Sunday, October 30, 2011


The first time I met John-Alex Mason was the first time I was to hear him perform. Both events proved to be monumental on many levels. Musically, I couldn’t believe this Nordic version of the Greek God Apollo could sound like an African American native of Clarksdale, MS. But indeed he did.

I would go on to hear John-Alex many, many times over the years, and each time, my mind returned to the first, because each time was sui generis. One of the last times I heard him play, he was at the Boulder Outlook with the Cedric Burnside Project, and I wrote this (complete blog entry can be found here):

The evening opened with the amazing one man wall of sound, John-Alex Mason, alone on guitar. I’ve known John-Alex for a few years now, and yet this was the first time I’ve heard him alone on guitar. He typically plays his solo gigs on guitar and drums simultaneously, creating the illusion of a full band, and with a voice that was made for singing the Blues. I loved hearing him stripped down and raw last night.

I so did love it. Although most know that I’m the promotional director and talent buyer for the Boulder Outlook, I’m still perfectly comfortable blowing our own horn. We’ve had countless “one of those nights” at the Outlook. One jam saw the Tommy Castro Band, The Insomnias, Jason Ricci & New Blood, and the Delta Sonics. No cover. That lucky capacity crowd will be talking about that night for the rest of their Blues-loving lives. The same can be said of the audience that night with John-Alex and the CBP. So much so, that I broke the rules and let them play past music curfew. No one wanted that night to end.