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 421

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?

May blog 2021

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life 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.

In April 1967 four musicians formed the band Traffic: Jim Capaldi, Dave Mason, Steve Winwood & Chris Wood. They only stayed together for two years but reformed in 1970. A year later Mason quit & the band folded for good by the end of that decade. Two of the four members are celebrating birthdays this week. Mason, born May 10, 1946 in England, turned 75 yesterday. Fellow Englishman Winwood, born May 12, 1948 turns 73 tomorrow.

He continues to tour and play with an array of musicians live including his daughter, Lilly. Mason also plays shows around the world & supports a variety of charities & music education programs. He also co-owns an electric guitar company. Today’s song, from Traffic’s debut album, spotlights Winwood’s intense vocal style & Mason’s rhythmic turn as the bass guitarist. It is my favorite track on the record.

You are the one who can make us all laugh
But doing that you break out in tears
Please don’t be sad if it was a straight mind you had
We wouldn’t have known you all these years
“.

TRAFFIC-early-foto-traffic

Traffic circa 1968 (L-R): Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood, Dave Mason and Steve Winwood (front). (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Traffic: “Dear Mr. Fantasy” (1967, written by Jim Capaldi, Steve Winwood and Chris Wood).

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

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 398

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?

May 2021 blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life 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.

After years of being in groundbreaking bands like The Spencer Davis Group, Traffic & Blind Faith, multi-instrumentalist & songwriter Steve Winwood officially became a solo artist in 1977 with the release of his self titled debut album. However, it was the follow up record released in 1980 that made people notice.

He co-wrote every song on the album, sang the lead & backing vocals on each one & played all of the instruments himself. It contained his first solo hit, “While You See A Chance”, which was a Top Ten record in 1981. I really like that song but it was the title track which I became completely enamored with.

I play the piano
No more running honey
This time to the sky I’ll sing
If clouds don’t hear me
“.

Winwood

Steve Winwood circa 1987. Image found online.  (Original source unknown.)

Steve Winwood: “Arc Of A Diver” (1980, written by Vivian Stanshall 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.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 306

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?

Shakespeare music

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life 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.

On January 13, 1973 Eric Clapton’s Rainbow Concert took place at the Rainbow Theater in London. The two all star shows were set up to put Clapton in front of an audience after an 18 month period in which he was in isolation fighting depression & drug addiction. The concerts were organized by Clapton’s friend Pete Townsend of The Who and featured two of Clapton’s Blind Faith bandmates Steve Winwood and Ric Grech, The Faces’ Ron Wood and Traffic’s Jim Capaldi and Rebop Kwaku Baah.

An album of the show’s highlights was released that fall and the whole experience put Clapton’s career back on track. He started working on a new record which was released a year later, 461 Ocean Boulevard. But a lot of the music he worked on was not used on the record and did not get released until 2013’s album, Give Me Strength: the ‘74/’75 studio Recordings. Today’s song was included on that record but it was also released on his 1988 boxed set “Crossroads“. It has been one of my favorite Clapton tracks since the first time I heard it.

Someone like you
Could make me change my ways
Someone like you
Could turn the nights into days
“.

Eric 1991

Eric Clapton circa 1991. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Eric Clapton: “Someone Like You” (1988, written by Arthur Louis).

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

Stay 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.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 188

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.

On this day in 1969 the only album by the rock band, Blind Faith, hit #1 on the Billboard 200 chart a mere six weeks after it was released. The exemplary songs & music had a lot to do with that success, of course. But so did the fact that they were the first known “supergroup” as three of the four members had recently left their other successful bands (Ginger Baker & Eric Clapton from Cream & Steve Winwood from Traffic. Bassist Rich Grech would join Traffic with Winwood when they reformed in 1970).

The band came together when Clapton started jamming with Winwood at his house in early 1969. According to Clapton’s 2007 autobiography, Baker found out they were playing together and showed up one day to join them. Clapton admitted he was not initially happy with Baker’s arrival given how his temper came between him & Jack Bruce during their time together in Cream. But the new band developed with songs by Winwood & Clapton, a cover of a Buddy Holly tune (“Well All Right”) and Grech coming on board as the group’s bassist.

Clapton further asserted that despite the group recording an album together and eventually playing several shows, his heart was not in it to take control of the band and help give it direction, despite the others looking towards him to do so. He even refused to sing lead vocals on any songs, letting Winwood handle that task alone as the other two members did not sing. Clapton cited an ongoing problem he had throughout his life where as soon as he was in one place he longed to be in another. At that point in time he had become enamoured with the music of Delaney & Bonnie and Friends who were opening for the supergroup on the road. Clapton sat in with them on several occasions, even co-writing and recording songs with them. It was through that collaboration that Clapton would meet his three future band members of Derek & The Dominos. So as much as I wish Blind Faith stayed together past 1969, if they had, we would not have the “Layla” record. And what a tragedy that would have been.

