VOLUME 121, sent February 18, 1998

Topics in this issue:
  1. Jim & Dave
  2. Inspiring Songs
  3. Uninspiring Songs
  4. Jim and Dave, and Steve
  5. Mason, Capaldi, & Winwood Together
  6. SW Story
  7. Most Beloved Songs
  8. Worst Songs & Lyrics

Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 10:46:06 -0500
From: Dawn 
Subject: Jim & Dave

Jim and Dave at Club Bene, South Amboy, New Jersey, February 7th.

Ok, I warned ya...

We were seated directly across from stage center, with a aisle between us and
the tables set against the stage, so I had a perfect view of Jim throughout!

The tickets said "Dave Mason" only, but the flyers said "Traffic Revisited with
Dave Mason and Jim Capaldi plus Al Stewart".

Al Stewart was completely charming! The only song I knew of his was "Year of
the Cat" of course, but I was pleasantly surprised to really enjoy his entire set.  I
always liked his voice, and Paul is an absolutely, amazingly talented guitar
player!  Al would make small talk in between songs, telling about what the next
song would be like, pointing out the fan in the audience who'd bought him
dinner before the show, making little jokes. For example, "Welcome to the 'Oh
my God, they're still alive!' tour". LOL

After they were announced, Dave took the stage first, stage right, beard, tight
grey jeans, black t-shirt, blue blazer and black cowboy hat pulled down pretty
low. Jim was next, and he bounded right back behind his kit. He wore a black
un-tucked shirt, of the strangely off-center buttoned type he seems to favor, and
black jeans, with blazing white sneakers, which just cracked me up for some
reason. I never pictured him the sneaker type.

Then there was the bass player (Alex Mumble Mumble, according to Dave at
the very end) and the keyboard player, Steve Mumble.  Dave apparently has the
same stage introduction speech impediment as Steve W. (see every review of J7
tour) It was more than a little weird to hear Dave say, "Play it, Steve" during
one song!

Opening song, "Pearly Queen".  They plowed into it really up-tempo, and
Dave's vocal phrasing was just matter of fact, bark bark bark.  He was probably
trying to just differentiate from Steve's vocal, but the effect was, "Ok, let's just
get this over with."   However, even with the sped up tempo, Jim played all his
fills, just like the recorded version :-)

Dave picked up the wrong guitar to start the second song, and told us so,
and then led everyone into "Changes in You" with, "Ready, girls?" No great
diversion from recorded version.

Third, after some short mummbled (!) announcement from Jim, something
old song, Steve, the cottage, they launched into "40,000 Headmen".  Jim and
Dave traded verses singing lead.  As a matter of fact, either by design or
in error, Dave skipped a verse, so the "story line" made no sense!  Jim's
vocals were nice, if a bit hoarse, and Dave's guitar solos here were just a
bit whiny, but otherwise it was really a nice version.

Then Jim came out to stage center, and Dave said,  "Except for the songs I
wrote..." Jim broke in, "You said that last night!" and Dave replied, "And
I'll probably say it again tomorrow!"  He continued, "Jim wrote the songs
that Traffic did.  Steve might have sung them, but here's the writer and
the inspiration for Traffic."  As he said that, Jim sort of shuffled his
feet and looked down, and while still looking at the floor, reached an
affectionate hand over to Dave's shoulder, and they hugged. Then he
pretended to take money out of his pocket and put it in Dave's hand.  The
audience loved it!

Jim put on an acoustic guitar for "Love Will Keep Us Alive".  He sang in a
lower register than the Eagles' singer did, but with so much feeling.  The
"Mumble brothers" and Dave did backing vocals, and the song was just
beautiful!  Dave did a really lovely spare guitar solo.

Next song, "Sad and Deep as You".  Jim played bongos and a little shaker
thing, and also those hanging metal tubes (oh God, I know this sounds
ignorant, but I never knew what they were called, either! lol) that you run
your hand along like wind chimes.  I was really impressed by the way Jim
was just playing them all at the same time almost, and I imagined that
must've been what it was like during the tours while Traffic was a
three-piece.  Then, he occasionally reached over and banged one of his
symbols with his hand, too.  Dave's vocal was very nice, and the sort of
"Casio beat" that was used during the sections when Jim didn't drum
actually worked very well.

Next song, Jim was fussing about with his towel, and didn't catch Dave's
signal that he was starting the song! LOL  But I was probably the only one
to notice that, as he didn't even miss a beat on the bongos.  "Shouldn't
Have Took More Than You Gave", with a segueway into the Beatles' "Dear
Prudence", and then back into "Shouldn't..".    Nice!

Next, "Feelin' Alright".  The song was really great, nice energy, sorta
funky, more like Joe Cocker's version than Traffic's, with Dave
occasionally slipping into this really nasally voice for a line or two.
Sort of Al Jareau (sp?) meets "Huggy Bear" from the old "Starsky and Hutch"
series, if you can picture the voice I mean!  Sounds funny, but it worked.
And his guitar during this song was great.

