Music Monday: May 9, 2022

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Today’s song is another one of those tracks that left an indelible mark on my soul. It is classic rock at its finest, a tune so exquisite it is as close to perfection as I have ever found. The songwriter and singer of this paragon celebrates birthday number 74 this week.

Steve Winwood was born May 12, 1948 in Birmingham, UK. His father was also a musician who schooled his son so well that the younger Winwood was in a band by age 14, The Spencer Davis Group. Next came his tenure with Traffic where he gave us gems like “Empty Pages”, “The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys” & “Dear Mr. Fantasy”. In 1969 he joined forces with future Traffic bassist Rick Grech and musical powerhouses Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton to form Blind Faith. And it is from this supergroup that we arrive at today’s pick.

It is a captivating performance by all involved, from Grech’s masterful bass line to Baker’s elaborate percussion to Clapton’s stunning acoustic guitar work to Winwood’s soulful vocal delivery of his moving, lonely & succinct lyrics. When I featured this track on Day 74 of my daily music posts during lockdown, I called it “a prayer for all of us who are lost that we may find our way home to wherever and whatever that is”. And I stand by that sentiment. I find this song so beautiful it hurts, the way a magnificent work of art should make you feel. And this is art at its very best.

So, happy birthday, Steve Winwood. Thank you so much for all your exceptional music but for today’s track most of all.

Well I’m near the end
And I just ain’t got the time
And I’m wasted and  I
Can’t find my way home
“.

Blind Faith

Blind Faith circa 1969 L-R:  Steve Winwood, Rick Grech, Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Blind Faith: “Can’t Find My Way Home” (1969, written by Stevie Winwood).

Stay safe & well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 202

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Jane Austen Music Quote

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

When the band Traffic formed in England in 1967 it was as a quartet: Jim Capaldi (vocalist, drummer & lyricist), Dave Mason (vocals, songwriter & guitars), Steve Winwood (songwriter, organ & blue-eyed soul master vocalist) and Chris Wood (a multi-instrumentalist who played saxophone, flute, keyboards & bass as well as contributing to the vocals and songwriting duties). Their first album, “Dear Mr. Fantasy” was released in December, their self-titled follow-up came out in 1968 & featured the Mason penned hit, “Feelin’ Alright”.

The group disbanded in 1969 when Mason & Winwood left, the former for artistic differences and the latter with no explanation. He went on to join the supergroup “Blind Faith” the same year but when that group failed to stay together after only one album, he reunited with Traffic in 1970 as a trio since Mason did not return. That year the group released “John Barleycorn Must Die” which features today’s song. In 1971 “The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys” came out followed by two live albums & three more studio records before the group broke up in 1974.

Wood died in 1983 at age 39 from pneumonia & Capaldi died at age 60 in 2005 from cancer. But he was present at the band’s 2004 induction into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Wood’s sister, Stephanie, accepted on his behalf. Winwood went on to have a successful solo career and is still performing. Mason, who moved to the U.S. permanently in 1971, continues playing as well and is probably best remembered for his 1977 top 20 hit, “We Just Disagree”. He is also involved in a few other endeavors outside of music including his charity, “Rock Our Vets” which helps returning veterans as well as the families of law enforcement & firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty. Of all of Traffic’s music, today’s song is the one I love most of all.

Found someone who can comfort me
But there are always exceptions
And she’s good at appearing sane
But I just want you to know
“.

3rd Traffic

Traffic circa 1967 (L-R): Back: Jim Capaldi and Dave Mason. Seated: Steve Winwood and Chris Wood. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Traffic: “Empty Pages” (1970, written by Jim Capaldi and Steve Winwood).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.