Sunday, September 27, 2015

Yuri Gagarin

About: Yuri Gagarin

Yuri Gagarin are a Progressive, Psychedelic Rock band from Gothenburg Sweden that formed in 2012. The bands music blends several genres into one driving force that has garnered them a wide fan appeal across the shoegaze, psychedelic rock, progressive rock and heavy rock circles.

Their self titled debut album “Yuri Gagarin” was released in 2013 and received high praise by their fans. September 25th, 2015 saw the release of a two song EP titled “Sea of Dust” and it didn’t disappoint either, as their fans have heaped much praise on this solid emerging band from Northern Europe. 

Yuri Gagarin’s music will remind seasoned fans of the 70’s iconic trend-setting group “Hawkwind” with their space driving progressive psychedelic driving sounds. Have a listen and catch the wave!

At the Center of All Infinity – (2015)

Sea of Dust – (2015)

Sonic Invasion (2014 Remix)



Thursday, September 24, 2015

Legends of Rock: Joe Walsh

About: Joe Walsh

Joseph Fidler "Joe" Walsh (born November 20, 1947) is an American singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. In a career spanning more than 40 years, Walsh has been a member of five successful rock bands: the Eagles, James Gang, Barnstorm, The Party Boys, and Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band. In the 1990s, he was also a member of the short-lived supergroup “The Best”. He has also experienced success both as a solo artist and prolific session musician, being featured on a wide array of other artists' recordings. In 2011, Rolling Stone placed Walsh at the number 54 spot on its list of "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time."

Walsh joined the Eagles in 1975 as the group's keyboardist and guitarist following the departure of their founding member Bernie Leadon, with Hotel California being his first album with the band. In 1998 Guitarist magazine selected the guitar solos on the track "Hotel California" by Walsh and Don Felder as the best guitar solos of all time, and eighth of the Top 100 Guitar Solos.

Walsh pursued a solo career and released his debut album The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get in 1973. Since then, he has released twelve studio albums, six compilation albums and two live albums. His solo hits include "Rocky Mountain Way", "Life's Been Good", "All Night Long", "A Life of Illusion" and "Ordinary Average Guy".

As a member of the Eagles, Walsh was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, and into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001. The Eagles are considered to be one of the most influential bands of the 1970s, and they remain the best-selling American band in the history of popular music. Walsh's creative contribution to music has received praise from many of the best rock guitarists, including Led Zeppelin's former guitarist Jimmy Page, who praised Walsh by saying "He has a tremendous feel for the instrument. I've loved his style since the early James Gang." Cream's former guitarist, Eric Clapton said that "He's one of the best guitarists to surface in some time. I don't listen to many records, but I listen to his." The Who's guitarist Pete Townshend, a friend of Walsh's, commented that "Joe Walsh is a fluid and intelligent player. There're not many like that around."

Early Life:

Joseph Fidler Walsh was born in Wichita, Kansas, the son of Robert Newton Fidler and grandson of Alden Anderson Fidler and Dora Jay Newton. Walsh's mother was a classically trained pianist of Scottish and German ancestry, and Walsh was adopted by his stepfather at the age of five after his biological father was killed in a plane crash. In the 1950s, it was common practice for Social Security, school registration, and health records for children to take the name of their stepfather, but Walsh's birth father's last name was Fidler, so he took that as his middle name. Walsh and his family lived in Columbus, Ohio, for a number of years during his youth. When Walsh was twelve years old, his family moved to New York City. Later, Walsh moved to Montclair, New Jersey, and he attended Montclair High School, where he played oboe in the school band. Inspired by the success of the Beatles, he replaced Bruce Hoffman as the bass player in the locally popular group the Nomads in Montclair, beginning his career as a rock musician. After high school, Walsh attended Kent State University, where he spent time in various bands playing around the Cleveland area, including the Measles. The Measles recorded for Super K Productions' Ohio Express: "I Find I Think of You", "And It's True", and "Maybe" (an instrumental version of "And It's True"). After one term, he dropped out of university to pursue his musical career.

1965 – 1967: The Measels

The Measles, an Ohio garage bar band, were formed in 1965 by four Kent State University students, one of whom was Joe Walsh. Two tracks on the Ohio Express' "Beg Borrow and Steal" LP, "I Find I Think Of You" and "And It's True" (both featuring Joe Walsh vocals) were actually recorded by the Measles, led by Joe. Additionally, an instrumental version of "And It's True" was recorded by the Measles, re-titled "Maybe" and released as the B-side of the "Beg Borrow And Steal" single.

1968 – 1971: The James Gang

Around Christmas time of 1967, James Gang guitarist Glenn Schwartz, who turned out to be AWOL from the army and was breaking up with his wife, decided to leave the band to move to California, where he ended up forming the band Pacific Gas & Electric. Just days later, shortly after the new year of 1968 had dawned, a friend of Schwartz's, Joe Walsh (from a fellow band called The Measles), knocked on Jim Fox's door and asked to be given a tryout as Schwartz's replacement. Walsh was accepted and the band continued as a five piece for a short time until Phil Giallombardo, who was still in high school at the time, left. Jeric and Walsh worked together on guitar parts but Jeric ended up leaving as well in the spring of 1968. He was then replaced by a returning Ronnie Silverman, who had been discharged from the military.

In May 1968, the group played a concert in Detroit at Motown's Grande Ballroom opening for Cream. At the last minute, Silverman informed the others that he would not be joining them at the show. The band, desperately in need of the money, took to the stage as a trio. They liked their sound as a threesome and decided to remain that way.

In 1968 the band signed with manager Mark Barger, who was handling the career of a fellow Ohio outfit The Lemon Pipers, who had just scored a big hit with "Green Tambourine." Barger put the Gang in touch with ABC Records staff producer Bill Szymczyk, who signed them to ABC's new Bluesway Records subsidiary in January 1969.

They released their debut album, Yer' Album, in 1969. In November 1969, bassist Tom Kriss decided he was no longer into the music and left to be replaced by Dale Peters, who was brought in from another group called E.T. Hoolie. The addition of Peters created the most successful incarnation of the James Gang. Walsh proved to be the band's star attraction, noted for his innovative rhythm playing and creative guitar riffs. In particular he was known for hot-wiring the pick-ups on his electric guitars to create his trademark "attack" sound.

The James Gang had several minor hits and became an early album-oriented rock staple for the next two years. Later in 1969, the group's producer, Bill Szymczyk arranged for the band to appear in the "electric Western" film Zachariah, with two James Gang songs, "Laguna Salada" and "Country Fever," also being used. For the recording of these two songs, vocalist Kenny Weiss was brought in as a means of allowing Walsh to focus on his guitar playing. Weiss, however, was gone by the time the group arrived in Mexico to shoot their movie scenes. "Laguna Salada" and "Country Fever" later reappeared as bonus tracks on the 2000 re-release of The James Gang Greatest Hits.

