Sunday, December 24, 2006

Prime Minister of the Blues, Dutch Mason

I wish I could enlarge the above image that I picked up off the internet. I don't know how I forgot to put in a paragraph about Prime Minister Dutch Mason in my post earlier today.

I woke this morning to hear the news that my Maritime hero, Dutch Mason, had died. I was shocked. Even though he had been ill for years, to hear such news surprised and saddened me. I've been a Dutch Mason fan since the early 70's years in my Saint John years where he played often. I have most of his albums and lots of great memories of his always wonderful and unique performances.

Once, in the early 80's, I was working evenings and Dutch was booked to play a week at a Charlottetown nightclub. I took a week's vacation and went every night and was so glad I did. He was remarkable.

The last time he played in PEI, a lot of my friends were in various places in the club on a hot summer night. No one was dancing and I wasn't about to be the one to begin. Everyone headed outdoors during the intermission and I arranged that everyone (my friends) get up on the first beat of the first song after intermission and head to the dance floor. We all did and the party began. We had a real blast. I got an autograph from Dutch that night and saw the really devastated appearance of his hands. He was no longer playing at that time in the early 90's.

The last time I saw/heard Dutch was in Nova Scotia. About four years ago, S and I went on a little overnight camping trip to Joggins and Parrsboro to satisfy my fossil jonesing. Turned out that Dutch was playing at the Ships Theater in Parsboro that night. We were too late to get tickets but the Ships Theater is an old boat with a tarp for a roof. We sat out on the deck on that hot summer night and drank beer and listened to the master. While everyone was inside sitting in their seats, we were outside, inches from Dutch sitting in his wheelchair, waiting to be introduced. I kept my cool and didn't fawn or bug the man.

He was truly a master and was aptly named the Prime Minister of the Blues by BB King. I want to have my old albums preserved digitally or on cd somehow. They've always been considered treasures of mine as there really aren't a lot of those old albums around.

You'll certainly be missed Dutch Mason, but you'll get to join your old friend Rick up there and I can well imagine Heaven's going to be filled with the blues tonight.

For Dutchie fans here's a link back to Hard Times on my music page and I'm uploading Nine Below Zero, Walkin Blues and Baby Please Don't Go for today. I've also included them on my Christmas Eve playlist that I make every year tha I'm about to burn so we can all hear it tonight. I wish I could have a copy of Dutch's version of Alright, OK on my computer. He does a better job of that song than anyone, in my opinion.


Anonymous said...

Hey Mom,Did you know that S and I went and saw Dutchie play probably six or seven years ago in Hfx? I can't remember the name of the bar It is closed now. But it had awesome Montreal sandwiches and $2 beer. It was a great night. We both loved it. He sang 90% of the songs, and played guitar three or four songs in the middle of the second set. It wasn't Aquarious in StJohn nut still pretty good.
- A

Cuidado said...

Twilah and Wayne were in halifax for the weekend a couple of years ago and ran into a 12 hour blues tribute to Dutch. Tickets were 20 bucks and it was 12 hours of nonstop blues with Dutch playing a couple of times. They were stunned to happen apon such a day.