“Mason was a fluid guitarist and superb songwriter.” – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
“…he still has the nimble fingers and seemingly note-perfect vocals he displayed as in the classic prog-rock band and recording partner with Jimi Hendrix, Cass Elliott, Fleetwood Mac and other luminaries.” – Relix
Dave Mason is a living rock legend. At age 18, the Worcester England native teamed up with Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood to form the legendary band Traffic, who had a profound affect on the genre of rock and roll. While still a teen Mason penned the Traffic hit “Feelin’ Alright”. The song became a global rock anthem and has been recorded by dozens of artists (including Joe Cocker who had a huge international hit with the song), “Feeling Alright” remains a highlight of Mason’s live shows today.
After extensive touring with Traffic throughout the UK and Europe, Mason headed for the USA to pursue a solo career. He struck international gold with his debut album “Alone Together”, which is considered a seminal rock classic. It’s known for the marbleize vinyl, vertical gatefold packaging, the hits “Only You Know And I Know”, “World In Changes”, “Shouldn’t Have Took More Than you Gave” and more. The album has sold millions of copies.
Five highly successful albums for the CBS/Sony label followed, four of which received gold album certification in the US. His next album Let It Flow sold millions of copies and contains another major Mason classic “We Just Disagree”.
In addition to performing to sold-out audiences and being a permanent staple in record collections and hearts of fans around the world, Mason’s unique guitar work can be heard on many landmark albums and songs such as the Rolling Stones’ Beggar’s Banquet, George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass, Paul McCartney’s Listen To What The Man Said and Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland. Hendrix’s major rock standard “All Along The Watchtower” features Dave playing the acoustic guitars before Hendrix’s soaring entrance onto the track. The song is a big favorite of Dave’s and he performs it in nearly every on of his live shows.
Dave Mason’s work and career remain linked with numerous other members of rock and roll elite, including Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Fleetwood Mac, Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, Rita Coolidge, Delaney & Bonnie, Leon Russell, Ron Wood, Jim Capaldi, Mama Cass Elliot, and The Spencer Davis Group.
Dave Mason’s career spans several important rock eras, and encompasses his work as a producer, performer, songwriter, and consummate guitarist. In 2004, Mason was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work with the groundbreaking group Traffic.
Mason is also involved in the program he co-founded, Work Vessels for Veterans (WVFV); an all-volunteer movement that provides veterans with the tools they need to transition to civilian work. Mason is also an official supporter of Little Kids Rock, a non-profit organization that provides free musical instruments and lessons to children in public schools throughout the United States.
BILLY BENSING & KELLIE GARMIRE
Billy Bensing has spent much of his life traveling the world and sharing his unique musical talents. A singer, songwriter since the age of 17, he enjoys nothing more than the opportunity to perform his original songs and instrumentals with an audience. And what a fortunate audience indeed.
Born in Philadelphia to parents who were no strangers to the local stage, Billy grew up loving music and the performing arts. At 16, along with his sisters and mother, Billy moved to Paris, France. Guitar in hand he immersed himself in the language and culture. Performing his songs in the Parisian metros gave him his first taste of showbiz and he loved it.
After three years of soaking up the French atmosphere his family again moved, this time to Sydney Australia. Settling in Sydney and continuing with his song writing and performing, Billy was discovered by a local talent agent. He landed a roll in the original stage production of “The Rocky Horror Show” as an understudy for Brad and Rocky, performing several nights a week for one outrageous year. Billy was invited to reprise his role with the Melbourne cast, but his heart was in his music and he declined.
Determined to persue his song-writing career, he said goodbye to Australia and relocated to Los Angeles, where he recorded and performed successfully for several years.
Yearning for a more tranquil and natural lifestyle, Billy took the advice of a good friend and travelled north to visit the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. He knew immediately he had found what he was lookin for and settled in Grass Valley, California.
Quickly establishing himself as a new local artist, Billy found steady work and began to network with other musicians. In 2005 his collaboration with Mary Youngblood, the renowned American Indian flutist, was featured in a Grammy Award winning CD called “Dance with the Wind”.
He is an accomplished and mesmerizing musician. His vocals are beautiful and passionate, yet seemingly effortless and have been compared to James Taylor, Cat Stevens and Neil Young.
Born in Chico, California and raised in the Northern Central Valley, Kellie Garmire was brought up close to the stage but not quite in the spotlight. Her father taught high school drama and English and it was by his side that her love of theater began. She started guitar lessons as a child and was soon writing songs and performing for friends and family. The opportunities to sing for the public for the most part were passed by as she had a natural shyness and very developed case of stage-fright. As an adult she put music and singing behind her … for awhile.
In 2006, missing the creativity that music and song had once given her so many years ago, Kellie signed up for guitar lessons again at a local music store. It wasn’t until her music teacher (Billy Bensing) offered her the chance to to sing harmony with him at some of his gigs that she began to shed her fear and discover a real enjoyment in sharing her original songs to appreciative audiences.
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