Shortly before the release of their second album James Gang Rides Again, the James Gang opened a show for the legendary rock band the Who in Pittsburgh. Their guitarist Pete Townshend met with the James Gang before they left and was impressed enough to invite them on The Who's subsequent European tour. When Walsh was asked about this he said that, "Pete's a very melodic player and so am I. He told me that he appreciated my playing. I was flattered beyond belief because I didn't think I was that good."

The James Gang's next two albums, James Gang Rides Again (1970) and Thirds (1971), produced such classics as "Funk #49" and "Walk Away". The album James Gang Live at Carnegie Hall was Walsh's last album with them, as he became dissatisfied with the band's limitations.

The two remaining members, Peters and Fox carried on with the lead vocalist Roy Kenner and guitarist Domenic Troiano (both ex-members of the Canadian band Bush) for two albums, Straight Shooter and Passin' Thru, both released in 1972. But in recent interviews, Fox stated that things didn't work out musically with Troiano as hoped, so he left the band in 1973 and would subsequently join The Guess Who.

1971 – 1973: Barnstorm

In December 1971 Walsh left the James Gang and formed a band called Barnstorm, with drummer/multi-instrumentalist Joe Vitale, and bassist Kenny Passarelli, although both of their albums credited Walsh as a solo artist. They started recording their debut album immediately after forming, but at the time there were only Walsh and Vitale on these sessions. Chuck Rainey, did the first bass tracks on the album but these were soon replaced by Passarelli. Walsh and Barnstorm released their debut album, the eponymous Barnstorm in October 1972. After taking a cue from Townshend, Walsh utilized the ARP Odyssey synthesizer to great effect on such songs as "Mother Says" and "Here We Go." Walsh also experimented with acoustic guitar, slide guitar, fuzzboxes and keyboards as well as running his guitar straight into a Leslie 122 to get swirly, organ-like guitar tones. The album was a critical success, but had only moderate commercial success. The follow-up The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get, released in June 1973, was marketed under Walsh's name (although officially a Barnstorm album) and was their commercial breakthrough. It peaked at #6 on the US Billboard chart. The first and leading single, "Rocky Mountain Way" received heavy airplay and reached #23 on the US Top 40 chart. It featured new member, keyboardist Rocke Grace, and Walsh shared the vocals and songwriting with the other three members of the band. As a result, a variety of styles are explored on this album. There are elements of blues, jazz, folk, pop, and even Caribbean music. In 1974 Barnstorm disbanded and Walsh continued as a solo artist.

In late 1974, Walsh played slide guitar on the former Barnstorm band mate Joe Vitale's debut solo album Roller Coaster Weekend.

1975 – 1980: The Eagles

In 1975, Walsh was invited to move to England and join Humble Pie by Steve Marriott, since Peter Frampton had left the band. Walsh decided to decline his offer, and instead he would join the Eagles as Bernie Leadon's replacement. There was some initial concern as to Walsh's ability to fit in with the band, as he was considered far too "wild" for the Eagles, especially by their drummer and co-lead vocalist, Don Henley.

Released on December 8, 1976, Hotel California was the band's fifth studio album and the first to feature Walsh. The album took a year and a half to complete, a process which, along with touring, drained the band. The album's first single, "New Kid in Town," became the Eagles' third number 1 single.

The second single was the eponymous title track, which topped the charts in May 1977 and became the Eagles' signature song. It features Henley on lead vocals, with a guitar duet performed by Felder and Walsh. The song was written by Felder, Henley and Frey, with Felder writing all the music. The mysterious lyrics have been interpreted in many ways, some of them controversial. Rumors even started in certain quarters that the song was about Satanism. The rumor was dismissed by the band and later by Henley in the documentary film History of the Eagles. Henley told 60 Minutes in 2007 that "it's basically a song about the dark underbelly of the American Dream and about excess in America, which was something we knew about."

With its hard rock sound, "Life in the Fast Lane" was also a major success that established Walsh's position in the band. The third and final single from Hotel California, it reached number 11 on the charts. The ballad "Wasted Time" closes the first side of the album, while an instrumental reprise of it opens the second side. The album concludes with '"The Last Resort," a song that Frey once referred to as "Henley's opus," but which Henley described as "fairly pedestrian" and "never fully realized, musically speaking."

The run-out groove on side two has the words "V.O.L. Is Five-Piece Live" etched into the vinyl, which means that the instrumental track for the song "Victim of Love" was recorded live in the studio, with no overdubs. Henley confirms this in the liner notes of The Very Best Of. However, the song was a point of contention between Don Felder and the rest of the band. In the 2013 documentary, Felder claimed that he had been promised the lead vocal on "Victim of Love," for which he had written most of the music. After many unproductive attempts to record Felder's vocal, band manager Irving Azoff was delegated to take Felder out for a meal, removing him from the mix while Don Henley overdubbed his lead vocal. Joe Walsh said that Felder never forgave them for the snub.

Hotel California has appeared on several lists of the best albums of all time, and is the band's best-selling studio album, with more than 16 million copies sold in the U.S. alone and more than 32 million copies worldwide. The album won Grammys for "Record of the year" ("Hotel California") and "Best arrangement for voices" ("New Kid in Town"). Hotel California topped the charts and was nominated for Album of the Year at the 1978 Grammy Awards, but lost to Fleetwood Mac's Rumours. The huge worldwide tour in support of the album further drained the band members and strained their personal and creative relationships.

Hotel California is the last album to feature founding member Randy Meisner, who abruptly left the band after the 1977 tour. The Eagles had been touring continuously for eleven months and Meisner was suffering from stomach ulcers and the flu by the time they arrived in Knoxville in July. Frey and Meisner had been continually arguing about Meisner's unwillingness to perform his signature song, "Take It To the Limit," during the tour, as Meisner was struggling to hit the crucial high notes in the song due to his ailments. During the following show, Meisner decided to skip the song due to his flu, but when Frey aggressively demanded that he sing it as an encore the two got into a physical confrontation backstage and Meisner left the venue. Despite pleas from Felder and Walsh, Meisner decided to leave the group after the final date of the tour and returned to Nebraska to be with his family. His last performance was in East Troy, Wisconsin on September 3, 1977. The band replaced Meisner with the same musician who had succeeded him in Poco, Timothy B. Schmit, after agreeing that Schmit was the only candidate.

In 1977, the group, minus Don Felder, performed instrumental work and backing vocals for Randy Newman's album Little Criminals, including "Short People," which has backup vocals by Frey and Schmit.

The Eagles went into the recording studio in 1977 to begin work on their next album, The Long Run. The album took two years to complete. It was originally intended to be a double album, but the band members were unable to write enough songs. The Long Run was released on September 24, 1979. Considered a disappointment by some critics for failing to live up to Hotel California, it proved a huge commercial hit nonetheless; the album topped the charts and sold 7 million copies. In addition, it included three Top 10 singles. "Heartache Tonight" became their last single to top the Hot 100, on November 10, 1979. The title track and "I Can't Tell You Why" both reached number 8. The band won their fourth Grammy for "Heartache Tonight." "In The City" by Walsh and "The Sad Cafe" became live staples. The band also recorded two Christmas songs during these sessions, "Funky New Year" and "Please Come Home For Christmas," which was released as a single in 1978 and reached number 18 on the charts.

