Winwood Getting Back Into Traffic
"Traffic was going to tour in October of '04 and because of Jim Capaldi's untimely [illness], we weren't able to do that and so we felt that this DVD is a very fitting tribute to Jim," Winwood tells BIn the wake of Traffic co-founder Jim Capaldi's death earlier this year, bandmate Steve Winwood felt the time was just right to release the rock act's first DVD, "The Last Great Traffic Jam," which hits stores last week via Epic.
"Traffic was going to tour in October of '04 and because of Jim Capaldi's untimely [illness], we weren't able to do that and so we felt that this DVD is a very fitting tribute to Jim," Winwood tells Billboard.com. "And also there hasn't been much footage of Traffic either. There is very little in existence and since Traffic is a very enigmatic and unusual band, we thought that now was the time to put this out and give people a taste of what Traffic was really about."
Recorded during the outfit's 1994 reunion tour, the DVD features live footage of 11 tracks, some of which were recorded during the band's opening slots for the Grateful Dead. There are also plenty of candid and intimate moments, including an acoustic performance taped in Winwood's home studio.
While Winwood admits there's "loads and loads" of audio demos, rehearsal recordings and studio outtakes in the Traffic vault, he's unsure when, if ever, it will see the light of day. For now, Epic will on Nov. 1 re-release Winwood's 2003 album "About Time," which originally appeared on the singer's own label, Wincraft Music.
"We released it on our own label, so it wasn't really a wide distribution but for our own little humble operation, we were very happy with the results," Winwood says. "But a lot of people have asked me what I've done lately. And when I say I had an album out the last couple of years, they actually didn't know that."
Before returning to his Gloucester, England, home to record his next studio album (due next year via Epic), Winwood is touring Stateside. The sets have a new emphasis on his Traffic past.
"I've now been adding some of the songs from 'The Last Great Traffic Jam,'" Winwood says. "So I cannot possibly play [all] these songs in three hours but I do change the set up every night. We always enjoy playing."