Friday, May 24, 2013

Dave Mason: Mystic Traveler

Although Dave Mason’s “Mystic Traveler” begins like Chicago’s “Wishing You Were Here” and the walk down is in the same key of Dm, they are different songs; however, they might make a good mash-up. I picked this particular song which got some airplay in 1978 because it was a double flipside for Mason in 1977 and 1978.

From Mason’s LP, “Let It Flow,” Columbia Records believed in this particular song as they picked as a flip side twice. Its first single release came in 1977 when “Mystic Traveler” was paired with “We Just Disagree.” While he had more popular compositions, the “A” side was Mason’s biggest solo hit in the US. It peaked in October of that year at #12.

When Mason’s next single, a cover of the Goffin/King composition “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” Columbia resurrected “Mystic Traveler” as the “B” side. The “A” side was Mason’s second biggest hit; however, it just barely made it to the Top 40 charts peaking at #39.

Many radio stations including those in the Tri State Area of Huntington, WV flipped the single and played “Mystic Traveler”; however, it failed to chart on its own. The song has a lush arrangement – with my favorite part being the harp and the female vocalist doing the descant.

This song always reminded me of my grandfather – himself, a musician who played guitar, cello, concert harp, and violin. It is the content of the lyrics that remind me of old George as he believed at times he traveled to different astral plane – I guess he was a “Mystic Traveler.” I would have been interesting to meet him.

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