Mason and his band to heat up ‘Great Balls of Fire’ entertainment |

Mason and his band to heat up ‘Great Balls of Fire’ entertainment

The Carbondale Rotary Club’s annual fund-raiser is heating up with the theme “Great Balls of Fire,” featuring rock ‘n’ roll from the Bobby Mason’s All-Star Band.The event starts at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 4, at the Carbondale Firehouse. Besides dancing to Mason’s band, the evening will feature a gourmet dinner, drinks and both silent and live auctions.The theme of “Great Balls of Fire” came about after the club considered the new location for the event at the Carbondale Firehouse and the rock ‘n’ roll roots of the entertainer. Attendees are invited to come in 1950s-themed attire, but if bobby socks, greased-back hair and leather jackets aren’t your thing, dress mountain formal.The event benefits four local charities: YouthZone, Roaring Fork Family Resource Center, Sopris Therapy Services and the Rotary Foundation. Proceeds from fund-raisers dating to 1999 have provided close to $100,000 for youth charities and projects. Event coordinator Mark Cook said the goal this year is to take that charity to the next level.A popular attraction has been the silent auction, with art, vacations, restaurant certificates and more. This year’s auction includes a Kodiak Island fishing trip, a South African safari and a stay at Hilton Head, S.C., along with Remington bronzes, fine jewelry and other items. New this year will be a live auction from the stage after dinner.”The auctions should be extra special this year,” Cook said. “Rotary is extremely grateful to the hundreds of businesses and individuals who are stepping forward to donate literally tens of thousands of dollars in auction items. We are hoping our auction proceeds will allow great things to happen for this year’s benefactors.””Great Balls of Fire” will be a homecoming for Mason, who moved to California earlier this year after nearly four decades in the Roaring Fork Valley. During his career he has played with, opened for, or associated with the Beach Boys, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, John Denver, the Grassroots, the Fifth Dimension, Santana, Journey, Eddie Money, Kenny Loggins, Buddy Miles, John Oates and Bo Diddley.Mason made his first recording in 1963 with the Illusions, a surf hit called “Jezabel.” After spending the remainder of the 1960s in the Los Angeles music scene, he moved to Aspen in 1969 where he joined the rock band Black Pearl. After Black Pearl broke up, he joined Nitty Gritty keyboardist Bobby Carpenter to create original material for the band Home Brew, later renamed Starwood. Homebrew was among the first to record on John Denver’s Windsong Records label and the band’s songs were covered by Denver, Three Dog Night and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Starwood signed with Columbia Records and gave Mason the opportunity to play big venues as well as several television appearances.Mason started the Bobby Mason Band in 1977 and has surprised fans with guest appearances from Jimmy Buffett, Dan Fogelberg, New Grass Revival and various members of the Eagles.Tickets are $100 per person from club members or by calling 963-6363.

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