Frey, Henley and Schmit contributed backup vocals for the single release of "Look What You've Done to Me" by Boz Scaggs. A different version with female backing vocals appears on the Urban Cowboy soundtrack, along with the Eagles' 1975 hit "Lyin' Eyes."

On July 31, 1980, in Long Beach, California, tempers boiled over into what has been described as "Long Night at Wrong Beach." The animosity between Felder and Frey boiled over before the show began, when Felder said, "You're welcome – I guess" to California Senator Alan Cranston's wife as the politician was thanking the band backstage for performing a benefit for his reelection.[28] Frey and Felder spent the entire show telling each other about the beating each planned to administer backstage. "Only three more songs until I kick your ass, pal," Frey recalls Felder telling him near the end of the band's set. Felder recalls Frey telling him during "Best of My Love", "I'm gonna kick your ass when we get off the stage."

It appeared to be the end of the Eagles, but the band still had a commitment with Elektra Records to make a live record from the tour. Eagles Live (released in November 1980) was mixed on opposite coasts. Frey had already quit the band and would remain in Los Angeles, while the other band members each worked on their parts in Miami. "We were fixing three-part harmonies courtesy of Federal Express," said producer Bill Szymczyk. Frey refused to speak to the other Eagles, and he fired Irving Azoff as his manager. With credits that listed no fewer than five attorneys, the album's liner notes simply said, "Thank you and goodnight." A single released from the album – "Seven Bridges Road" – had been a live concert staple for the band. It was written by Steve Young in an arrangement created by Iain Matthews for his Valley Hi album in 1973. The song reached number 21 on the charts in 1980, becoming the Eagles' last Top 40 single until 1994.

1973 – 2012: Solo Career

Barnstorm is considered the debut studio solo album by the American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joe Walsh, following his departure from the James Gang. The album was released in October 1972 on the labels ABC and Dunhill. The core band on this album – Walsh, bassist Kenny Passarelli and drummer/multi-instrumentalist Joe Vitale – was also named Barnstorm. It was the first album to be recorded at Caribou Ranch in Colorado.

The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get is the second studio album by the American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joe Walsh. The album was released in 1973, on the label ABC-Dunhill in the United States, and United Kingdom, and it was also released on Probe Records in Germany. It proved to be his commercial breakthrough, largely on the strength of the Top 40 hit single, "Rocky Mountain Way", which helped propel the album into the Top 10.

On this album, Walsh shares the vocals and songwriting with the other three members of Barnstorm, drummer/multi-instrumentalist Joe Vitale, bassist Kenny Passarelli, and the new member, keyboardist Rocke Grace. As a result, a variety of styles are explored on this album. There are elements of blues, jazz, folk, pop, and even Caribbean music.

After the success of this album, Barnstorm disbanded, and Walsh continued making albums as a solo artist.

In December 1974, Walsh released an official solo album, “So What”, which contained more introspective material such as "Help Me Through the Night" and "Song For Emma", a tribute to Walsh's daughter who had been killed in a car accident the previous year. On a few tracks, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and Randy Meisner of the Eagles contributed backing vocals.

In March 1976, he released a live album, You Can't Argue with a Sick Mind, which also featured the Eagles. This would be his last solo album until 1978.

As the Eagles struggled to record their follow-up to Hotel California, Walsh re-ignited his solo career with the critically well-received album, “But Seriously, Folks”... in May 1978, and "Life's Been Good", which featured his hit comedic depiction of rock stardom, peaked at #12 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and remains to date his biggest solo hit. Walsh also contributed "In the City" to The Warriors soundtrack in 1979, a song penned and sung by Walsh that was later rerecorded for the Eagles' studio album, The Long Run.

Following the breakup of the Eagles in July 1980, Walsh continued to release solo albums throughout the 1980s, but sales did not meet the same level of his earlier successes.

There Goes the Neighborhood was Walsh's first album since the demise of the Eagles, and it peaked at number 20 on the Billboard 200. The album only spawned one single, "A Life of Illusion", which would become one of Walsh's most popular songs. The single also topped the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, in 1981.
"A Life of Illusion" was recorded in 1973 with Walsh's first solo band Barnstorm but was not completed. The overdubs and final mixes were completed during the There Goes the Neighborhood sessions and released on the album. The promotional video for the track shows the coming to life of the album's cover. This song also appeared in the opening credits of The 40-Year-Old Virgin and appears as the first song on its soundtrack.

Another track, "Rivers (of the Hidden Funk)", was a track Walsh wrote for the Eagles' 1979 album The Long Run, but was left off. The track featured a guest appearance by Walsh's Eagles-mate Don Felder (who co-wrote the track) on talk box guitar. "Rivers..." received a good bit of FM radio airplay.

The album's final track, "You Never Know", is a song about rumors and hearsay, including not-so-veiled swipes at other members of the Eagles and their management with lines like "The Frontline grapevine jury's in a nasty mood / you might be guilty, honey, you never know." (Frontline Management was Irving Azoff's management firm at the time). Felder appears on guitar on this track performing rhythm and dual lead guitar solos with Walsh.

In May 1983, Walsh released You Bought It – You Name It; the album was received negatively by the majority of music critics, while other reviewers noted good points to the album. It was also not as successful as Walsh's previous albums, peaking at #48 on the Billboard 200. However, Walsh found some moderate success with the single "Space Age Whiz Kids", about the pinnacle of the 1980s video arcade craze. The album contains hard rock songs such as "I Can Play That Rock & Roll" and a cover of the Dick Haymes track, "Love Letters". It also contains more introspective material such as "Class of '65", and contains a song titled "I.L.B.T.s", an abbreviation for "I Like Big Tits".

His next album, The Confessor, would be something that Walsh's new girlfriend Stevie Nicks would get involved with. Nicks' old friend Keith Olsen was hired to produced the album and the musicians were prolific LA session musicians including: Jim Keltner, Mike Porcaro, Waddy Wachtel, Randy Newman, Alan Pasqua and many other musicians that Walsh had never worked with before.

In 1987, Walsh released his final solo album of the 1980s, Got Any Gum?, which was produced by Terry Manning, and features vocal contributions from J. D. Souther and Survivor's lead vocalist Jimi Jamison, but the album was a commercial disappointment.

Walsh's song "One Day at a Time" released in 2012, details his struggles with alcohol and drug abuse earlier in his career. The song appeared on Walsh's album Analog Man, which was released on June 5, 2012. The album was co-produced by Jeff Lynne, with Tommy Lee James co-writing some of the album's tracks.

