Feature | August 11, 2014
Adult Education: Traffic


There may be no group that more cries “The ’70s!” than Traffic. Doing their best work from 1968 to 1973, the group was led by Steve Winwood with on-and-off members including Dave Mason, Jim Capaldi, Rick Grech and Chris Wood. (Groups back then were often collections of folks each wanting to do their own thing. Splits, shifts and reunions existentially. Winwood and Grech were also part of Blind Faith.) Traffic often jammed on a low flame. Went well with a mellow high. I never took a long car trip without listening to a lot of Traffic. Still don’t. Some of their jams were long, the live versions even longer. They remain my favorites.

Try a nice ’70s version of a classic ballad, “John Barleycorn (Must Die)”; think of it as a drinking song, you’re sipping a good malt while the dude in corner with the old guitar tells you the story of ol’ John. And if you are ready for something longer: “The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys.” Low Spark begins with a distant sax and bongo and slides along….