The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys - Island 1971
The opening track "Hidden Treasure" is a poetic folkish tune, a little in the same vein as "Forty-Thousand Headmen" from the second album. Of course featuring the beautiful flute played by Chris Wood.
The strongest composition of the album is without comparison Winwood's and Capaldi's title track. Great complex melody, but still melodic and catchy. Maybe some of the long solos could have been shortened down a little, but that is a matter of taste. I usually enjoy every minute of it ( close to 12 ).
Capaldi's "Light Up or Leave Me Alone" may appear a little light-weight after this. His vocals obviously have not got the power of Winwood's, but the song has charm and a fine melody; and it is probably the closest the new band comes to the sound of Traffic in the Dave Mason days.
New members in Traffic, Rick Gretch (bass) and Jim Gordon (drums) wrote the funky "Rock'n Roll Stew" which were also released as a single. The longer American single version is included as the only bonus-track. "Many a Mile to Freedom" is the next stand-out track. Strong melody with great vocals from Steve supported by Wood's emotional flute.
Final track on the original album is the slightly vague "Rainmaker", which has some fine elements, but which does not stand up with the rest op the album. Another Strong Traffic Album!