Skip Mason began playing guitar at the age of 10. His musical journey began and his life focus was immediately defined. In his earliest years, Skip played acoustic guitar in churches and at house parties for friends. In his high school years, Skip shifted to bass guitar for a short while to accompany musician James Michel Woodard, who had gained local notoriety as a short-term bassist for Roy Buchanan. The band ‘Bootlegg’ performed in the Cumberland, MD area.
It was Skip’s continued passion to be a lead guitarist that motivated him to first move to the Baltimore, MD and later to Pennsylvania. During these next 10 years, Skip diligently honed his guitar skills in the regional bands Taxie, Mirage, and the southern rock band Dixie Rascals. By day, Skip worked at a local music store. By night, he performed in club venues throughout the tri-state area along the I-81 corridor as often as 6 or 7 nights per week.
Throughout the late 70’s and early 80’s, Skip began sharing the stage with many musicians, who would later gain national status in the bands Kix, Wrathchild, Crack the Sky and more. It was also during this period that Skip developed an interest in audio engineering and entertained his dream of owning a sound production company.
As the guitarist with the band Dixie Rascals, Skip had the opportunity to record an original song at the University of Maryland recording facility. This original song soon aired on local radio stations in the Hagerstown/Fredrick MD rock radio market and was well received by audiences.
After Skip’s relocation to the Baltimore, MD area, he moved on to Florida. Here he dedicated his time to writing music and performing locally, while attending colleges in Clearwater and Tampa. Over the next several months, Skip began recording a demo of his original material in a local Tampa studio. Soon he came to recognize that in order to have the desired studio time to develop his songs; he would need to someday own his own recording studio. This was added to his list of dreams.
A move to West Virginia became necessary with his transfer to W.V.U., where he would receive a degree in English. Skip also formed the production company he had dreamed of earlier and Mirage Sound Company became a reality. Mirage Sound Company also included a modest recording studio where Skip could pursue his love of writing and recording music. His dream list becomes a reality.
Skip continued to perform in area classic rock bands such as Marshall Law, The Road Dawgs and others. However, Skip had a concept of a higher production, more serious rock band and teamed that vision with Patrick McCleary, Ziggy Hall, Steve Paris and Larry Whetsell to form Shadrach in the early 90’s.
This was it! Shadrach was the well-planned and dedicated collection of professional musicians that Skip had envisioned. The band quickly became the talk of the North Central WV music scene. Soon Skip found himself sharing the stage with rock legends Rick Derringer, Foghat, Southern Rock Allstars, MTV’s Brittany Fox, Gary Richrath, Pat Travers, Blackfoot, and many more. Shadrach made such an impression opening these shows that local promoters took notice and employed Shadrach as a headlining act. It was definitely a dream come true as the chemistry of Shadrach and their musical collaboration gained notice by many. Shadrach continued performing regionally for over two years.
As the members of Shadrach gravitated to other regions of the East coast, Skip concentrated on Mirage Sound Company and gained respect as an accomplished audio engineer. Skip continued to play guitar for local bands when time allowed. His Mirage Sound Company provided systems, staging and lighting for numerous national touring acts and many rock, country, jazz, blues, and bluegrass music legends. With this experience, Skip became very comfortable with larger venues, which also gave him the opportunity to sit-in on guitar and become friends with many of his childhood heroes.
The reunion of Shadrach, now over two years strong, has brought Skip new opportunities to pursue his musical dream. The band has recorded a new CD called ‘Captured’ and is performing live dates in support of the CD, including a recent performance with American Idol Bo Bice.
Additionally, Skip has merged his recording studio with that of Steve Paris and this partnership has formed M-Studio. This expansion has allowed Shadrach to spend as much time as they desire and require for writing, recording and producing their debut CD. Skip also keeps his love of Americana acoustic music alive as he performs with his wife, Cindi, in the acoustic duo The Masons. Skip sees great things in the future for Shadrach and looks forward to seeing just where this musical adventure may lead.
Skip has shared the stage with Kix, Wrathchild, Crack the Sky, Rick Derringer, Foghat, Southern Rock Allstars, MTV’s Brittany Fox, Gary Richrath, Pat Travers, Blackfoot, and American Idol Bo Bice.
Personal Interests: Camping, vacationing in Florida, WVU Football.