Solo albums:

1972 - Barnstorm
1973 - The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get
1974 - So What
1976 - You Can't Argue with a Sick Mind
1978 - But Seriously, Folks...
1981 - There Goes the Neighborhood
1983 - You Bought It– You Name It
1985 - The Confessor
1987 - Got Any Gum?
1991 - Ordinary Average Guy
1992 - Songs for a Dying Planet
2012 - Analog Man
2013 - All Night Long: Live in Dallas

Recent Eagles Work:

An Eagles country tribute album titled Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles was released in 1993, thirteen years after the breakup. Travis Tritt insisted on having the Long Run-era Eagles in his video for "Take It Easy" and they agreed. Following years of public speculation, the band formally reunited the following year. The lineup comprised the five Long Run-era members—Frey, Henley, Walsh, Felder and Schmit—supplemented by Scott Crago (drums), John Corey (keyboards, guitar, backing vocals), Timothy Drury (keyboards, guitar, backing vocals) and Al Garth (sax, violin) on stage.

"For the record, we never broke up, we just took a 14-year vacation," announced Frey at their first live performance in April 1994. The ensuing tour spawned a live album titled Hell Freezes Over (named for Henley's recurring statement that the group would get back together "when hell freezes over"), which debuted at number 1 on the Billboard album chart. It included four new studio songs, with "Get Over It" and "Love Will Keep Us Alive" both becoming Top 40 hits. The album proved as successful as the tour, selling 6 million copies in the U.S. The tour was interrupted in September 1994 because of Frey's serious recurrence of diverticulitis, but it resumed in 1995 and continued into 1996.

In 1998, the Eagles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. For the induction ceremony, all seven Eagles members (Frey, Henley, Felder, Walsh, Schmit, Leadon and Meisner) played together for two songs, "Take It Easy" and "Hotel California." Several subsequent reunion tours followed (without Leadon or Meisner).

The Eagles performed at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on December 28 and 29, 1999, followed by a concert at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on December 31. These concerts marked the last time Felder played with the band. The concert recordings were released on CD as part of the four-disc Selected Works: 1972–1999 box set in November 2000. Along with the millennium concert, this set included the band's hit singles, album tracks and outtakes from The Long Run sessions.

The group resumed touring in 2001, with a line-up consisting of Frey, Henley, Walsh and Schmit, along with Steuart Smith (guitars, mandolin, keyboards, backing vocals; essentially taking over Felder's role), Michael Thompson (keyboards, trombone), Will Hollis (keyboards, backing vocals), Scott Crago (drums, percussion), Bill Armstrong (Horns), Al Garth (sax, violin), Christian Mostert (sax) and Greg Smith (sax, percussion).

In 2003, the Eagles released a greatest hits album, The Very Best Of. The two-disc compilation was the first that encompassed their entire career, from Eagles to Hell Freezes Over. It debuted at number 3 on the Billboard charts and eventually gained triple platinum status. The album includes a new single, the September 11 attacks-themed "Hole in the World." Also in 2003, Warren Zevon, a longtime Eagles friend, began work on his final album, The Wind, with the assistance of Henley, Walsh and Schmit.

On June 14, 2005, the Eagles released a new 2-DVD set titled Farewell 1 Tour-Live from Melbourne, featuring two new songs: Frey's "No More Cloudy Days" and Walsh's "One Day at a Time." A special edition 2006 release exclusive to Walmart and affiliated stores includes a bonus audio CD with three new songs: a studio version of "No More Cloudy Days," "Fast Company" and "Do Something."

In 2007, the Eagles consisted of Frey, Henley, Walsh and Schmit. On August 20, 2007, "How Long," written by J. D. Souther, was released as a single to radio with an accompanying online video at Yahoo! Music. It debuted on television on Country Music Television during the Top 20 Countdown on August 23, 2007. The band had performed the song as part of their live sets in the early to mid-1970s, but did not record it at the time because Souther wanted to reserve it for use on his first solo album. Souther had previously worked with the Eagles, co-writing some of their biggest hits, including "Best of My Love," "Victim of Love," "Heartache Tonight" and "New Kid in Town."

On October 30, 2007, the Eagles released Long Road Out of Eden, their first album of all-new material since 1979. For the first year after the album's release, it was available in the U.S. only via the band's website, at Walmart and at Sam's Club stores. It was commercially available through traditional retail outlets in other countries. The album debuted at number 1 in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands and Norway. It became their third studio album and seventh release overall to be certified at least seven times platinum by the RIAA. Henley told CNN that "This is probably the last Eagles album that we'll ever make."

The Eagles made their awards show debut on November 7, 2007, when they performed "How Long" live at the Country Music Association Awards.

On January 28, 2008, the second single of “Long Road Out of Eden” was released. "Busy Being Fabulous" peaked at number 28 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and at number 12 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart. The Eagles won their fifth Grammy in 2008, in the category Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for "How Long."

On March 20, 2008, the Eagles launched their world tour in support of Long Road Out of Eden at The O2 Arena in London. The Long Road Out of Eden Tour concluded the American portion of the tour at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on May 9, 2009. It was the first concert ever held in the new soccer stadium. The tour traveled to Europe, with its final concert date on July 22, 2009, in Lisbon. The band spent the summer of 2010 touring North American stadiums with the Dixie Chicks and Keith Urban. The tour expanded to England as the headline act of the Hop Farm Festival on July 1, 2011.

Asked in November 2010 whether the Eagles were planning a follow-up to Long Road Out of Eden, Schmit replied, "My first reaction would be: no way. But I said that before the last one, so you never really know. Bands are a fragile entity and you never know what's going to happen. It took a long time to do that last album, over a span of years, really, and it took a lot out of us. We took a year off at one point. I'm not sure if we're able to do that again. I wouldn't close the door on it, but I don't know." Walsh said in 2010 that there might be one more album before the band "wraps it up."

In February 2013 the Eagles released a career spanning documentary called History of the Eagles and kicked off the supporting tour with 11 arena dates from July 6 to 25. Henley said that the tour, which would continue until 2015, "could very well be our last...we're gonna include at least one former band member in this tour and kinda go back to the roots, and how we created some of these songs. We're gonna break it down to the fundamentals and then take it up to where it is now." Original Eagles guitarist Bernie Leadon also appeared on the tour. Walsh stated, "Bernie’s brilliant, I never really got a chance to play with him, but we've been in contact. We see him from time to time, and I'm really glad he's coming because it's going to take the show up a notch, and I'm really looking forward to playing with him, finally."

Other Bands:

In late 1984 Walsh was contacted by Australian musician Paul Christie, the former bassist for Mondo Rock. Christie invited him to come to Australia to perform with the Party Boys, an all-star group with a floating membership of well-known Australian rock musicians. These included the critically acclaimed guitarist Kevin Borich, with whom Walsh became good friends. Walsh accepted and performed with the Party Boys on their late 1984-early 1985 Australian tour and appeared on their live album, “You Need Professional Help”. He remained in Australia for some time after the tour, putting together the short-lived touring group "Creatures From America", with Waddy Wachtel (guitar), Rick Rosas (bass) and Australian drummer Richard Harvey (Divinyls, the Party Boys)

In 1987, Walsh returned to the United States to work on his album Got Any Gum?, which was produced by Terry Manning and features vocal contributions from J. D. Souther and Survivor's lead vocalist Jimi Jamison. After the album's commercial disappointment, Walsh decided to return to Australia in 1989 to tour with another incarnation of the Party Boys. Walsh would also tour with Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band in 1989 and 1992, alternating a handful of his best-known songs with Starr's and tunes by other of the members of the All-Starr Band.

