Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A look back at Wadena: Mason Proffit

I plan on writing a story next week on the 40th anniversary of the WADENA ROCK FESTIVAL -- Iowa's answer to Woodstock.
To get in the mood, I have been listening to one of the acts of the festival, the now-sadly obscure MASON PROFFIT.

Brothers Terry and John Michael Talbot played together in several bands before forming Mason Proffit in 1969 in Chicago.

Imagine a slightly more "hippy" version of the Flying Burrito Brothers with a banjo.

The band released five albums between 1969-73 before disbanding.

Present-day critics call the band's country-rock-bluegrass style as "innovative yet difficult to place in a marketing genre."
That inability to fit into the recognizable music scenes of the early 1970s meant the band never reached the commercial heights potentially available.

Listening to the music last night, I wondered where they would fit in today's scene. I think Mason Proffit would have videos on CMT and songs on contemporary country radio.
Substitute their criticisms of Richard Nixon with something more topical, and I think Mason Proffit would fit much better today then they would yesterday.

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