Next, Jim out front with the guitar, sitting on the front edge of his
riser.  Just as he sat down, he looks up to see his mic still miles above
his face, at standing level!  The audience noticed his glance, and everyone
laughed!  Dave walked over to lower the mic, and they made little jokes
about Jim having to catch his breath a little, after the pounding he just
gave his drums during the last song!  And he stuck out his tongue, opened
his eyes wide and pretended to pant for a second, which was quite funny.  I
thought that he was playing "Evening Blue" for a moment, but it was "Low
Spark", done with only Jim on acoustic, very subtle keys which almost
sounded like a delicate horn line, and Jim singing a slightly altered
melody line.  His singing was very sweet, tender even.  Didn't like Dave's
guitar solo here, a little too intrusive on this quiet little moment.  Very
nice arrangement otherwise.

Next, "We Just Disagree".  Very nice, quite similar to album version.  The
"Mumble brothers" providing very nice backing vocals here too. More lights
on the audience (annoying) and much wiping up with the towel by Jim

Then Jim was out front again, on guitar, saying that he'd recently done
some work with George Harrison, and I'm not sure, but I think he was saying
that this song was from that?  He was getting a bit mumbly here, so I'm not
certain!  "Love Got a Hold on Me".  Nice harmony singing between Jim and
Dave on this one.

"Only You Know and I Know".  Really good!  Jim playing drums on this, in
that sort of shuffling/galloping style, boom BA-boom, boom BA-boom, really
fast, I can't remember which Clapton song it reminded me of, perhaps
"Motherless Children"?  Dave did this pretty faithful to the album version
again, but his guitar riff usually ends with this pretty ringing note, and
here he used a little bit of tremolo.  It sounded cool!

Just after this song is over, an audience member's cell phone rings!!
Everyone just giggles, because Dave said, "Is it for me?" and Steve Mumble
says, "Quiet everyone, he's on the phone!", because instead of shutting it
off, this bobo actually tries to TAKE THE CALL!!  Then someone (Dave?)
said, "Honey, I'm still at work, honest."  and Steve says, "Yeah, stuck in
the office, just me and 300 of my closest friends!" and the audience burst
out laughing!

The Finale, "All Along the Watchtower".  I know this is supposed to be this
great version of this great song, but aside from Jim really pounding the
drums, looking back and forth between Dave and the bass player constantly,
and making some rather Mick Fleetwoodish facial expressions, the charm of
this number was completely lost on me.  Dave's guitar was just endless
ear-splitting noodling, and his vocal wasn't the greatest here either.

Standing Ovation, loud applause and whistling, very quick mumbled intro of
the band (as I mentioned before) and a very very short trip backstage.

Encore, "Dear Mr. Fantasy".  Dave doing his best to sing this with
different phrasing than Steve, and at first it is almost a Frank
Sinatra/scat phrasing which is NOT working.  Then he settles down and
actually starts to sing the song, and it really improves.  Jim and Dave
trading guitar licks and drums back and forth, and Dave's solos were
probably the best of the night.  Jim was pounding away like a madman, and
at one point, I thought he was going to lose a drum!  He was just
incredible!  Really cool fills, such power!  I was reminded of the liner
notes from the "Traffic" album, when Jimmy Miller said (generous license
taken with my paraphrasing) that the beads of sweat will eventually fall
off of Jim's forehead in time, and that nothing ever falls off of Jim OUT
of time.  How apt that description was! I am just in awe of his sense of
rhythm and timing.

Sorry this is so long.  Just wanted those not able to go to the concert to
see what was going on.


From: KristinArt@aol.com
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 15:06:41 EST
Subject: Inspiring Songs

Hi Everyone!
       I am a very big fan of Mr. Winwood...But--I am very rusty on a lot of
the stuff you all know. I've been reading your letters in SP and I finally
have a point I HAVE to bring up!
       Talking about INSPIRING songs---I have one---No one has mentioned it
and I wondered why?
     The song I love the most of Steve Winwood's is..(DRUM ROLL!!)....
 "Everyday (Oh Lord)", off of 'Refugees of the Heart' ( Winwood/Jennings ).
That song speaks right to my soul!!!! (As do many of his songs). That song is
sort of my theme song for my whole LIFE!!!!!!!  It's like how I see Life! " I
can feel the music deep down inside of me.. and I see the new day risen....
Oh!!! it sets me free....Like a melody comin'.. What will it be??...Love Life
again.. though you don't know how this day will finally end--Each day is
music...Reach. til  you find a song...Everyday just keep on singin... Everyday..
Everyday.. Everyday.. Oh Lord.. And my song is still strong ...Everyday I sing
my song!"-------- HEAVEN to my ears!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is so full of hope, and
LOVE of Life--Man!!!__I Love Him!!!!  That song always gives me a boost!----
Go listen to it ----RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!
    O.K.---that's all!
   Well, while I'm at it!>>>> also I think "In the Light of Day", and "I will be
here" deserve some credit off this album. (Do you still call them 'albums'?-Ha!)
      As for , 'Roll with it'...I LOVE...."One More Morning"...This one is
    There's also.."Dust"..a nd "There's a River"(My wedding day song!!!) ......
Gotta Go!
Just my Two cents!
Kristin (Everyday..I sing my SONG!!!!!)

Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 15:23:57 -0500 (EST)
From: Scott Tribble 
Subject: Uninspiring Songs

Here's my least favorites:

1. Every Day (Oh Lord)
2. Some Kinda Woman
3. Evening Blue
4. Someone Like You
5. Reach for the Light
6. Spanish Dancer

From: Soniarapp@aol.com
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 06:24:21 EST
Subject: Jim and Dave, and Steve

Happened to see Jim Capaldi and Dave Mason at the Bottom Line in NYC

Performed all old stuff.  Interesting to see Jim do vocals on Forty thousand
Headmen ( dedicated to Chris Wood ) and Low Spark.  He seemed really happy
to be on tour playing.  Steve Winwood came on stage to assist with Low Spark
and they performed Gimme Some Lovin' together.  A fine time was had by all.
Have a nice one.

Set list also included World in Changes, Shouldn't Have took more than you
gave into Dear Prudence, Feelin Alright.

From: Stephen212@aol.com
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 06:27:39 EST
Subject: Mason, Capaldi, & Winwood Together

Feb. 12

Tonight, for the first time to my knowledge, the survivng founders of Traffic
reunited and performed three songs at the Bottom Line.  Dave Mason and Jim
Capaldi, who are currently on tour together, greeted a surprise guest, Steve
Winwood, and performed Gimme Some Lovin', The Low Spark of High-Heeled
Boys, and Dear Mr. Fantasy, during the evening's early show.  Naturally I
attended the late show and so missed this exceedingly rare moment!  (Steve's
performance was initially brought to my attention by a very drunk audience
member but I spoke with the band's bass player after the show for
confirmation.)   The second show was also great, if less historical. Capaldi's
presence on stage animated a usually taciturn Mason. The pair are on tour,
according to the bass player, to gauge interest in a possible album from M&C.


Date: Sat, 14 Feb 1998 20:45:57 +0000
From: ".Patrick Spencer" 
Subject: SW Story

Re the SW story BBC radio2. The Q magazine said that the sw story would
follow Crowded house in concert, well i have just taped tonight's concert
featuring Gallagher and Lyle and after the show the DJ said that next weeks
show will feature Crowded house in concert, so fingers crossed sw story should
air next Saturday 21-2-98.

Just released in uk is a cd version of the Southerland bros Lifeboat, for those die
hard sw fans check it out for Steve's keyboard on Real love.

Bye for now

Date: Sat, 14 Feb 1998 13:25:31 -0800 (PST)
From: jfw 
Subject: Most Beloved Songs

Just realized that I hadn't voted yet!  Hope that it's not too late!

My all-time favorite will ALWAYS be "While You See A Chance..."
Second:  "Holdin' On"
Third:  "Vacant Chair"
Fourth:  "Midland Maniac"
Fifth:  "Tragic Magic"

To each his own, right?  :-)


From: LesterJake@aol.com
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 1998 11:42:23 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Worst Songs & Lyrics

I love the discussions around the 5 worst songs ("Don't You Know what the
Night Can Do" easily leads my list), but it's an interesting topic: I deeply
disliked "Uninspired" on the album, but was deeply moved by Traffic's version
of it in concert.  Another subtlety to the discussion is music vs. lyrics.  I find
rock music lyrics in general to be about as poetic as airplane food is to fine
cuisine, and that goes double for Steve, who throughout his career has suffered
grievously from his own inability to express himself well in lyrics, and
therefore to need to turn to others for songwriting.  This has several deleterious
consequences: it puts him at the mercy of other people's words, sometimes
good, sometimes not so; it requires him to sing with conviction something he
didn't write; and it will forever rob him of the respect that good
singer/songwriters like Dylan, Springsteen and even lesser lights like Kurt
Cobain and Eddie Vedder get from the English grad students who write most of
the so-called rock criticism.

On the other hand, some ineptly written songs are inspired musically, for
example Some Kinda Woman, which I think is truly stupid lyrically and quite
exciting musicially.  (Traffic opened the Grateful Dead concert with it at
Soldier Field several summers ago, and it was easily the best song  of the

One other nice thing about the last issue: I enjoyed Eddie's thoughtful
commentary about J7, an album I truly loathe but am now rather eager to
listen to again after having put it away (I thought forever) several months ago.
However, I must agree with Steve Seim's comment that if Steve's going to cover
the great (and greatly underappreciated) Sly Stone, he picked about the worst

Finally re: SP 120 (a fine issue by the way, thanks again to our wonderful
hostess!), Scott listed Vacant Chair as one of his favorites, and I concur. It has
the quality of great art, which is to distill the sense of awe, compassion and (in
this case) sense of loss we experience in the world into something sympathetic,
utterly moving and in the end, redemptive.

Love to you all, and Keep on Runnin!