In 1989, Walsh recorded a MTV Unplugged with the R&B musician Dr. John. Also in 1989 Walsh filmed a live concert from the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles with Etta James and Albert Collins, called Jazzvisions: Jump the Blues Away.

While producing their Homegrown album in 1989, Walsh briefly joined New Zealand reggae band Herbs. Although he had left by the time of its 1990 release, he still appears as lead vocalist on two tracks, "Up All Night" and "It's Alright." The album includes the first recording of his "Ordinary Average Guys" (sung by late Herbs bassist Charlie Tumahai), which subsequently became a solo hit for Walsh as "Ordinary Average Guy".

In late 1990, Walsh was part of a band called the Best, along with keyboardist Keith Emerson, bassist John Entwistle, guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter and drummer Simon Phillips. The band performed several shows in Hawaii and Japan, with a live video resulting.

In 1993, Walsh teamed up with Glen Frey for the "Party of Two" tour in the United States.

In 1996, James Gang did a reunion for the Democratic president, Bill Clinton. The band consisted of their "classic" lineup (Walsh, Peters, Fox), and they performed at the Cleveland State University Convocation Center on November 4, 1996.

In 1998, ABC wanted to use a classic rock song rock for Monday Night Football that year, so they asked Walsh to rewrite the lyrics to "Rocky Mountain Way" for the quarterback John Elway of the Denver Broncos. "Rocky Mountain Elway" was the new title of the song and Walsh appeared in a video that ABC showed on the Monday Night Football.

2000 – 2012:

In June 2004, Walsh performed at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival in Dallas, Texas. He was also featured in September 2004 at the Strat Pack, a concert held in London, England, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster guitar. In 2006, Walsh reunited with Jim Fox and Dale Peters of the James Gang for new recordings and a 15-date summer reunion tour. The tour lasted into the fall.

In 2008, Walsh appeared on the Carvin 60th Anniversary Celebration DVD as a celebrity endorser. In the recorded interview, he highly praised Carvin guitars and claims that the bridge design is "just like the first Les Paul models. I can't even get Gibson to reissue it."

Kent State University awarded Walsh an honorary degree in music in December 2001. In May 2012, the Berklee College of Music awarded Walsh, along with other members of the Eagles, an honorary doctorate for his accomplishments in the field of music.

Notable Appearances:

In 1974 Walsh produced Dan Fogelberg's Souvenirs album and played the guitar, electric guitar, 12 string guitar, arp bass and provided backing vocals. He also contacted Graham Nash to sing harmony vocals on "Part of the Plan", which helped send the album to #17 on the 1975 Billboard album chart.

In 1981 Walsh and former Barnstorm bandmate, Joe Vitale, went to work on old friend John Entwistle's fifth solo album Too Late the Hero, whenever they were free to work on it. The album turned out to become John Entwistle's best-charting solo album, with hit singles "Talk Dirty" and "Too Late the Hero."

Walsh was a background musician (1st guitar solo) on Eagles bandmate Don Henley's 1982 hit "Dirty Laundry" (listed as such in the liner notes of I Can't Stand Still and Actual Miles: Henley's Greatest Hits). Walsh played guitar throughout Who bassist John Entwistle's 1981 solo album Too Late The Hero. Walsh has also contributed to albums by: Ringo Starr, America, REO Speedwagon, Jay Ferguson, Andy Gibb, Wilson Phillips, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Steve Winwood, and on the Richard Marx hit "Don't Mean Nothing".

Walsh was a regular guest deejay on Los Angeles radio station KLOS during the mid-1980s. They had a Saturday evening feature, with celebrity guest-hosts taking over the microphone (Walsh was the guest host far more frequently than any other). He was also been a frequent guest and guest-host of Detroit and Chicago radio personality Steve Dahl.

Onscreen, Walsh has appeared in: The Blues Brothers, RoboCop, Promised Land, The Drew Carey Show, Duckman, MADtv, Live from Daryl's House, Rock the Cradle and Zachariah.

In October 2004, Walsh undertook speaking engagements in New Zealand to warn against the dangers of substance abuse. He said the visit was a "thank you" to people who took him to Otatara Pa when he toured New Zealand with reggae band Herbs while under heavy alcohol and cocaine addictions in 1989, an experience he has cited as the beginning of a long journey back to good health. At Otatara Pa in 2004 Walsh said, "This is a special place, and it is very special to me. It was here on a visit many years ago, up on the hills, that I had a moment of clarity. I don't understand it, but I reconnected with my soul, and I remembered who I used to be. I admitted I had problems and I had to do something about it. It was the beginning of my recovery from my addiction to alcohol and drugs, and when I got back to America it gave me the courage to seek help."

On February 12, 2012, Walsh appeared on stage with Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl, and McCartney's band at the Staples Center in Los Angeles to close out the Grammy Awards show. Walsh also appeared on the 60th Episode of Live from Daryl's House with Daryl Hall, which premiered on November 15, 2012.

On February 9, 2014, Walsh was featured in several songs on the CBS special The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles.

In 2014, Walsh made a guest appearance on Foo Fighters' eighth studio album Sonic Highways.


As a member of the Eagles, Walsh has won five Grammy Awards:

1977 - Record of the Year: "Hotel California" (single)
1977 - Best Arrangement for Voices: "New Kid in Town"
1979 - Best Rock Vocal performance by a Duo or Group: "Heartache Tonight"
2008 - Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals: "How Long"
2009 - Best Pop Instrumental Performance: "I Dreamed There Was No War"

Walsh was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998
Walsh was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001.

On the Road with Bob Seger – (2013)

One Day at a Time - (Live - 2012)

Lucky that Way – (live – 2012)

Wrecking Ball – (Live 2012)

Analog Man – (Live 2012)

Life’s Been Good – (Spoken Word Version - Live 2012)

For the Record (Music & Interview) – (2012)

The Eagles – Life in the Fast Lane – (Live 1995)

The Eagles – (Live in Buffalo - 1994)

Coyote Love – (Album: Songs for a Dying Planet – 1992)

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow - (Album: Songs for a Dying Planet – 1992)

Vote for Me – (Album: Songs for a Dying Planet – 1992)

Ordinary Average Guy – (Album: Ordinary Average Guy - 1991)

Two Sides to Every Story - (Album: Ordinary Average Guy - 1991)

Life in the Fast Lane (Live)

Life’s Been Good (Live)

In The City (Live)

Funk 49 – (Live)

All Night Long (Live)

Rocky Mountain Way (Live)

Memory Lane - (Album: Got Any Gum – 1987)

The Radio Song – (Album: Got Any Gum – 1987)

The Confessor – (Album: The Confessor – 1985)

Rosewood Bitters - (Album: The Confessor – 1985)

I Can Play that Rock n Roll – (Album: You Bought it, You Name it – 1983)

