Here is another album that was burned into my psyche while growing up. When you have older brothers like I do, you are exposed to their musical tastes without even knowing it. In this case, as in most, I’m glad I was.
Traffic was primarily the vehicle for Steve Winwood’s musical output. The group led a turbulent existence in the late 60’s and early 70’s. This, their second major label effort, simply titled Traffic brings Dave Mason back into the fold after being dismissed by the overbearing Winwood just a year earlier. Mason shines on this album, providing half the writing and penning the record’s highlight, the Euro hit “Feeling Alright”. The album is nicely balanced between the finely crafted efforts of Mason and the soulful rocking jams of Winwood and Jim Capaldy. Unfortunately this would not be the blueprint for the group overall, which dismissed Mason for a second time just as the record was being released. A few months later the band itself split, which became the ongoing pattern in the groups on-again, off-again lifestyle.
Traffic and other blues influenced, rock bands such as The Edgar Winter Group and Cream had a prominent place next to my older brother’s turntable. These sounds, as well as the sweet aroma of “mother nature”, would often find there way through the register between my childhood bedroom and that of my 4 older bros. It was truly a time of turmoil and strife, as a generation, Cryin’ to Be Heard, struggled and rebelled against living the status quo and dying by an imposed war.