This BGO two-fer compiles remastered versions Dave Mason's self-titled second solo album from 1974 with Split Coconut, his transition set in 1975 that gave way to the soft rock of 1977's Let It Flow. The first album here boasts a cover of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower," which was styled after Jimi Hendrix's iconic cover on Electric Ladyland (Mason, then a member of Traffic, played on the track). It also boasts some strong originals in "Show Me Some Affection," the country-inflected "Every Woman," and the midtempo rocker "You Can't Take It When You Go," which includes some nice twin guitar work with Jim Krueger. Split Coconut, as its title implies, is a more Caribbean-tinged recording, enamored with the emergent reggae of Bob Marley and the Key West pop of Jimmy Buffett. Amazingly, it doesn't sound like an outlier in Mason's catalog though it is uneven. One can hear Marley's influence in the title track, and "Save Your Love," which weds reggae to funky blues. Buffett's island grooves inform "Crying Waiting Hoping," "You Can Lose It," and the breezy grooves in "Sweet Music." Mason also draws on the Allman Brothers Band's Brothers and Sisters-era sound in "She's a Friend." There is a bit of classic Mason on the set as well in "Two Guitar Lovers" and the closer "Long Lost Friend."
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek