Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dave Mason & Mama Cass

Dave Mason and Mama Cass...I have lots of records by each of these artists - but I had no idea they made one together!  Dave Mason & Cass Elliot was the only teaming of artists Dave Mason and Cass Elliot. The album was produced by both Mason and Elliot and recorded in 1970. The album was released by Blue Thumb Records.   I read much about Cass in the great Laurel Canyon book two years ago.  Legend has it that it was she who first thought Crosby, Still, and Nash would be get together, and the first time those guys played together was at her house.  I buy that.  Despite receiving co-billing with Mason, Elliot's contributions are limited to background vocals on several of the songs, which highlighted a raspy, more raw side of Elliot’s voice.  When interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine, Elliot stated, “I sing better with David because he’s so good.  You want to do better.  I’m singing notes I never sang with The Mamas & the Papas.”  The music falls into the country-rock harmony sound of its time, but with a bluesier edge.  Mason wrote five of the songs on the album, while Elliot co-wrote two: the single “Something to Make You Happy” and her only solo song on the album, “Here We Go Again.”  This was the first time that Elliot lent her hand in songwriting since her days with The Big 3 and The Mugwumps, and also the last.  Matthew Greenwald, over at allmusic.com says, "Overall, this was a highly underrated album, but in the end, it is also one of the finest from the '70s."

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