By Jim Beal Jr.
Blues time: Though classic-rock fanatics remember Mason Ruffner only for his ''Gypsy Blood'' major-label work, the Wimberley-based, Fort Worth-bred, New Orleans-honed singer, songwriter and guitarist has, of late, established himself as one of the more inventive purveyors of blues/rock fusion.
Ruffner and his band will actually play a gig inside the city limits, at Carlsbad Tavern, tonight (8/22/97). Though he's been touted by Led Zeppelin and worked with Bob Dylan, Ruffner sidestepped the rock spotlight in favor of playing the kind of music he wants.
For months, Ruffner and his musical friends have been making forays down from the hills to play acoustic and electric blues, and a touch of blues/rock now and again, at Gruene Hall and Cibolo Creek Country Club.
His latest album, the independent ''Evolution,'' shows Ruffner also has been sharpening his writing. A Ruffner show is always a well-balanced and interesting event that's part rave-up and part art.