Thursday, September 15, 2016

Mason Proffit - Bareback Rider (1973 us, remarkable country folk roots rock, 2006 edition)

Mason Proffit's second major-label album and fifth album overall was similar in construction to its predecessor, Rockfish Crossing. Once again, the Talbot brothers and their supporting players turned in a combination of effective originals that touched on subjects from romance to politics with some enthusiastically performed country covers, notably a version of "Setting the Woods on Fire" that sounded like a deliberate attempt to impersonate Jerry Lee Lewis and featured a furious kazoo solo. 

The political element came out in "Black September/Belfast," with its reflections on Northern Ireland and Vietnam. You'd have thought that music this impressive could get a hearing, but Mason Proffit appeared at a time when music fans were more polarized than musicians, not only by music but by politics and culture. Despite the band's evident affection for traditional country music, their left-wing political stance and status as hippie rock musicians meant they could never be accepted in Nashville. And their music was too overtly country for them to score a pop hit. 

Thus, they were doomed to appeal only on the country-rock-oriented Los Angeles club scene and to some music critics. Bare Back Rider did a little better than Rockfish Crossing had, even scraping into the charts for a couple of weeks, but that wasn't the level of success a major label expected, and Mason Proffit was forced to hang up its spurs.
by William Ruhlmann
1. Lilly - 2:17
2. Cottonwood - 4:16
3. Setting The Woods On Fire (Ed Nelson, Fred Rose) - 2:52
4. Dance Hall Girl - 4:47
5. To Be A Friend - 4:10
6. Stoney River - 3:47
7. Black September/Belfast - 3:45
8. I Saw The Light (Hank Williams) - 2:55
9. Five Generations - 4:40
10.Sail Away - 3:10
All songs written by John Talbot, Terry Talbot except where noted

The Mason Proffit
*John Talbot - Guitar, Steel Guitar, Banjo, Dobro, Vocals
*Terry Talbot - Guitar, Jewsharp, Keyboards, Fiddle, Percussion, Vocals
*Tim Ayres - Bass
*Art Nash - Drums, Percussion
*Bruce "Creeper" Kurnow - Keyboards, Harmonica
*Kinky "The Stinger" Schnitzner - Electric Guitar
*Bill Cunningham - Fiddle, Mandolin, Twelve String Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
*Tom Radtke - Percussion

1969  Mason Proffit - Wanted (2006 issue)
1971  Mason Proffit - Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream (2006 issue)
1974  Mason Proffit - Come And Gone

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