Traffic- John Barleycorn Must Die 45th Anniversary- Steve Winwood

Contrary to what their publicists would have you believe, bands rarely break up over”musical differences”. Of course the band members must share enough musical common ground to establish and sustain a creative dialogue, but equally importantly it is  crucial that the personalities must complement one another, not unlike a successful marriage. But try to imagine being in multiple simultaneous marriages and you’ll get an idea of the dynamic involved in a band.

The trinity from which came the legendary first three Traffic albums Mr Fantasy, Traffic, and John Barleycorn Must Die  included former Spencer Davis Group teen prodigy singer/organist/guitarist Steve Winwood, reed man Chris Wood, and drummer Jim Capaldi. Guitarist/singer Dave Mason, a former Spencer Davis roadie, shared a talent for  melody with the other three on the first two Traffic albums, but little else personality-wise, and was cut loose for the second and final time before the second album hit store shelves. TRAFFIC-early-foto-traffic

Meanwhile Mssrs.Winwood, Capaldi, and Wood incorporated such diverse musical influences as Memphis soul, old English folk, light psychedelia, Latin rhythms, and unapologetic jazz.  Traffic was delivering World Music decades before the term was coined. Winwood even reveals in this classic rock interview that Traffic, never a band for pop hits nor the 3-minute format, may have actually been the first “jam band”. Curiously Traffic placed no album on Rolling Stone magazine’s “Top 500 Albums of All Time” list, yet were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame not more than a year before Jim Capaldi’s January 2005 death from stomach cancer ( Chris Wood passed away in 1983  from liver failure). -Redbeard

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Traffic Price: $2.99
John Barleycorn Must Die (Remastered) Price: $3.99 - $3.70
Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) Price: $1.30 - $7.13
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