Told You So - (Album: You Bought it, You Name it – 1983)

Shadows - (Album: You Bought it, You Name it – 1983)

Life of Illusion – (Album: There Goes the Neighbourhood – 1981)

Life’s Been Good – (Album: But Seriously, Folks… - 1978)

Indian Summer – (Album: But Seriously, Folks… - 1978)

The Eagles – Hotel California (Live) – 1977

Song for Emma - (Album: So What – 1974)

Help Me Through the Night - (Album: So What – 1974)

Falling Down & Pavanne for the Sleeping Beauty - (Album: So What – 1974)

Country Fair – (Album: So What – 1974)

Rocky Mountain Way – (Album: The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get – 1973)

Wolf - (Album: The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get – 1973)

Here We Go - (Album: Barnstorm – 1972)

The Bomber (Live) - (Album: Barnstorm – 1972)

Barnstorm (Live) – (Album: Barnstorm – 1972)

The James Gang – Walk Away (Live) – (Album: Thirds – 1971)

The James Gang – Yadig – (Album: Thirds – 1971)

The James Gang Rides Again – (Full Album – 1970)

The James Gang – Introduction & Take a Look Around - (Album: Yer – 1969)

The James Gang – Funk 48 – (Album: Yer – 1969)

The Measles – I Find I Think of You – 1966

Joe Walsh – Official Website
Joe Walsh - Wikipedia
Joe Walsh – Last FM
Joe Walsh - Facebook
Joe Walsh - Twitter
Joe Walsh – YouTube Official
Joe Walsh – YouTube 2
Joe Walsh – Official Store
Joe Walsh - iTunes
Joe Walsh - Amazon

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Legends of Rock: Dave Mason

About: Dave Mason

The Early Years:

Dave Mason has been a force to be reckoned with since birth. A home birth on May 10, 1946, in Worcester, England,  David Thomas Mason weighed in at 11 1/2 pounds. His only sibling, his sister Valerie, was 17 years his senior. His parents owned a candy store called E. Masons, and later an ice cream factory. His father also spent quite a bit of time at the horse races, a pastime Dave enjoys when he can find time to attend the track in between his busy touring schedule.

Dave's determination and strong will can perhaps be traced to a little known, but monumental incident which took place at the age of 5. In the adjoining stables, Dave went in search of a toy pedal car his parents had stashed in a ceiling loft. Dave missed a step when reaching for the car and fell 20 feet to the hard floor. Initially it appeared he was unscathed, but a few days later it was revealed he had bent, not broken, a hipbone, and because of the intense trauma to the hip, contracted a condition called Perthes syndrome. Dave was treated at Aston Hall, the leading medical authority for orthopedics, for more than 18 months, which included nine months of being held in traction by strapping him to a metal board. Once released from the board, Dave underwent intensive physical training, as he had to learn how to walk all over again.

Dave's initial dream was to become a member of the Royal Air Force. Yet at an early age, Dave's talents and strength showed up more in creative endeavors. At 16 he began to play guitar and sing, and by 17 became a working musician in his first band called The Jaguars. The next year, he formed The Hellions, where he struck up a lifelong friendship with Jim Capaldi. They penned their first song together here called "Shades of Blue", and made a recording with Pye Records with this tune on the B side. The A side was a Jackie DeShannon song called "Daydreaming of You". The recording was produced by Kim Fowley, an eclectic man who had a hit novelty song called "They're Coming To Take Me Away". Capaldi and Mason continued their work together, forming another group called The Deep Feeling. Shortly thereafter, music history takes place.

Through Dave's friendship with JIm Capaldi, Dave met Steve Winwood and Chris Wood. The four joined forces to form what is considered one of the most influential bands of all time, Traffic.

Traffic Years:

Traffic operated on the cutting edge of the late-sixties music scene at a time of rapid and remarkable evolution, and expanded rock's sonic palette. But whereas most progressive British bands were based in London, Traffic retreated to a secluded cottage in the countryside. A key component of Traffic's mythology is their communal stone cottage in Berkshire. It was here the group wrote and rehearsed material for Mr. Fantasy, and Traffic, among the more remarkable albums of the sixites.

The group's first single was the Winwood/Capaldi composition "Paper Sun" followed in August 1967 by Mason's "Hole in My Shoe" which hit number two in the U.K. Mason also appeared in the debut album, Mr. Fantasy. His whimsical melodies and goodtime feel, incorporating simple yet rich lyrics, ensured a delightful contrast. His vocals adding a mellower texture to Winwood's, and an extra interest. His three tracks, "Utterly Simple", "House for Everyone",  and  'Hope I Never Find Me There" having instant appeal. The latter relating more closely to the group's contributions. Mason became recognized for his obvious virtuosity on sitar, vocals, and guitar.

Artistically Mason had started the process of establishing himself. Like Winwood, he was a musical perfectionist, but their approaches were different. Rather than follow his ideals which would estrange him from the band, he decided to quit, even before the first album was released in December 1967 he left the band. He recorded a solo single, "Little Woman", released by Island in early 1968. The B side "Just for You" subsequently appeared as the opening track of "Last Exit". In pursuit of a solo career, Mason moved to the US, an environment particularly conducive for his creative talents, but when Traffic arrived there for their first tour in March, he rejoined Traffic with a handful of songs.

"Feelin' Alright" was released as the first single off the second album, Traffic in October 1968.  Mason's journey with Traffic was fitful, yet fruitful. Not quite a month after the release, Mason left the band again and it broke up shortly afterward. Steve Winwood joined the band Blind Faith, Mason Capaldi, and Wood teamed with Mick Weaver in the short-lived Wooden Frog.

Traffic was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

Traffic Discography:

1967 - Mr. Fantasy
1968 - Traffic
1969 - Best of Traffic
1969 - Last Exit - Traffic
1971 - Welcome to the Canteen - Traffic
1991 - Smiling Phases - Traffic

Solo Career:

Unencumbered by a commitment to a band in Engand, Mason moved to Los Angeles and joined Delaney & Bonnie & Friends in 1969. He played lead guitar and toured with them opening for Blind Faith. Delaney & Bonnie had a #2 hit with Mason's song "Only You Know and I Know". In 1970 he signed a solo contract with Blue Thumb Records, and began cutting his debut solo album, co-producing it with Tommy LiPuma. "When we got together, and he played me lots of the stuff from the album, the material was just ridiculous," meaning ridiculously good. "He had just bought a 12-string, and he was realy in love with it. The songs were just so strong, forget it. You had to be deaf not to hear it."

The first result of the sessions was a single, "World in Changes", released in April 1970, followed by the full album, the classic Rock n' Roll masterpiece and enduringly powerful Alone Together in June. The album reached the Top 25, stayed in the charts six months, and went gold, while a second single, "Only You Know and I Know" became a Top 40 hit. His next career move always seems puzzling, but it shouldn't. One of Mason's earliest friends in Los Angeles was Mama Cass Elliot, and in 1970 they formed a duo, which they launched with a performance at the Fillmore East in New York in September, and in the next year released the album Dave Mason and Cass Elliot.  The duo was short lived, Mason briefly hooked up with a new configuration of Traffic, doing only six shows yet culled the live album, "Welcome to the Canteen", where we hear a live version of "Feelin' Alright", and "Sad and Deep as You". After the shows, Mason stayed back in England and was an original member of Derek and the Dominos with , prior to Layla. Dave was replaced by Duanne Allman.

