Playing Around 

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John-Alex Mason
Shugas, 702 S. Cascade Ave.
Thursday, June 24 from 6 to 10 p.m.
No cover, 328-1412
All ages

While white boys with the blues aren't exactly a rarity here in Colorado Springs, young white boys with the blues aren't exactly ubiquitous. Young local bluesman John-Alex Mason is the glaring exception. With a steel guitar on his lap and a mop of blond hair on his head, Mason regularly pays his big-voiced dues to the blues -- pre-WWII blues of the Deep South in particular. Charlie Patton and Blind Willie Johnson are just two of the influences that pop up in cover form on Mason's latest album, Time Will Come (see review in Sound Advice, p. 47). And when he's not beating a straight line to his influences, Mason's style leaves no doubts that the many tributaries of blues music still lead directly back to the Mississippi Delta.

-- Noel Black


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