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Directed by Arlen Roth, “Dave Mason: The Legendary Guitar of
Dave Mason” is another DVD in the “Hot Licks” instructional
series, yet with some differences. First of all, this disc was
released in 2008, which made it more recent than others
I’ve seen in this series. Second, the disc did not include
standard bonus features, such as tuning menus, transcriptions
of the musical examples, and a printed biography and/or
discography for Dave Mason.

Here, Mason (1946 – ) was interviewed by Nate La Pointe, and
punctuated his responses by playing various licks and chords
from his large repertoire. Although Mason is probably best
known for his stint with Traffic, he’s played with many other
legends through the years, including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton
and The Rolling Stones. During this lesson with Ravi Bhadrirsju,
it became clear that Mason’s major claim to greatness wasn’t
necessarily his guitar playing per se, but the way in which
he uses the guitar as a voice, to convey his songwriting.
Nevertheless, the guitar was primarily featured, as were
various tunings, such as an Open E and Open F.

The actual “lesson” portion of the DVD had a running time of
approximately 66 minutes, and was interspersed with clips of
Mason playing “live” with his five piece band. After the lesson,
there was an 18-minute concert segment, featuring Mason’s
songs, such as “We Just Disagree,” “Let It Go” and “Only You
Know and I Know.” Since these were the songs he discussed
during the lesson portion of the DVD, this was a worthwhile
combination of coaching and performance.

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