Dutch (b Norman) Mason. Singer, guitarist, pianist, b Lunenburg, NS, 19 Feb 1938, d Truro, NS, 23 Dec 2006. Raised in Kentville, NS, he played several instruments during his youth, including drums in a jazz band. The earliest of his own groups, which worked around Nova Scotia during the mid-1950s, were in a rock ‘n’ roll or ‘rockabilly’ style. Mason, a singer, pianist and guitarist, was introduced to the blues via recordings of B.B. King, who would remain an important influence. Mason performed in Toronto as early as 1959, but based his career in Nova Scotia. During the 1970s he performed in a succession of blues bands in a variety of bars such as Sullivan’s in Halifax and the Wyse Owl in Dartmouth. He tirelessly toured Canada as part of the Dutch Mason Trio with musicians such as bassist Ronnie Miller and drummer Ken Clattenburg, building an audience for the blues and earning the nickname “Prime Minister of the Blues.”
As his reputation for being a colourful performer in a tough, fundamental, urban blues style grew during the late 1970s and the 1980s, he began working on the club circuit across the country, appearing frequently at the Rising Sun in Montreal and Albert’s Hall in Toronto.
Mason’s first LPs from 1971, Dutch Mason Trio at the Candlelight (Paragon ALS-263) and Putting It All Together (Marathon MS-2107), were followed in 1976 by The Blues Ain’t Bad (Owl Blues Productions OBP-2008), in 1977 by Janitor of the Blues (Solar SAR-2020), in 1979 by Wish Me Luck (Lon PS-733/Attic MLAT-1142), in the early 1980s by Special Brew (Attic LAT-1093) and Gimmee A Break (Attic LAT-1114), and in 1991 by I’m Back (Stony Plain SPCD-1169). In 1998, to celebrate his 60th birthday, CBC Radio recorded a live tribute CD that included Charles “Bucky” Adams (saxophone), Nova Scotia Mass Choir, Doris Mason, Sam Moon, Frank MacKay and Dutch Mason.
Mason was nominated for Best Blues Album at the 1994 Juno Awards and Half Ain’t Been Told (2004), earned him a nomination for Best Blues Album at the 2005 East Coast Music Awards.
Mason was one of the original inductees to the Canadian Jazz and Blues Hall of Fame, and in 2005, Norman Byron (Dutch) Mason became a Member of the Order of Canada.
In 2005 Dutch Mason’s son, Garrett Mason, earned a Juno Award for Best Blues album. (by canadian encyclopedia)
Great debut album from the late Dutch Mason. “The Blues Ain’t Bad” is pure, unassuming, straightforward Blues/R&B. The guy never compromised his music, and there are some great covers here of songs by Willie Dixon, Ray Charles, B.B. King, A. Toussaint, Robert Johnson and others, all played in the great traditional blues style. (by overdoseoffingalcocoa)
Gary Blair (drums)
Wade Brown (guitar)
Gregg Fancy (bass)
Rick Jeffery (harmonica)
Dutch Mason (guitar, vocals)
Peter Hysen (trombone)
Gary Johnson (trumpet)
Mike Leggett (piano)
Janet Simmons (baqckground vocals on 07.)
Joel Harris Zemel (guitar, background vocals on 07.)
01. Pawnbroker (King) 4.29
02. Diddly Diddly Daddy (McDaniels) 5.40
03. The Thrill is Gone (King) 4.48
04. Get Outa My Life Woman (Toussaint) 3-37
05. Move Up To The Country (Traditional)
06. I’m Ready (Dixon) 8.05
07. Hard Times (Ray Charles)
08. Baby Please Don’t Go (Big Joe Williams)
09. Walkin’ Blues (Robert Johnson) 3.46