Even after 50 years in the business, Dave Mason is still feelin’ alright.
Dave Mason, former member of the British classic rock band Traffic, presents Dave Mason’s Traffic Jam at 8 p.m. Saturday at Wentz Concert Hall at North Central College in Naperville.
He’ll also perform at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles on April 27.
Mason, who went on to a successful solo career after leaving Traffic, will perform hits like “Feelin’ Alright” and “We Just Disagree” plus new material and songs from his latest album, “Future’s Past.”
“The show is in two parts,” he said. “The first part is my early Traffic days, revisiting that, and the second part of the show is (culled) from my solo career. It’s a family show. People who are into live music will love the show.”
When he’s setting up the show, he literally has decades of music to chose from, so he chooses carefully.
“I generally tend to include songs people are going to want to hear, and songs that are fun to play since we’re doing them night after night.”
The newest album, “Future’s Past,” contains new versions of songs from his solo career and Traffic, like “Dear Mr. Fantasy,” plus one new song.
“It’s partly revisiting old songs that I did a long time ago … (like) ‘World in Changes’ from ‘Alone Together,’ which came out in 1970,” he said. “There’s a couple of songs from (that album) that I re-did. One is nothing like the original at all. There’s a blues song on there, a Robert Johnson arrangement of ‘Come On in My Kitchen.’ There’s one new song called ‘That’s Freedom.’
“There was no real plan for it,” he said of the album. “We were out doing Traffic Jam and it was going so well, I put something together with the great tracks that I had. I’ll be done with the next album, which will be mostly new stuff, probably by the end of the year.”
He hopes to expand the “Traffic Jam” tour to bring in some special guests, he said.
In 2004, Mason was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of Traffic, one of the most innovative progressive rock bands of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
After two Traffic albums, in 1969 he departed for the U.S. and a solo career. His debut album, “Alone Together,” is considered a seminal rock album.
Mason has also played and recorded with some of music’s most notable pop and rock artists including Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, George Harrison and many more.
Mason cofounded a program called Work Vessels for Veterans about six years ago. It’s an all-volunteer movement that provides veterans with the tools they need to transition to civilian employment.
“We help veterans start their own businesses so they can support themselves,” he said. “It’s gone from boats to vans to tools to computers. We helped a gentleman start a blueberry farm in Jacksonville, Florida, and last year he received the highest civilian award you can receive in this country. Our motto is, we’re into giving a hand up, not a hand out.”
He often auctions off signed guitars to raise money for the charity.
His band includes well-known musicians Alvino Bennett on drums (Kenny Loggins, Stevie Wonder and Robin Trower); Tony Patler on keys and vocals (Chaka Khan, Michael McDonald, and Janet Jackson); Johnne Sambataro is on mandolin, guitars and vocals (Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills.)
“People know it’s a great band,” Mason said. “If you are into live music, it’s a great band for that. No special effects.”