One of the last things anyone would have expected in the 90s was the return of Traffic, the 70s rock band featuring Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi. Arguably Britain’s closest answer to Grateful Dead, brilliant as they were, Traffic’s lengthy jazz-rock derived jams belonged squarely in the early time frame where most of them were created. The likelihood of a Traffic comeback became increasingly unlikely once Steve Winwood’s pop-oriented solo career made him a massive star in the 1980s.
Nevertheless, the return of Traffic – at least in a fashion – became a reality in 1992, when Winwood and Capaldi were invited to form a new version of the band and support Grateful Dead on a US tour. A new studio album ‘Far From Home’ appeared in 1994. ‘Far From Home’ in many respects resembles a Steve Winwood album, its songs are slick and half a world away from the band’s former freakouts. However, the presence of Jim Capaldi on drums gave the album a strong enough link with the past for it to be a respectful final note in Traffic’s recorded legacy.
Even if the album wasn’t their most memorable, the same year saw the band play at the Woodstock festival. The film of their set shows how Winwood had retained some great musical chops over the decades. What’s more, the new version of Traffic pulled out an amazing setlist, drawing very heavily on the classic tracks. If this were to be the band’s final bow, they couldn’t go out with a bigger audience…
Watch the complete set below.