Traffic’s Second Studio Recording – Traffic

Traffic’s second studio album was titled Traffic. It became available from United Artists Records in the United States, October 1968. This was the first Traffic album I purchased. I love this recording on so many levels. This recording really broke Traffic as an international recording sensation.

Traffic (Traffic album)
Image via Wikipedia

The synergy of these four musicians generated a memorable and counterbalanced recording. The most well known track was “Feelin’ Alright” which was written and sung by Dave Mason. Dave Mason wrote  50% of the 10 songs on the original album. Winwood/Capaldi wrote the other 50% with some help from Chris Wood on “Who Knows What Tommorrow May Bring”. Dave Mason was with Traffic from May of 1968 until October. It was never quite clear what the real conflict was between Mason and the other band members. As a result Dave Mason never toured with the original Traffic in America.

I first saw Traffic at the Capitol Theatre in Portchester. NY on October 31, 1970, Halloween night. The stage was ringed with lighted Jack O’ Lanterns to celebrate the occasion. I was mesmerized by the Hammond B3 organ playing, crisp vocals and stellar guitar playing of Steve Winwood. When he strapped on his guitar and stepped out to play “Pearly Queen” I was blown away by his dual mastery of two major instruments.

The interplay between Winwood, Jim Capaldi on drums and Chris Wood on flute, saxophone was totally engaging. I had listened to Traffic for two years. I wasn’t ready for their immediacy nor how well their brilliant collaborative style meshed in person. Jim Capaldi was a syncopated but never overwhelming drummer. To get a true sense of how Traffic sounded in November, 1970 listen to the second disk on the Deluxe Edition of John Barleycorn Must Die, recorded at the Fillmore East.



2 Replies to “Traffic’s Second Studio Recording – Traffic”

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: