Went to the Church One Sunday Morning
and the Devil Broke Down My Back Door.

In loving memory of our fallen brother.

mudIt is with great sadness that we announce the passing of James "Muddy" Mason, founding member of the Gila Monsters.

James was the consummate Blues Man. Born in Chicago in 1951, but claimed by Phoenix as their home town boy since he was moved here as a child.

James was arguably one of the first Blues musicians in Phoenix, having started the James Mason Band in the late 1960's. James was a wonderfully talented musician starting as a front man, singing lead and playing an harmonica, before settling in as one of the best bassists to step on stage or enter a recording booth in this town. He worked continually as a musician for over 45 years.

His wonderfully understated style of playing was counterbalanced by his soulful vocals and powerful song writing skills. He interlaced wit and irony with ease.

Muddy lived a spare and simple life, devoted to his music and his beloved football Cardinals and Coyote’s ice hockey teams. His various domiciles could only be described as “Man Caves” in the truest sense.

James had a legendary gruff exterior that earned him another nickname within the band. "IL Duce", or "The Sweet One". Oddly enough, it really was a good fit for him, as those who were close to him will attest. While outwardly very quiet, his thoughtfulness masked for many, a wildly keen intellect.

Through out it all James Mason lived the Blues. Here’s to your life, and your next great adventure. You will be missed here, our brother.

Nick, Mike and Ricky

AZ Central Obituary