John-Alex Mason | Time Will Come

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United States - Colorado

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Blues: Acoustic Blues Blues: Delta Style Moods: Spiritual
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Time Will Come

by John-Alex Mason

Award-winning and National Reso-Phonic endorsing John-Alex Mason teams up with an All-Star cast to meld this album of song-writer driven blues from the country to the city.
Genre: Blues: Acoustic Blues
Release Date: 

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1. Going out the Country
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3:58 $0.99
2. 2004 Highway Blues
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2:54 $0.99
3. Wildflower
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4:48 $0.99
4. Pea Vine Blues
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3:24 $0.99
5. Time Will Come
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2:30 $0.99
6. Rescue
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4:33 $0.99
7. Honest Like That
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4:32 $0.99
8. Biscuits & Blue Sky
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3:28 $0.99
9. The All New! Miss Brown Blues
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4:08 $0.99
10. No Wasting Time (Again My Friends)
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3:37 $0.99
11. Music For Money
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5:21 $0.99
12. Everybody Ought to treat a Stranger right
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13. Spiritual #1
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
John-Alex Mason roots his music within a love of pre-War blues styles and his passionate shows weave poignant originals with interpretations of rare songs from America's past.

"Time Will Come" Mason's third album was released in April 2004 and HIT #24 on the LIVING BLUES CHART FOR JULY 2004. The record features the playing of Bill Rich (Taj Mahal Trio) on Bass, Chris Stongal (Denver session drummer extraordinaire) on Drums, Jim Waddell ( Chris Daniels and The Kings) on Saxaphone and Organ, and Gerry Hundt (Nick Moss and the Flips Tops) on Harmonica. The album's 13 tunes feature 11 new tunes by Mason and covers of Blind Willie Johnson and Charlie Patton. Mason will again tour New England Solo in the Spring on each side of a Solo European tour in March 2004.

Mason began his solo career in South Carolina and was quickly dubbed "Big John" by locals for his enormous stage presence and his "commanding Southern voice" as described by Blues Revue magazine. Dropping the moniker and moving back to his home state of Colorado, Mason recorded his debut album "Walking Tracks" and a second, "Mason & Hundt." Both feature enlivening originals where Mason "always turns in vocals as compelling as his playing (Blues Revue)" and covers of Robert Johnson, Elizabeth Cotten, Bukka White, Charlie Patton and Mississippi John Hurt, artists Mason sites as fundamental influences.

In 2001 Mason won the esteemed Crossroads Acoustic Blues Competition at the Telluride Blues Festival and has been invited back each year since to perform and teach workshops. Recently fans of Jimmie Vaughn, John Mayall, Joan Osborne, Pat Green and Alana Davis have enjoyed Mason's tunes when he opened for those artists. Mason endorses John Pearse Strings and National Reso-Phonic Guitars and was recently featured in National's "Artists in Resonance" audio catalog.


Reviews


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Doug McMaster

One of the best CD releases this year, period!
When John Alex Mason contacted me about doing a review of his new CD, I have to admit to some trepidation; it’s an awkward position to be in when you are asked to give an honest evaluation of a friend’s CD if you are unimpressed with the work, even more so if one is going to be using a public forum for that review.

That said, I can say without hesitation that this is one of the best CDs by a local blues artist this year and one of the best CD releases this year, period!

John-Alex’s singing and guitar playing is much more relaxed, more natural, exhibiting the maturity of an artist who has found his voice. His arrangements are simple and uncluttered, giving his fellow musicians plenty of room to move without allowing them to upstaging the music.

Going beyond the idea of placing lyrics to standard 12 bar blues melodies, to actually finding the riff that encapsulates the feeling of a song, is what separates this CD from so many others. “Wildflower” is a perfect example of this; the opening line, “She’s like cool rain” is matched to a perfect guitar riff, you can almost feel the rain on your face. Combined with some old time blue-eyed soul and a sensuous sax solo, it could be a major hit if the radio stations would pick it up.

The opening cut, “Going out to the Country,” lays down a casual groove that sets the mood for the entire CD. This song is a celebration of down home life, the harp work conjuring visions of an old pick-up and daisy dukes, fishing poles and barbeque.

“Rescue” not only pays tribute to Peggy Lee’s “Fever,” but tells the story from the male perspective. It does Ms. Lee proud.

Every artist comes to a point where they have to decide where they draw the line between their art and being a commercially viable enterprise. John-Alex examines that dilemma with the tune “Music for Money,” where he explains what he expects from himself and his audience, with no apologies. If the quality of this CD is a result of that no-compromise-this-is-what-I-do decision, John-Alex has a very successful future in front of him.

