The Smiling Phases Los Angeles Gathering is in three weeks. Please email me asap if there's =any= chance you can join us!

Volume 163, sent Aug 27, 1999:
  1. Berkin & Janis
  2. phone music
  3. New CDs
  4. Tour
  5. Responses & "Refugees" poll
  6. SW/Traffic Soundalikes
  7. Spence
  8. underrated songs
  9. Re: Valerie solo
  10. Re: Chris Wood, underrated songs, Viv
  11. Missing "!"
  12. Tickets available
  13. Unreleased Powerhouse Track
  14. HOB concert mentioned on radio

From: "lani arthur"
Subject: Berkin & Janis
Date sent: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 12:29:46 PDT

Thanks for the info about Berkin! So glad you posted that. A rescue team left this morn. from Miami for Turkey....they were to leave last night but got held up waiting for one of those huge cargo planes.

Sometime ago (a year or so before I knew about SP) I was watching a public t.v. documentary about Janis Joplin. In this program they talked about a tour Joplin/BB did in Canada by train....guess who they said was with her and her group...Traffic! Have you ever heard of this? Now I don't remember what year this was...seem to remember it was early in JJ career. They even had a clip of JJ giving a interview from inside the train. I kept looking for Steve in the back ground. Didn't see him.

Is this another mystery?:)

Bye, Lani

Date sent: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 10:53:48 -0700 (PDT)
From: jfw
Subject: phone music

quick note to let you know that while i was on hold with cal state, long beach this morning (daughter will be a freshman this year, a President's Scholar, in fact! i'm not proud, or anything! LOL) i heard a really good instrumental version of "Plenty Lovin'" good sax...really sounded like the Love, Unlimited of the 70s! i know you like to hear this kind of stuff! ;-)


Date sent: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 10:55:30 -0700 (PDT)
From: (Jay Siekierski)
Subject: New CDs

Universal Music/Island is releasing a SW collection in Oct. MCA is releasing a New Dave Mason CD in Sept. Polydor is releasing a new Blind Faith CD "The Sessions" in Oct. The Blind Faith I understand is outtakes/unreleased stuff.


Date sent: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 14:08:22 -0400
From: Craig / Tabor
Subject: Tour

Hi gang...

Just a reminder to those lucky enough to have SW playing at, or near, your town to please give us your review of the show and the setlists played. I am so bummed I cannot go as he's nowhere near the New England and making the trek to Atlantic City is a bit beyond the means at the moment. That said, I defer to my friends here to keep all of us informed. I really like the concept of this tour as there is no commitments, record companies, or any other hindrances to the music. Steve can come out and play just about anything he wants. I really like the possibilities.

A friend is going to the show in San Diego and I am sure he'll give me the "skinny" once it's done. I'll forward his comments and setlist once I hear. To those going, have a great time and don't forget about those who are not! thanks.


Date sent: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 14:36:08 -0400
From: Trafficologist (Ted G.)
Subject: Responses & "Refugees" poll

Wow! 3 SP editions in 10 days! Most unusual (at least for this year). Anyway...

In the last SP John L. wrote: "... Traffic was never about technical perfection, which is one of the things I love about them...they never spent weeks in the studio, laboring over a solo line to get it just right. They recorded together, rather than tracking each instrument separately, and went with the take that had the best feel, the best groove. As a result, their recordings are loaded with goofs and bum notes, but I'll take that any day over the slick, sterile perfection of today's music."

All I can say to that (especially to the last line) is: Man, does that sum it up!!

In regards to why Steve S. doesn't like "Spanish Dancer": I can't argue with the points about the "mushy" electronic sound (which I guess doesn't really bother me) or the dumb lyrics (although SW has sung much worse), but the "dragged along" statement strikes me as fitting other Arc Of A Diver songs ("Dust", "Slowdown Sundown") rather than "Spanish". Well, I asked, and he answered. Anyway, I like the song, and that's what matters to me.

Steve's comments on Refugees Of The Heart (which he considers underrated) open up another subject for me. I've thought about buying Refugees, but when I've had the chance to hear bits of it I've found them rather underwhelming. I've never heard a whole song from it, though. I'd like to hear what other SP-ers (especially Traffic fans) have to say about this album.

Date sent: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 14:32:37 -0500
From: Steven Robert Seim
Subject: SW/Traffic Soundalikes

Prompted by comments in SP some time ago, I've had the opportunity recently to hear a few British artists who have been said to be influenced by or similar to Steve Winwood and/or Traffic. For what it's worth, here are my thoughts:

1. Ocean Colour Scene. If you're looking for something that sounds just like SW/Traffic, don't waste your time here. Their sound--essentially late 60s influenced power pop--owes much more to Badfinger and later Beatles than to Traffic. They do write some catchy songs, however. "Moseley Shoals," their second album, is especially good. "40 Past Midnight," one of their singles from that album, does have a Traffic-like sound (the vocal even sounds a little like Steve), but that's about it.

