Some of you know Brent Mason because he’s one of the most-heard guitarists in the world. A mainstay on the Nashville scene, he has played on hundreds of recent country hits. That said, it should be noted his solo instrumental effort here is not a country album. Yes, there are some cuts that feature nasty chicken-pickin (“Hot Wired”), and there’s some very cool country/swing type things (“Swing With a Sting”), but players like Larry Carlton and George Benson might come to mind if you heard most of this album and didn’t know who was playing.
The compositions are excellent, and Mason’s playing on cuts like “Mellow Midnight” show his debt to Carlton, with killer volume swells, lightning-swift single jabs, and very pretty gospel-like chord changes. That’s not to say Mason doesn’t pay homage to some country players – “My Little Ballerina” even features Chet Atkins. And his rousing version of Hank Garland’s “Sugarfoot Rag” is sure to delight.
All in all, it’s an excellent album by one of the best. Pick it up to get a look at a different side of Brent Mason.
This review originally appeared in VG‘s Mar. ’98 issue.