Mason Daring – S/T (CD)

“Travelin’ Man” may be a cover of the Ricky Nelson classic, but I feel that the richness of Daring’s vocal and the gusto that he has in placing the cover at the beginning of the album turns it into his own song. The vocal quality of Daring here is great, in that he both keeps the sanctity of the original track, he adds his own flair, and is still able to provide a great performance while highlighting his own humanity. “Too Much” continues a strong start, meaning that continuity itself is kept while Daring sets out on different paths.

The light instrumentation present on “Too Much” is reminiscent of early jazz, while Daring’s vocals feel rooted in the fifties. This recording is special because Daring uses this style of singing and makes it contemporary; listeners that may not like the style typically should devour Daring’s release to see what they are missing. “Baby Blues” changes up the influence of the instrumentation slightly, using surf music to bring forth all the best of Daring’s vocals. “Funny” touches back upon the jazz styles first broached during “Too Much” and changes the overarching instrumentation to take on a little bit of the blues and psychedelic genres.
“You Can’t Get To Heaven From Here” has a simply amazing bass line working behind the scenes, while Daring’s vocals have bits and pieces of the style headed up by performers like Randy Newman. “Dixie Taps” is a soulful track, again changing up the dominant styles used to reflect drawing more from the gospel tradition; the track’s late position on the album showcases that an old dog can really learn new tracks.

The 11 tracks on this release speak to a cogent thought that showcases Daring’s skill honed over the course of the last thirty or so years. I know many are fans of Daring’s film scores, but I really feel as if the music contained here is some of the best that Daring has ever created. If your interest is piqued, make it a point to purchase this album today. It refreshes old genres while creating something unique and new.

Top Tracks: Too Much, You Can’t Get To Heaven From Here

Rating: 8.3/10

Mason Daring – S/T / 2009 Daring Records / 11 Tracks / /

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