Clapton and Winwood have played together many times over the years at various shows performing a few of Blind Faith’s songs including “Can’t Find My Way Home” and today’s pick. Clapton said he wrote it when he finally bought a place of his own in 1968, after five years of living in hotels and at other people’s homes. He had also started turning towards Christianity which led to his reference of spirituality. I love Winwood’s vocal on this track, but it is Clapton’s guitar playing, especially his solo, that puts it over the top for me.

I have finally found a place to live
Just like I never could before
And I know I don’t have much to give
But soon I’ll open any door
“.

"Blind Faith" Portrait

Blind Faith circa 1969 L-R:  Steve Winwood, Ric Grech, Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton.  Photo by Bob Seidemann. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Blind Faith:  “Presence Of The Lord” (1969, written by Eric Clapton).

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

Stay well.  

 

Let’s Take A Moment Day 138

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?

Charlie Brown No Music No Life

(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.

I WANT MY MTV!!!

It was 39 years ago today that this channel premiered and music was never the same again.  A station dedicated to letting the world see the music (and the people behind it) as well as hear it was revolutionary.  The rotation began with maybe 10 videos but that did not prevent me from watching it non-stop for hours at a time.  Music videos changed the game for fans and the industry alike.  But unlike streaming that has caused artists to lose control of their own copyrighted material in addition to their earnings, MTV was a money mother lode for anyone willing to climb on board the novel concept.

At first it was newer artists that appeared frequently on the channel, but eventually everyone jumped on the bandwagon.  Some ran with the concept-Hall & Oates, Huey Lewis & The News, Billy Squier, Michael Jackson-to name a few.  Soon even my heroes were embracing the genre.  Remember a pre-“Friends” Courtney Cox’s fancy footwork with Bruce Springsteen in the “Dancing In The Dark” video?  Or watching Eric Clapton’s beautiful hands play fiery solos on his Strat while singing “Pretending” in the pouring rain?  Or an elegantly dressed Marvin Gaye extolling the benefits of “Sexual Healing”?  Videos from other 1970’s artists followed including Elton John, Rod Stewart, Steve Winwood and a host of others who welcomed and embraced the new MTV audience.

Vintage clips of great musical moments were featured like the Beatles first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show”, performances from the 1967 Monterrey Pop Festival and the 1969 Woodstock concerts as well as the live broadcast of 1985’s “Live Aid” show from both America & the U.K.  Suddenly our living rooms were front row seats to the best music had to offer.  And thanks to directors from the TV & movie industries getting in on the trend (“Dressed To Kill” director Brian De Palma was the man behind Springsteen’s first clip), by the end of the decade and into the 1990’s videos became an art form.  The “Unplugged” series introduced us to the more intimate side of live performances.  Other music stations including VH1, BET and FUSE followed, but none compared to the original and its level of cool.

If there is one song that defined the early years of the MTV phenomenon, it is today’s.  While the references to homosexuals are outdated & considered offensive in this era of acceptance, and the once ground breaking channel is merely a reality show based venue in these days of YouTube and Instagram stories, this song still has the power to instantly transport those of us who were there at the beginning to the excitement of the new medium.  And to the poor choice some people made to wear sweatbands in their videos.

Now that ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV
That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Money for nothing and your chicks for free“.

The MTV moon man logo circa 1981 (R) and John Illsley (bass guitarist)  and Mark Knopfler (lead guitarist) of Dire Straits circa 1985.  (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Dire Straits:  “Money For Nothing” (1985, written by Mark Knopfler and Sting a/k/a Gordon Sumner).

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

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 74

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?

Peanuts music

(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 Steve Winwood released his 1986 album, “Back In The High Life”, he won a whole new audience thanks to his visibility on MTV.  The record’s first single, “Higher Love”, went to the top of the charts.  I for one was already a fan of this unbelievably talented man.  I discovered him thanks to FM radio where songs from his first three bands were in constant rotation:  “Gimme Some Lovin” from The Spencer Davis Group (a band he joined when he was only 14 years old); “Dear Mr. Fantasy” & “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” with Traffic and then Blind Faith which teamed him up with powerhouses Eric Clapton on guitar and Ginger Baker on percussion.  I also adored two of Winwood’s previous solo albums, “Arc Of A Diver” (with that fabulous title track and his first solo hit, “While You See A Chance”) and “Talking Back To The Night”.

