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Plain and Fancy

"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"

Friday, December 4, 2015

Mason Proffit - Wanted (1969 us, gorgeous country folk rock with psych traces, 2006 issue)

Mason Proffit were an unknown country-rock band that released 5 good albums between 1969 to 1973. They originally formed out of the ashes of Sounds Unlimited, a hard edged Chicago garage band with a good sense of melody and song structure. Mason Proffit had strong elements of blue grass and folk in their sound but could also rock hard when the mood suited them. They were all excellent musicians and wrote poetic lyrics that occasionally reflected the times (war, protest, and religion).

Wanted was one of the first country-rock records, released off the Happy Tiger label (Dunwich) in 1969. Terry (guitar and vocals) and Johnny Talbot (guitar and vocals) were the foundation of Mason Proffit and often sang beautiful tenor harmonies. Wanted should really be up there with the country rock innovators but many feel that Mason Proffit lacked notoriety because their records were released off small independent labels. It’s an ambitious album to say the least and similar to latter period Byrd gems The Ballad of Easy Rider (1969) and Untitled (1970).

Two Hangmen is a folk-rock song that received lots a radio exposure back in the late 60’s and is now considered a folk-rock classic. It’s by far the most popular song on this record that has many more impressive moments throughout its 30 minutes plus running time. Some songs have sweeping orchestrations, such as the excellent country-rocker, You’ve Finally Found Your Love and a sensitive banjo ballad, Till The Sun’s Gone. Other tracks such as Voice of Change and Rectangle Picture are tuneful, quality songs that skillfully integrate political views and protest the current Vietnam War. A personal favorite is Sweet Lady Love, a pounding bayou rocker with pedal steel guitar and a great acid fuzz solo towards the end. It almost sounds like a great lost Creedence Clearwater Revival track and justifies purchasing this album alone.

For many years Wanted was unavailable but in 2006 the Water record label gave this great album a new lease on life. Mason Proffit would go on to make 4 other fine records though Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream (1971) is often quoted as their masterpiece.
by Jason Nardelli

1. Voice Of Change - 2:55
2. A Rectangle Picture - 2:22
3. You Finally Found Your Love - 4:23
4. Sweet Lady Love - 3:53
5. Stewball (Traditional) - 3:32
6. Two Hangmen - 5:01
7. Buffalo - 2:04
8. Walk On Down The Road - 2:57
9. It's All Right - 2:33
10.Till The Sun's Gone Down - 3:26
11.Johnny's Tune - 1:16
All songs by John Talbot, Terry Talbot except track #5

*Tim Ayers - Bass
*Rick Durrett - Piano
*Johnny Frigo - Fiddle, Violin
*Art Nash - Drums
*Ron Schuetter - Guitar, Vocals
*Johnny Talbot - Banjo, Electric, Steel, Acoustic Guitars, Vocals
*Terry Talbot - 12 String Acoustic, Electric Guitars, Jew's-Harp,  Percussion, Vocals
*Dave Chausow - Strings Direction

1974  Mason Proffit - Come And Gone

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mscmichael said...

Thanks a lot...

Phil Gordon said...

Cool track, thank you!

kobilica said...

Many thanks...

lmelis said...

Thanks Marios

Rob said...

Hi-- Thanks for this! Just wanted to say I've been reading your blog for a bit now and I really enjoy it. Thanks for all the good music! I also wanted to mention that while this album is mentioned in discussing country rock history, it is not really "one of the first country rock albums". Dylan's Blond on Blond and Buffalo Springfield's first album all came out in 1966, three years earlier, and Gram Parson's The International Submarine Band album Safe At Home (most often cited as the first true country rock album) was recorded in 1967. 1968 also saw a lot of important country rock albums, particularly the Byrd's Sweetheart of the Rodeo. That being said, Wanted came out at the beginning of the golden age of country rock in 1969 along with albums from Poco, the Flying Burrito Brothers, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. So they were definitely an important part of the genre, and a bit neglected really. So it's great to see them featured here! (Sorry if I'm coming off as wonky or pissy or anything!)

Marios said...

Hi Rob,
It's nice for me to see annotations about music, all the artists you mentioned above are great some of them are on the top and very famous, so it's more easier and common to find their releases in the wide open net-space. I'm trying to bring here lesser known releases.
As for the point about the country albums, the reviewer meant that, this was the first country-rock record for the specific Happy Tiger label (Dunwich).
Thank you.

Rob said...

Thanks Marios-- I really appreciate you bringing the lesser known releases to the table. There is so much amazing music that gets overlooked or neglected. It's why I really enjoy your blog!

Jean said...

Εξαιρετικοί οι MASON PROFFIT ! Αξίζουν τον κόπο ν' ακούγονται και ψηφιακά, μιας και τα αγαπημένα βινύλλιά μας έχουν υποστεί τη φυσιολογική φθορά από το χρόνο ! Θεωρώ κορυφαίο το LP τους "Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream" ! Ευχαριστώ πολύ για την μεγάλη προσφορά σας κυρίως στους παλαιότερους φτωχούς ροκάδες ! Να είστε πάντα καλά !