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.