Tom Mason’s slide slays at Christmastime.
He opens the album ‘Under A Mistletoe Sky” with mettlesome mittens and a resonator guitar on the song “Crazy For Christmas” — and the frolicking ride begins.
For most of the year, Mason is the captain of Tom Mason & The Blue Buccaneers, but when the days get shorter he trades a pirate tricorn for a red-and-white felt pileus. His chin whiskers work for either role. The Saint Nick skipper has released 10 albums, three of them are Christmas themed.
A native of Minnesota, Mason knows his way around a sleigh as well as a six-string, and the 10 tracks he lays here will keep listeners rocking as they stuff their stockings.
Mason’s 2020 plans were usurped by the pandemic. A six-week United Kingdom tour and a summer Shakespeare festival (he’s a thespian as well as a composer) in his adopted hometown Nashville were canceled. Instead, he kept his spirits bright by making a Christmas album with Santa’s little helper and longtime songwriting partner Nate Dungan, who has a country band, Trailer Trash, and an annual series of “Trashy Little Christmas” shows. Mason and Dungan co-wrote “Crazy For Christmas” and “Santa Keeps It Cool,” which addresses climate change with a jazzy hue.
Mason wrote the eight other tunes. The album was produced by Nashville’s versatile keyboard studio man Michael Webb.
Mason has a smooth singing voice and he has fun with it doing “Little Elvis King Of The Elves.” Did you know there’s as little Graceland on the North Pole where little elves make gifts that rock ‘n’ roll? “Uh-huh-huh.”
Mason’s not just nice, he’s a little naughty, too, when he makes a Christmas wish: A “Gift Wrapped Girl.”
If you dig rock ‘n’ roll and down-home blues, put “Under A Mistletoe Sky” on your Christmas list. ‘Tis the season.
- Tom Mason
- ‘Under A Mistletoe Sky’
- Label: Gas Station Music
- Release: Nov. 6, 2020
- Favorite tracks: ‘Christmas Boogaloo,’ ‘Little Elvis King of The Elves’