2. Paul Weller. To my knowledge, he is the modern artist who sounds most like SW/Traffic. His voice, while not in the same category as Steve's, has an enjoyable strength and soulfulness. "Wild Wood," his second album, is his best and the most Traffic-like, with experimentation, instrumental passages, and even some wind instruments. "Stanley Road," his third, while not as innovative, is also quite good, and features Steve playing piano on "Woodcutter's Son" (here he plays in a funky, almost Southern-fried style, reminiscent of Little Feat) and "Pink on White Walls." His first album--self-titled--while good, is more slickly produced and overall weaker. And, as I remember, "Heavy Soul," his most recent studio album, features a leaner sound, closer to the Who or the Kinks.

3. Spooky Tooth. I highly recommend the recently-released "Best of Spooky Tooth--That Was Only Yesterday." This disc features almost every song from their best album, "Spooky Two," a few tracks each from their second best albums, "It's All About" and "Last Puff," and one track each from "Ceremony" (an electronic mass) and "You Broke My Heart, So I Busted Your Jaw." This group sounds almost like a cross between early Traffic and the Rolling Stones, with a little Beatles and Procol Harum thrown in.

I'd be interested to hear of any other "lesser-known" (at least in the US) artists with a similar sound.

Steve Seim

Date sent: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 23:13:59 EDT
Subject: Spence

What a treat it was to hear from Spence on the forum! I had the great pleasure of hearing SDG at the Great Midwest Fair over Memorial Day weekend. Oh, man, did they ROCK. They don't just "do their old hits," as Spence said, they burn their way through them 'til there's nothing left but the ashes. And Spence's vocals and guitar work were enough to make me forget that other guy who used to handle those chores in his band! If they're playing your area, don't miss them under any circumstances. They're what rock & roll was meant to be.

John L.

Date sent: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 21:52:13 -0400
From: Dawn Shaw
Subject: underrated songs

First of all, God Bless you Berkin! Hope you are well!

I wanted to comment on Steve Seim's post. I have a special liking for "It Was Happiness." As a matter of fact, the whole Talking Back to the Night Album is kinda special to me. I use it as a Melancholy Meter. Whenever I get down or depressed, I find I'm drawn to that album. I spend time with it and work through whatever is wrong. Then after a time, I know to say, 'ok you indulged your pity party, now time to dust yourself off and move on.' Then I put it away until the mood strikes me to seek it out. As John L. so eloquently put it: ' A musician's ideas, and a musician's chops are two different things.' So maybe this album is not the most technically or musically superior work SW did, but sometimes it is more important to 'feel' it than to 'hear' it. If it evokes a response in you, it has achieved its goal.

I do agree that Refugees of the Heart album is underrated. Maybe the spiritual flavor of it was a turn off to radio (grunge was coming in). SW music comes from the heart, and much like the SW album (1977) was eclipsed by the punk movement, Refugees was probably poorly timed, as far as the 'industry' is concerned. He is not directed by what's "in" and sometimes misses the boat, but at other (glorious and momentous) times, he has ended up STEERING the boat.

My best to you all!
Keep Shining!
Dawn S.

From: "Søren Hilligsøe (SOHI, PERS, SH)"
Subject: Re: Valerie solo
Date sent: Sat, 21 Aug 1999 17:07:53 +0200

Re: Valerie solo

In an old magazine called Music UK (Issue No. 5 - 1982) I came across an interview with Steve, and the following was said about his use of synths:

Quote: "On Arc Steve used three polyphonic synths; a Yamaha CS80, a Prophet 5 and a Polymoog in addition to a Multimoog and a Minimoog."

Personally, I cannot tell the difference. However, it is one of the few synth pieces I really like.


Date sent: Sun, 22 Aug 1999 01:21:07 EDT
Subject: Re: Chris Wood, underrated songs, Viv

A few things to comment upon:

Wow! Eye opening thoughts on Chris Wood's sax playing from John L. Perhaps he wasn't as technically proficient a sax player as many, but I'd definitely have to agree that what he was doing, the way he played, fit what the group was doing very well. He had some great moments on the self-titled album, Traffic's finest in my opinion.

I won't call these underrated, how about guilty pleasures: Dust, and the entirety of the first solo album. For truly truly underrated, how about Talk Talk's Colour of Spring and Marianne Faithful's Broken English? Love those records....

