Homeward Bound: A Loving Tribute to John-Alex Mason
Album: Homeward Bound: A Loving Tribute to John-Alex Mason
Homeward Bound: A Loving Tribute to John-Alex Mason is exactly what it sounds like, a message of love for a fallen friend by fellow artists who knew, admired, and most importantly loved him. John-Alex Mason was taken from the earth all too soon, an artist in the primmest of his prime and poised to have his music spread worldwide. Mason’s music is exceptional for its attention to the roots which spawned it and for the vitality which drove it. John-Alex Mason was an original among a legion of copycats and a loving soul who deeply touched those who knew him best with his humanness and compassion for his fellow man.
Homeward Bound: A Loving Tribute to John-Alex Mason includes contributions from some of the artists who knew him and worked with him. Valerie June’s “Rain Dance” is a beautiful yet mournful tribute to the remembering of a close friend. Microwave Dave Gallaher’s “Wild Peace” takes the listener to another audial landscape to explain what drives an artist’s passion. Mississippi Gabe Carter’s “Two White Horses” channels Bentonia in a somber blues dirge sounding like a wind coming way over across the hill. Cedric Burnside’s “John-Alex Mason”, Gerry Hundt and Ronnie Shellist’s “Jaybird”, and Sam Simon’s “Blues in the Blood” honor the man most directly as people who knew this unique soul all too well and shared many fond times with him. Fiona Boyes’ “Ember” and Big George Brock’s “So Long” hammer home some real deal blues while Davis Coen’s “Mile After Mile” and Rev. K.M. Williams’ “Let Jesus Lead You” take a deep step into the trance of the North Mississippi Hill Country, a region so influential to Mason as an artist himself. Johnny Lowebow, the progenitor of the Lowebow Cigar Box Guitar favored by Mason as a performer, hits home with the rousing “Mule Team.” Elam McKnight and Bob Bogdal’s “Red Wheel Barrow” waxes on the trials of human existence in an acoustic blues number while Jeff Norwood, who also sadly passed away during the making of the album, delivers a gutbucket special on “Walking Catfish Blues.”
Elam McKnight, one of the contributing artists, observes “While everyone on this album has their own unique voice and style what holds the entire thing together, for me as a listener, is the obvious care and passion everyone brought to the table. It is truly a collection and reflection of love.” All the monies derived from the sale of this album are placed in a special fund for the children of John-Alex Mason. Mason is survived by his mother, brother, wife and two small children.