Traffic

Far From Home - Virgin 1994

Tracks: 1. Riding High / 2. Here Comes a Man / 3. Far from Home / 4. Nowhere Is Their Freedom / 5. Holy Ground / 6. Some Kinda Woman / 7. Every Night, Every Day / 8. This Train Won't Stop / 9. State of Grace / 10. Mozambique

Comments:

After a break of twenty years a new Traffic album was released 1994. Like "John Barleycorn" from 1970 Steve Winwood began working on the album expecting it to be another solo-album, but soon old Traffic band mate Jim Capaldi got involved and they started writing new songs together.

Obviously they sound differently from what they did on their previous 1974 album "When the Eagle Flies", but many tracks do have a clear Traffic feel to them. Steve Winwood's soulful voice is as strong as ever and he plays all instruments except the drums, which obviously are played by Capaldi. A few guest-appearnces can be heard; most notably Davy Spillane on the exquisite "Holy Ground".

Generally the songs are pretty long, which in some cases may be a problem, a many songs are riff-based and these tracks tend to be somewhat long-winded.

For me the standouts are the two slow songs; the before-mentioned Celtic-inspired "Holy Ground" and "State of Grace" - both the kind of songs that would suit Van Morrison perfectly - especially "Holy Ground" do sound like a Morrison song.

Also the grandiose opener "Riding High" is fine; and there is a lot of Los Lobos/David Hidalgo feel to "Here Comes a Man". Though Chris Wood is not on the album, his spirit seems to be present on several tracks where the flute is played.

I spite of the big time gap the album feels like a logical continuation of the band, which sadly with the death of Capaldi also must expected to be the end of a great band; but a worthy one too!


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