It's been three decades since Mason Daring's last release. Yep, three full decades, from back when music was indited in vinyl, not aluminum. This makes it appropriate that he'd open with a cover of Ricky Nelson's Travelin' Man. In the meantime, the gent hasn't exactly been sitting on his hands, having pursued film music by way of collaborations that even included auteur John Sayles, for his movie Eight Men Out and others. For this CD's version of that flick's cut, though, Sayles added verses, and the whole thing was newly performed.
Daring has a gentle swing to what he writes, though it sometimes starts to boogie, as in cuts like Baby Blue, and his mode of composition and arrangement frequently call up Van Dyke Parks, Paul Williams, Robert Kraft, and similar musicians. Part of the reason for his absence seems to be rooted in a situation JP Jones experienced: Daring was caught in the crunch between Columbia Records and its subsidiary, Felix Pappalardi's (Mountain) Windfall. In the meantime, Rita Moreno, Ruth Brown, and others recorded his work and received the accolades.
Mason Daring is a chivalric, a Romantic at heart, and his music reflects what at least one aspect of folk music was formed for: to speak of the everyday and ponder what it means to live a simple and unglamorized life. No credits are given for supporting musicians, but there are quite a few, and the sound is oft near-symphonic. He also has a strong Roy Orbison bent (You Can't Get to Heaven from Here, etc.) and that, of course, is perfectly in keeping with all the rest. Tune in to his CD when you're weary of the clatter and banging of other discs, admirable as they may be, and just want to hear someone from the old glory days bring it back again in purest terms.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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