Tom Mason 'The Blue Buccaneer' Gas Station

Subtitled Songs Inspired by the Golden Age of Pirates and topical with the success of the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise this sets of songs makes a companion set of songs to those found on Rogues' Gallery, the multi-artist compilation double CD. On Tom's last album Alchemy he had a track called Pirate Song and here he expands that theme into a full album of what I assume are self written songs though it's not clear from the album notes who wrote what. But either way this is simply a great album from start to finish even if you might thing that the theme is a limited one. The album does, without a doubt, stay true to it's course with lyrics, melodies and a buccaneering spirit ensconced in that aforementioned golden age but it's all done with panache and style. Above all it's a joyous album in the same way that the Pogues music is with its sense of community and the living of life to the full. Tom Mason is a very talented player well able to turn his skills to several styles of music at the drop of a hat (or bandana). Here he plays guitar, mandolin, accordion, trombone, dobro and banjo as well as delivering assured and accomplished lead vocals. He is joined on the vocal front by numerous friends including Peter Cooper, Eric Brace, Mark Miller, Pru Clearwater and longtime companion Phil Lee. The Nashville musician pool also delivers such renowned players as bassist Lorne Rall and drummer Paul Griffith as a dexterous rhythm section to underpin these songs with a solid foundation. But the over-riding sense here is a contemporary album that is a much fun as it is musically compelling. Tom Mason has made an album is a worthy credit to his talent as an all round music and entertainer. That's the right word as this is an entertaining album that made me smile and made me want to listen to it again. By its nature it draws on several cliches but it surpasses any doubts with its sheer vitality and modern day pirate spirit.