“Spiritual #1” ends the CD beautifully with a prayer. A song of hope and reward in the afterlife that starts with the desolate sound of a slide guitar then segueing into the traditional style of finger-picking, giving it a happy, joyous sound. It is also the final part of the themes of life, love, friends, hope and faith that makes this CD so remarkable.

TIME WILL COME is much more than a collection of blues songs; it could very easily be a blues opera or musical. Get this CD, you will not regret it!

Joe Sciallo, Colorado Springs Independent

He plays right sporty.
This CD of 13 songs is a trip back into our collective past. Listening to it, I want to go out in the country of the Deep South, find me an old front porch, and eat some Saturday night fish fry. I want to sit beside slow moving rivers and wile away the day. I want to drive overgrown back roads that seem to go on forever.

Local boy John-Alex plays and sings the blues of the 1920s and 1930s in a way that honors the tradition of musicians like Tommy Johnson, Charlie Patton and Son House. On "2004 Highway Blues" and "Pea Vine Blues," John-Alex and his National steel guitar reveal the soul and passion of an era long gone. At the same time, Mason offers up crossover possibilities, like a Corey Harris, when the full band kicks into gear on songs such as "Rescue" and "Honest Like That."

Someone once paid the guitar great Blind Blake a compliment, saying: "He plays right sporty." On Time Will Come, John-Alex displays that same sportiness. His combination of awesome technique and huge voice are a welcome sign for the future of the blues.

Little Johnny Kantreed - Music City Blues Society

Mason is in it for the love of his craft, as it shows in Time Will Come.
John-Alex Mason has released his third album, Time Will Come, on the Colorado based label Naked Jaybird Music. Mason’s third release takes us back to the roots of the blues, with his exceptional National slide work, and the work of his longtime blues harp buddy, Gerry Hundt. The album’s 13 tunes feature 11 new numbers by Mason, with brilliant covers of Blind Willie Johnson and Charlie Patton.
The album kicks off with the upbeat “Going Out The Country”, which features some fine Hundt harp playing. “2004 Highway Blues” is the first of many cuts on the CD that showcases Mason’s expertise on the Piedmont style picking of his National resonator. Jim Waddell (Chris Daniels and The Kings) adds a little contemporary flavor with his organ and sax on “Wildflower”.
The traditional “Pea Vine Blues” takes us back to the pre-War sound, where Mason conjures up sounds of the old time Delta. On the title track, “Time Will Come”, Mason pulls out his slide makes his National really cry with the emotion of the song. “Rescue”, with a “Fever” sounding feel, once again features Hundt’s harp. With “Honest Like That”, an upbeat number, Mason gets a little funky with his guitar work, setting this cut apart from the rest. Another upbeat tune, “The All New! Miss Brown Blues” shows a side of Mason in his lyrics that anyone can relate. “Everybody Ought To Treat A Stranger Right” is another traditional number that reminds us of our heroes of the past, with wonderful finger picking in the old Piedmont style. “Spiritual #1” has a swampy slide intro, then whisks the listener away into an old time gospel feel.
Even though the CD is an excellent work through and through, the two highlights are “Biscuits & Blue Sky”, and “Music For Money”. In “Biscuits & Blue Sky”, Mason talks of his Colorado raising, taking us back to a simpler time. “Music For Money” is a place where just about every artist has been – writing and playing for yourself, but if you want to pay me a little, I’m not going to argue about it. But, still the message comes across, Mason is in it for the love of his craft, as it shows in Time Will Come.

Dave Angle- Colorado Blues Society Holler

John-Alex is an excellent player and this is a very good CD.
John-Alex is an excellent player and this is a very good CD. There are 13 tracks – some with John-Alex singing and playing a National (finger picking with slide) and other tracks with electric guitar, harmonica, bass and drums. I particularly enjoyed his version of Blind Willie Johnson’s “Everbody Ought to Treat a Stranger Right.” John-Alex’s original compare quite nicely to the few covers he does on this release. The lyrics of “Biscuits & Blues Sky” capture the influences of the South and Colorado in his blues music. The entire disc is an excellent mix of single and multiple-instrument tunes. I took the opportunity to check John-Alex live before submitting this review and I’ll definitely look for him again. He puts on a great solo show. It’s great to have his talent on our local scene.

Jeff Calvin- BLUES REVUE

Time Will Come shows serious chops.
John-Alex Mason’s Time Will Come, shows serious chops. Mason, an acoustic guitarist and singer wrote every song on the album- a fine batch of varied tunes from light-footed country shuffles “Going Out the Country” to more traditional Blues smokers “Rescue.” Mason’s a master at laid back intensity, and he has a great band. It’s recorded with extreme care, too – what a concept, eh?