GRATEFUL DEAD and Jimi Hendrix, CSN and Al Kooper with Mike Bloomfield, TESLA and Michael Schenker… Over the last five and a half decades, there have been quite a few versions of “Dear Mr. Fantasy” that was one of the gems on TRAFFIC’s debut album back in 1967 and became a staple of this band’s original guitarist Dave Mason‘s live show. Of course, every artist who covered the classic put a personal spell on it – but, arguably, its reading delivered just recently by Mason and his fellow six-stringer Joe Bonamassa may be the most robust and imaginative.
Their take on the perennial is a proper reimagining of the familiar song, with its famous riff submerged in the tune and the verses passed back and forth between the two musicians both of whom, naturally, submit incendiary solos, elevating the new arrangement to celestial heights to reflect this piece’s lyrical flight. With Bonamassa’s Anglophilia and Mason’s American influences, their cross-cultural exchange resulted in extremely alluring performance – listen to the cut below – which can’t be praised enough.
There’s no indication, though, that this is anything more than a one-off meeting of kindred spirits, yet it would be great if they went for an entire album of such impressive duets.