Ray Mason Band – Three Dollar Man

Three Dollar Man
Three Dollar Man

This is very fun stuff. It’s only 10 short songs, but they’re all interesting and different. The slant for the most part is guitar-driven pop/rock of the best kind. Twangy guitars mix with big rock guitars and a killer hook on cuts like “Blessing the Girl,” and it works so well that you can’t help but sing or hum along. There’s lots of those kinds of tunes here. “Newsboy’s Toss” and the very funny and quirky “I’ve Got a Good Dentist” fit the category. The latter goes out with a wild guitar sound that imitates a dentist’s drill.

There are a couple cuts here that guitarists and musicians will identify with. The title of “Reverb and a Zip Code” says it all. And you’ve gotta love a song called “You’ll Never Play Here Again.” Anyone out there who hasn’t heard that from a bar owner or two in his life? That one’s set against a great country feel with a twangy 12-string solo.

The band is solid. The vocals are perfect for the feel of the songs, and the songwriting is odd, in a very good sort of way. The band is based in Massachusetts, so if you get a chance to see ’em, head to the bar.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s April ’03 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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