Traffic's John Barleycorn Must Die 45th Anniversary Special Goes Online
The trinity from which came the legendary first three Traffic albums Mr Fantasy, Traffic, and John Barleycorn Must Die included former Spencer Davis Group teen prodigy singer/organist/guitarist Steve Winwood, reed man Chris Wood, and drummer Jim Capaldi. Guitarist/singer Dave Mason, a former Spencer Davis roadie, shared a talent for melody with the other three on the first two Traffic albums, but little else personality-wise, and was cut loose for the second and final time before the second album hit store shelves.
Meanwhile Winwood, Capaldi, and Wood incorporated such diverse musical influences as Memphis soul, old English folk, light psychedelia, Latin rhythms, and unapologetic jazz. Traffic was delivering World Music decades before the term was coined.
On the topic, reported by some journalists that Traffic's Barleycorn... album actually started as a Steve Winwood solo album, Winwood had this to say to InTheStudio host Redbeard.
"When we were doing John Barleycorn album we never actually cut anything as a solo album... I actually never got around to making that album (a solo album). It wasn't like we kinda went halfway through an album and then suddenly said, well this will be a Traffic album instead of a Steve Winwood album. As soon as we got in and played we quickly realized it was a Traffic album." - Steve Winwood
Stream the episode here.
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