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:
- Berkin & Janis
- phone music
- New CDs
- Responses & "Refugees" poll
- SW/Traffic Soundalikes
- underrated songs
- Re: Valerie solo
- Re: Chris Wood, underrated songs, Viv
- Missing "!"
- Tickets available
- Unreleased Powerhouse Track
- 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?:)
Date sent: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 10:53:48 -0700 (PDT)
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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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
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.) email@example.com
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
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
Date sent: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 23:13:59 EDT
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.
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
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!
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
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.) firstname.lastname@example.org
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 (email@example.com)
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]
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',"
"I Want To Know"
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
- 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 concert...you 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
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