Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers play with the fervor of the Pogues and the sensitivity of the Buena Vista Social Club. Their songs that transport you to the wildest pub in Port Royal at the turn of the eighteenth century. Their new CD “The World is Ablaze” draws on the fact that pirates sailed the world around and pirate crews were an international lot, so their music would be a medley of styles plundered from all over. Some of the songs were inspired by the pirate Henry Avery and his crew, who set out as honest sailors but mutineered after going months without pay or adequate food. Avery’s crew took a ship of the Mogul Emperor and legend has it Avery fell in love with one of the slaves on board, a tale told in the new song “Tattooed Hand”. Their first CD “The Blue Buccaneer- Songs Inspired by the Golden Age of Pirates” is a rowdy and evocative work that transcends any aspect of novelty that one might expect at first glance. Tom’s theatricality and musicianship make for an explosive mix. His songs conjure up a life on the seas in an era when the only hope for destitute sailors was to go “on the account”, to become pirates.
The songs on “The Blue Buccaneer” are all new, yet the mastery of the songwriting gives them the feel of classic sea shanties and world-worn ballads. There are rousing sing-along drinking songs (“Pirate Song”, “In The Drink”), piratical rave-ups (“Queen of the Spanish Main”, “Say Goodbye”), and ballads that bear out the harsh realities of life on the sea (“Wondrous Wind”, “Sail Away”). “In The Service of the King” is a lively tale of a sailor unwillingly pressed into service in the Royal Navy and his desertion to become a pirate. “Decked Out Like The Devil” is a piratical fashion show, in which Blackbeardian pirates dress to scare their victims into submission. Throughout the record, the excitement of Tom Mason & the Blue Buccaneers’ live show is apparent, whether it be at a theater, on a festival stage, at a beach-side tavern, at a rowdy St Patricks day party, or, of course, on the deck of a brigantine sailing through the Caribbean.
Tom Mason has released seven CD’s: “The World is Ablaze”, “The Blue Buccaneer”, “Salmagundi”, “Alchemy”, “Where Shadows Fall”, “A Slide Guitar Christmas” (instrumental), and “A Pirate’s Christmas”. He has also released numerous collaborative CD’s, including two by the Big Happy on Western Beat Records and one with Nashville’s Lower Broadway stalwarts Swampgrass. He has been featured on such compilations as “For Kate’s Sake: An Americana Christmas”, “The Other Side: Music of East Nashville”, and “Yuletide from the Other Side” and the new “East Nashville Volume 3”. In addition to being a solo artist and bandleader, Tom Mason has played lead guitar for a multitude of artists. He toured the US and Europe with Phil Lee, played with D.C. favorites Last Train Home, and with Supe Granda of The Ozark Mountain Daredevils. As an actor, Tom treads the boards from coast to coast. He’s performed in the National Tour of “Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash”, and played Clarence in Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s production of “Richard III”. He has also acted in countless other regional productions, and was a guest artist at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s Cabaret Conference. Also active in film, Tom’s most recent role was Shams in Pouria Montazeri’s “Shams and Rumi: The Fragrance of Axis Mundi”, a visually stunning film about the Persian poet Rumi’s mystical transformation. Other roles have included kidnappers, drug dealers, the devil, pirates, and Dolly Parton’s Dobro player in a Lifetime television movie. “The Blue Buccaneer” is a rollicking account of privateer life that brings together the many aspects of Tom Mason’s storied career: singer, songwriter, actor, conjuror, and, yes, PIRATE!