Meanwhile, Mason became Blue Thumb's most successful recording artist. As was commonplace, he was asked to renegociate his contract. When Blue Thumb demurred, he stopped working on his follow up to Alone Together, sued the label, and took the tapes he had recorded so far. Blue Thumb still had two-track copies of the material and released them as "Headkeeper" in 1972, and Dave Mason is Alive in 1973. Mason denounced them as bootleg, and was forced into bankruptcy. Yet it freed him from Blue Thumb, and he signed then with Columbia.

The Columbia relationship was wildly successful, with two albums going gold, Mariposa del Oro, and Dave Mason, followed by Let It Flow going Platinum, and including the classic "We Just Disagree" which became a top 20 hit. In addition, Mason became a huge success as a major concert attraction, playing venues such as Red Rocks, Madison Square Garden, and the Los Angeles Forum during the 1970's. His brand of melodic mainstream rock had fallen from favor by the start of the 80's, when his Columbia contract expired. He stayed on the road in spite of it becoming a difficult time for him personally. "I didn't even pick up a guitar for a year. I stopped writing. I had my bouts with drugs and alcohol, and I really needed to get away to see when I wanted in life." Finally, he cut the album Some Assembly Required, which was released by Maze Records of Canada in 1987, then hooked up with the Voyager label, distributed by MCA for Two Hearts, released at the end of the same year. Mason continued to perform, suffering a great blow when his long time colleague and friend Jim Krueger died in 1993. Shortly after, he joined a new lineup of Fleetwood Mac in 1994 and 1996. The group toured, then recorded the album Time, released in 1995, which included two songs co-written by Mason.

By any measure Dave Mason has had a full life, difficult enough to have discouraged a less determined man and to have defeated a less talented one. It was always Mason's musical ability, as a writer of classic songs and a stunning performer able to attract a loyal following that has kept him afloat personally and professionally. He has always loved the music. As Bill DeYoung in Goldmine Magazine writes, "Mason made one bad business move after another, picking the wrong managers, signing the wrong contracts. He had the usual problems with drugs and alcohol, and with relationships with lovers, and band members, but at the end of the day, as always, it was the music that mattered."

In a 2011 interview Mason said, "Living is definitely not for the weak or faint of heart; its a constant work in progress".

And so Mason continues to follow his heart's calling. He continues to hold considerable weight in the industry as one who carries a powerful legacy and indelible mark on Rock and Roll. Not many music legends in their 60's create and perform with the same energy and vitality that defined their early days. Dave Mason is a rare exception.  He enjoys a zest for live performances in addition to a ceaseless ethic of writing and recording.  In 2008 he released 26 Letters, 12 Notes, his first album release in more than 20 years. With today's technology supportive of his entreprenurial spirit, Mason is begining to release heretofore private recordings, revealing yet again a new phase in the dazzling career of Dave Mason.


2014 - Future's Past
2006 - Definitive Collection
2002 - Dave Mason: Live at Sunrise.
2002 - Live at Perkins' Palace!
1999 - Ultimate Collection
1999 - Live: 40,000 Headmen Tour
1995 - Long Lost Friend
1987 - Some Assembly Required
1987 - Two Hearts
1981 - Best of Dave Mason
1980 - Old Crest On A New Wave
1979 - The Very Best of Dave Mason
1978 - Mariposa De Oro
1977 - Let It Flow
1976 - Certified Live
1975 - Split Coconut
1974 - The Lonely One
1974 - Best of Dave Mason
1974 - Dave Mason
1973 - Dave Mason Is Alive!
1973 - Its Like You Never Left
1972 - Scrapbook
1972 - Headkeeper
1971 - Dave Mason & Cass Elliot
1970 - Alone Together

Guest Appearances:

In addition to a rich career in songwriting and performing, Dave Mason was invited to perform on several albums of some of the most legendary names in music.

1968 - Electric Ladyland - Jimi Hendrix
1968 - Beggars Banquet - Rolling Stones
1969 - Lily The Pink - Scaffold
1970 - All Things Must Pass - George Harrison
1970 - Delaney & Bonnie & Friends on Tour with Eric Clapton
1971 - Motel Shot - Delaney & Bonnie
1971 - Songs For Beginners - Graham Nash
1971 - Winwood - Steve Winwood
1972 - Bobby Keys - Bobby Keys
1972 - Graham Nash & David Crosby
1972 - History of Eric Clapton - Eric Clapton
1972 - Oh How We Danced - Jim Capaldi
1973 - Wild Tales - Graham Nash
1974 - Phoebe Snow - Phoebe Snow
1975 - Venus and Mars - Paul McCartney
1975 - Get Off II Various
1976 - You Can't Argue With a Sick Mind - Joe Walsh
1978 - Thoroughfare Gap - Stephen Stills
1979 - Gimmee Some Neck - Ron Wood
1979 - Skatetown USA -movie with Patrick Swayze
1983 - Airborn - Don Felder
1988 - Classic Rock, Volume 1
1988 - Crossroads - Eric Clapton
1990 - The Best of Delaney & Bonnie - Delaney & Bonnie
1992 - Sounds of the Seventies: FM Rock II
1994 - Soccor Rocks the Globe - with Fleetwood Mac - various artists
1995 - Finer Things - Steve Winwood
1995 - After the Love - Various
1995 - All Day Thumbsucker Revisited - Various
1996 - The Fleetwood Mac Family Album - Fleetwood Mac
1996 - Time Life Guitar Music Rock 1970-71 - Various

Rock n Roll Hall of Fame:

Traffic operated on the cutting edge of the late-Sixties music scene at a time of rapid and remarkable evolution. Along with such kindred spirits as Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Traffic expanded rock’s sonic palette. But whereas most progressive British bands were based in London, Traffic retreated to the British countryside. A key component of Traffic’s mythology is their communal stone cottage in Berkshire, where the group could soak up bucolic inspiration and work without distraction. It was here the group wrote and rehearsed material for Mr. Fantasy and Traffic, among the more remarkable albums of the Sixties.

Those albums were early chapters in what turned out to be a fitful yet fruitful career. The Traffic story is marked with breakups, reunions and personnel realignments. Between 1967 and 1974 they had as few as three and as many as seven members. However, the group always revolved around the trio of keyboardist/guitarist Steve Winwood, drummer Jim Capaldi (drums, vocals) and hornman Chris Wood. And despite the changes, they remained one of the most organic bands of the rock and roll era.

