As some of you may be aware and yet too many may not even realize, Dave Mason may well be the all time best kept secret in the history of rock and roll. Having played alongside the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Steve Winwood, George Harrison and Eric Clapton, his guitar mastery really has never been given its rightful place among rock’s elite.
There are those who surely have heard the name bandied about throughout their journeys as music listeners and most assuredly know of the band Traffic with whom he played during their most productive and successful period, but as a result of lackluster sales on the majority of his solo projects, his fame has been less than stellar and his status perhaps tainted.
Yet within his catalog of solo ventures is a gem that I think no collection can be complete without. Honestly, I think it would be difficult to find a better soft rock album produced during the 1970’s from open to close than 1976’s “Let It Flow”. Spawning what might be considered his biggest single hit, “We Just Disagree” the album features song after song that seem to be perfectly meshed together in a bond that can only be termed as spectacular. I will admit that when I first heard the album while sipping a Budweiser at my fraternity house in college, I honestly was stunned to a point of paralysis. Having become seduced by rock from a much harder genre during my high school days and not yet having had a girlfriend who would of course cause me to soften the edges of my listening, from the opening riffs of “So High” through to the pop melody “What Do We Got Here?” that closes side two (Remember, it was an LP in 1976…) there is nary an album track on the entire record. Every song could be classified a classic or at least a hit. It is, without a doubt, a hidden treasure that is and will forever be one I’ll replace time and again should I wear out my copies in my waning years.
Along with the previously mentioned tracks are other wonderful songs like the title track and “Mystic Traveler”. Like I said, there is no such thing as a filler piece on this album and yet not a single song strays from the magical chemistry to Mason’s obvious love which is hard rock. He played along side Hendrix, for example, on the Electric Ladyland album. He also released a version of “All Along The Watchtower”.
For my money, I will say it again, this is as good as rock gets regardless of the style that may be your own preference. It is an album for the ages and honestly it can be appreciated by young people today just as much as it was in its time. I guess ultimately that would classify it as timeless and honestly it is exactly that. Pick it up. You won’t be sorry.