perly Queen" was revived from the Traffic days, while "Only You Know and I Know" was the featured single from "Alone." Mason also included songs from his newest record, "Mariposa Dc Oro," such as "Searching for a Feeling," which proved as strong as his earlier work.
His voice is still strong and velvety smooth and his diction is as precise as any rock vocalist - all of the words were distinct above the high volume of his group. Mason's guitar work was also fresh and sparkling. Never endowed with the greatest technical range, he chooses his notes carefully, presenting solos that are melodically and harmonically sophisticated.