This is something I've always wondered about - what's the SW connection to Viv Stanshall of the Bonzo Dog Band? VS co-wrote a Traffic song and a SW solo number, and Winwood guested on a couple of Stanshall albums. How'd they ever get together?


Date sent: Tue, 24 Aug 1999 07:37:36 -0400
From: Trafficologist (Ted G.)
Subject: Missing "!"

Am I losing my mind, or didn't the title JOHN BARLEYCORN MUST DIE originally appear on the album with an "!" on the end? I just noticed it doesn't appear anywhere on my CD copy. Did it disappear at the same time as the original (UA) burlap-background cover?

From: Jim (
Date sent: Tue, 24 Aug 1999 08:30:06 -0700
Subject: Tickets available

I have 2 Sept 2nd Tickets to the show in Jacksonville, OR-Plans changed, I cant use them. General seating, make offer! I believe show is sold out.


[Jim requests that you reply to him off-list. Thanks. -BG]

From: "DeltaNick"
Subject: Unreleased Powerhouse Track
Date sent: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 21:45:20 -0400

I just yesterday learned that there's probably another, unreleased Eric Clapton & The Powerhouse track sitting in some tape can in Elektra's vaults (Elektra is the "E" in the WEA conglomerate, Warner-Elektra-Atlantic, which includes Reprise Records [and is distributor for Rhino Records]). Read on ...

>From a March 1968 interview:

>> [Guitar Player]: How many cuts did you do as the Powerhouse? <<

>> [Eric] Clapton: We did "Crossroads," a medium-type blues, "Stepping Out" in a slow blues. The slow blues was never issued, so they must have it on tape at Elektra somewhere. It was pretty good, too. <<

The interview was published in: Bob Kenney, "The Lost Cream Tapes," "Best Of Guitar Player" (Clapton issue), 1992, pp. 4-10. The interview was unpublished until 1992, and according to the editor's notes, existed on paper in a disorganized mess. The interviewer/author could not be found, but the editors decided to publish it anyway, with minimal editing. There are technical mistakes in the interview (for example, when Clapton mentions his friend and pianist Ben Palmer, it is transcribed as Benjamin Power). The phrase "in a slow blues" should obviously have been transcribed as "and a slow blues," the only way it makes sense.

Bottom Line: This means that Eric Clapton & The Powerhouse recorded, probably in February or March 1966, four tracks for the 1966 Elektra album, "What's Shakin'." However, only three of those tracks were on the album, the "slow blues" is in the can "on tape at Elektra somewhere." Reprise Records (or WEA), if they're smart, will find the track and release it, if it still exists.

For those unfamiliar with the Eric Clapton & The Powerhouse tracks on "What's Shakin'," they are:

"I Want To Know"
"Steppin' Out"

Musicians on the one-off Eric Clapton & the powerhouse were:
  • Eric Clapton (of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers): guitar
  • Steve Winwood (of Spencer Davis Group): vocals and handclapping (and NO keyboard, as incorrectly listed elsewhere)
  • Paul Jones (of Manfred Mann): harmonica and backing vocal
  • Ben Palmer (EC's friend): piano
  • Jack Bruce (of manfred Mann): bass
  • Pete York (of Spencer Davis Group): drums

"What's Shakin'" is a pretty good album. The other artists on the album are:
  • Paul Butterfield Blues Band (with Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop)
  • The Lovin' Spoonful
  • Al Kooper
  • Tom Rush


From: "lani arthur"
Subject: HOB concert mentioned on radio
Date sent: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 14:16:36 PDT

How appropriate for today, the start of Steve's tour: While cleaning out/organizing my laundry room (in case I've got to store the canned foods in there in case of a hurricane) I had on the classic rock station. Roll With It comes on and after to my surprise the afternoon jock, Laura Francis mentions that Steve will be at the House of Blues Sept. 12 and if you have not seen him in are missing something! She went on to tell how she had met him last year and said he was so nice, asked him how he stayed so young looking to which he made a comment about not being a workaholic. Guess that gives us something to consider the next time we all complain we haven't heard anything "new" from him.

And Dawn, I know what you mean about using 'Stevie' instead of Steve. I find it hard to call my son Joe, not Joey. And I didn't think I used Stevie....until I realized sometimes I say 'Oh Stevie is on' when a song of his comes on the radio. And I saw that I even used it in a past SP. Would I call him Stevie to his face...No. I'd like to call him "my love"....unless Genia is nearby! :)

Everyone have fun and a safe trip home after the concerts! *Lani*

End of Smiling Phases