Winwood was first introduced to music from his father, a semi-professional musician in his own right.  And a few years ago, Winwood’s very gifted daughter, Lilly, reworked “Higher Love” into a beautiful ballad that her father joined her on which was used in a really touching Hershey’s commercial.  Winwood is probably one of the earliest singers to incorporate blue-eyed soul into his music, which was a cross between rock, soul, R&B, jazz and pop.  I am a huge fan of his and really enjoy his music, but I am madly in love with today’s song.  It is profound and beautiful in so many ways. It’s a prayer for all of us who are lost that we may find our way home to wherever and whatever that is.

And I ain’t done nothing wrong but I can’t find my way home“.

If Clapton is god, then Winwood is lord and saviour.

Blind_Faith_(1969)

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

Steve Winwood

 Steve Winwood circa 1986.  (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

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

Weekend Wanderings

Hello, Vixens!!!  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!!!

Were you as sad as I was at the passing of Harper Lee?  Her beautiful novel and the movie based on it are two of my favorite things EVER, and arguably two of our country’s greatest treasures.  The scene where Scout takes Boo Radley’s hand as he is “petting” Jem brings me to tears every time I see it.  What a world it would be if all lawyers were as fair and as rational as Atticus Finch.  Rest in peace, Ms. Lee, & thank you for sharing your childhood with us.

Harper Lee 1861     To Kill A Mockingbird

Harper Lee in 1961 (Source:  Donald Uhrbrock/The LIFE Images Collection, via Getty Images) & Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in a still from the film “To Kill A Mockingbird” (Universal Studios 1962).

Friday I had to drive an hour into the country for a work related meeting, so I had the chance to see some open farm land up close, complete with some very beautiful brown cows.  Some days I feel like life on a farm would be heavenly. Friday was one of those days 🙂

IMG_0530[1]     IMG_0527[1]

So last weekend, we had subzero temperatures.  This weekend?  Over 50 degrees both Saturday and Sunday (see below for proof).  Crazy!!!  I know a lot of people and many bloggers have spring fever, but I am not ready for the change of seasons yet.  I am one of those square pegs who enjoys winter, and with the first day of spring still a month away, I am not looking ahead just yet.  But I must admit a deep breath of that spring like air felt heavenly.  And I do need to dig at a really packed estate sale soon so that is the one part of spring I cannot wait for!!!  I was shut out AGAIN this weekend 😦  !!!

IMG_0558[1]          IMG_0562[1]

Saturday’s and Sunday’s temperatures readings!!!

Saturday marked the anniversary of Ansel Adams birth.  He is one of my favorite artists and one of the reasons why I am so enamored with black & white photography.  When I grow up, I hope I am lucky enough to be a photographer and an environmentalist, too.  Here is one of my most loved pictures by him:

Ansel Adams 1948

Tenaya Creek, Dogwood, Rain, Yosemite Valley c. 1948 (Source:  The Trustees of the Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust).  

As much as I love his landscapes of nature, I am equally in love with his lessor known works of buildings and city pictures.  I discovered them over a decade ago when a local museum had a show featuring the work Adams did for Kodak when they first released the Polaroid camera and asked him for his opinion on it.  The exhibit lead me to look more into Adams life, where I discovered pictures he took of some Los Angeles streets when he was on assignment for Fortune Magazine in 1940.  Talk about vintage beauty!!!  Swoon!!!

ansel-adams-the-pup

Ocean Front Promenade, Santa Monica Courtesy Los Angeles Public Library and drkrm Gallery

Ocean Front Promenade, Santa Monica Courtesy Los Angeles Public Library and drkrm Gallery.

There will be an exhibit of his work in Cooperstown, NY later this year which I plan to attend.  To find out if any of Ansel Adams exhibits are coming to your area, check the schedule here.

Sunday I was looking forward to a nice day of being lazy and relaxing and maybe some unpacking. None of those things happened.  I worked, did some food shopping (my least favorite chore EVER) and then some more work at home via paperwork.  Maybe next weekend I can relax at some local sales!!!  And perhaps get my groceries delivered 🙂  ???  But as usual my travels took me along some scenic routes, which always makes me happy.  I think even bare trees are pretty.  Nature is nature.

IMG_0564[1]

I do have two music related thoughts to share:  So happy for Ed Sheeran on his “Song of the Year” Grammy Award for my favorite song of 2015, “Thinking Out Loud” (kudos also to Amy Wadge who co-wrote the tune with him, as the award is for the composers).  And one of my favorite singers of all time, Steve Winwood, has a daughter named Lilly who is also a singer and she inherited her father’s talent for blue eyed soul.  They harmonize beautifully together for a new version of “Higher Love” which they recorded for the latest Hershey’s ad.  The only thing missing from the heartfelt and touching commercial is a puppy!!!

So, how did you spend your weekend?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy digging!!!