A union of musicians from Birmingham, in the British midlands, Traffic was designed to be experimental and open-ended. Yet because they all loved blues, soul and jazz, their foundations made them accessible, as well. As vocalist and organist with the Spencer Davis group, Winwood had already tasted pop success with such soul-tinged pop hits as “Keep On Running” (#1 U.K.., #76 U.S.), “Somebody Help Me” (#1 U.K., #47 U.S.), “Gimme Some Lovin’” (#2 U.K., #7 U.S.) and “I’m a Man” (#9 U.K., #10 U.S.).

Winwood was only 15 when he joined the Spencer Davis Group with his older brother Muff, who played bass. Having turned 18 in the heady year of 1967, the precocious teenager wanted to explore the more creative side of the burgeoning music scene and his own far-ranging interests in jazz, blues, rock and skiffle. He joined forces with Capaldi and Wood, late of Deep Feeling, a Birmingham-based psychedelic group. The fourth member was Dave Mason, who’d been a Spencer Davis Group roadie. It was a potent union of talented, visionary musicians. Even in his teens, Winwood’s voice bore hints of Ray Charles soulful fire, and he could play a variety of instruments. Capaldi was a powerful drummer and adroit lyricist. Chris Wood’s reeds brought a jazzy, exotic flavor to the music. Mason was a fluid guitarist and superb songwriter.

Capaldi conjured the name Traffic while standing on a streetcorner, and he catalyzed the group’s formation. Traffic’s third single, “Here We Go Around the Mulberry Bush” (#8 U.K.), was the title track for an obscure movie. Their first album, Mr. Fantasy, appeared in 1968. The British and American versions differed markedly, from their covers to the music inside. In the U.S., two cuts were dropped and four others added, and the running order was radically rearranged. Both versions had “Dear Mr. Fantasy” - a smoldering union of soul and psychedelia - in common. Traffic’s experimental chemistry flowered in the countryside, and they paid tribute to the rural environment that sustained them in “Berkshire Poppies.” “We try to get as much color into our lives as possible,” the group said of life in their beloved stone cottage. “We see movements and roam through the temple of our minds.” The group applied such outré touches as sitar and backwards drum tracks to cuts like “Hole in My Shoe” (#2 U.K.) and “Paper Sun” (#5 U.K.), which were both big hits in their homeland. In America, by contrast, Traffic was the consummate album band, never charting a Top Forty single.

Traffic’s self-titled second album, also released in 1968, was a masterpiece. Traffic included a bluesy plaint from Mason, “Feelin’ Alright,” that later became a hit for Joe Cocker. Winwood gave an emotive performance on the tormented “No Time to Live” and cooked up a New Orleans groove on “Pearly Queen.” The group explored psychedelia on “40,000 Headmen” and incorporated West Indian rhythms in “Vagabond Virgin,” cowritten by Mason and Capaldi. Mason also contributed an infectious singalong, “You Can All Join In.”

All through this period, Mason was an on-again, off-again member who wasn’t even pictured on the American version of Mr. Fantasy. Musical wanderlust drew Winwood away in 1969, when he joined Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker (of Cream) and bassist Ric Grech (of the British group Family) in the short-lived supergroup Blind Faith. A third Traffic album, Last Exit, was assembled from non-album singles and live recordings. The group proved to be a phoenix, however, reassembling sans Mason to record John Barleycorn Must Die (1970), their highest-charting album (#5). It was highlighted by the haunting title track, a traditional British folk song; the funky instrumental “Glad”; and the stormy “Freedom Rider,” whose urgency and drive captured Traffic at its best. Mason briefly rejoined for a half-dozen British concerts, from which Welcome to the Canteen (1971) – which included the old Spencer Davis Group hit “Gimme Some Lovin’” – was culled.

For its next chapter, Traffic grew in size. Musicians who passed through the band in the early Seventies included bassist Ric Grech, African percussionist Reebop Kwaku Baah, drummer Jim Gordon, and David Hood and Roger Hawkins of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. The early Seventies yielded Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys (1971), Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory(1973), and the live On the Road (1973). The brooding, jazzy “Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” - which ran for over 11 minutes - triggered Traffic’s greatest popularity. Low Spark sold over a million copies as Traffic became one of the darlings of album-oriented radio.

Yet Winwood came to feel the group had run its course, and Traffic gave its last performance on August 31, 1974. Having contracted to a four-piece band - Winwood, Capaldi, Wood and bassist Rosko Gee - they cut one more studio album, When the Eagle Flies (1974), before calling it a day. Winwood and Capaldi thereafter pursued solo careers. Chris Wood died in 1983 after a long illness. The book on Traffic seemed to be closed, but then Winwood and Capaldi teamed up in the early Nineties, tapping into the group mystique one more time for an album, Far From Home (1994), and tour. At some stops they opened for the Grateful Dead.

Winwood has spoken about what made Traffic unique and different. “We just wanted to make music that had our own freedom and was more natural,” he said. “If we wanted to do a nine-minute song, we’d do a nine-minute song. If we wanted a two-and-a-half-minute intro before the vocal came in, or if the hook didn’t come in until five minutes into the song, we didn’t care about it.” By caring more about music than commercial considerations, Traffic tapped into a magical motherlode.

Album: Future’s Past – 2014

That’s Freedom – (Album: Future’s Past – 2014)

We Just Disagree – (Live @ Music City Roots Sept. 25, 2013)

All Along the Watchtower - (Live @ Music City Roots Sept. 25, 2013)

Feelin Alright - (Live @ Music City Roots Sept. 25, 2013)

Sad and Deep as You – (Live @ Music City Roots Sept. 25, 2013)

How Do I Get to Heaven – (Live @ Music City Roots Sept. 25, 2013)

Draw the Line – (Album: Some Assembly Required – 1987)

World in Changes – (Live @ Farm Aid – 1986)

Dave Mason – (Live @ The Palace 1981)

Talk to Me – (Album: Old Crest on a New Wave – 1980)

Only You Know and I Know – (Live @ Mosport Park – 1978)

The Words – (Album: Mariposa De Oro – 1978)

We Just Disagree - 1977

Let it Go. Let it Flow – (Album: Let it Flow – 1977)

Look at You Look at Me – (Album: Certified Live – 1976)

All Along the Watchtower – (Album: Dave Mason – 1974)

Bring it On Home to Me - (Album: Dave Mason – 1974)

Feelin Alright - (Album: Dave Mason is Alive – 1973)

Every Woman - (Album: It’s Like You Never Left – 1973)

Maybe - (Album: It’s Like You Never Left – 1973)

The Lonely One – (Album: It’s Like You Never Left – 1973)

HeadKeeper – (Full Album – 1972)

Too Much Truth, Too Much Love - (Album: Dave Mason & Cass Elliot – 1971)

Something to Make You Happy - (Album: Dave Mason & Cass Elliot – 1971)

Walk to the Point – (Album: Dave Mason & Cass Elliot – 1971)

Alone Together – (Full Album - 1970)

Dave Mason – Official Website
Dave Mason - Soundcloud
Dave Mason – Last FM
Dave Mason - Facebook
Dave Mason - Twitter
Dave Mason – YouTube (VEVO)
Dave Mason – Official Store
Dave Mason - iTunes
Dave Mason - Amazon

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