Saturday Juke Joint


Chris Dierkes

Chris Dierkes (aka CJ Smith). 29 years old, happily married, adroit purveyor and voracious student of all kinds of information, theories, methods of inquiry, and forms of practice. Studying to be a priest in the Anglican Church in Canada. Main interests: military theory, diplomacy, foreign affairs, medieval history, religion & politics (esp. Islam and Christianity), and political grand bargains of all shapes and sizes.

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8 Responses

  1. Avatar H.C. Johns says:

    As good as his stuff with Spencer Davis group was, I think his best work was on that Blind Faith record. There’s a melodic richness to that stuff (sea of joy, por exemplo) that’s absent on his blues records. Lyrics are better too. Such a shame they only produced that one album…Report

  2. Avatar Bob Cheeks says:

    Steve who?
    How about early Dylan, Highway 61 Dylan (Abe said where do you want this killin’ done, God said out on…), Jesus Dylan, ect
    And then there’s

    John Prine (…and Jesus don’t like killin’ no mater what the reason’s for..)
    oops, sorry! and finally, the R&B and Doo-Wop that sustained life for so many years.Report

  3. Avatar Chris Dierkes says:


    Blind Faith was amazing. It was too bad they only had the one album. Clapton was too busy falling in love with his best friend (George Harrison’s) wife, followed Bonnie and Delaney, tried to get himself into The Band, and then quickly formed Derek & The Dominoes with an otherwise (then) little known guy playing guitar named Duane Allman. They only had one album too. Unbelievable to think about how much talent there was then.

    Winwood said later of Traffic that there final album, John Barleycorn Must Die (talk about haunting lyricism) was what he had always intended for the group.


  4. Avatar Chris Dierkes says:

    this is my favorite from that album:

    Every Mother’s SonReport

  5. Avatar Bob says:

    “Winwood said later of Traffic that there [sic] final album, John Barleycorn Must Die (talk about haunting lyricism) was what he had always intended for the group.”

    Chris, I’m a huge fan of rock and roll, rock, whatever you want to call it. I still buy a lot of the current bands, and have more reference books than any sane person needs. But I love the stuff and always will. So…

    “John Barleycorn Must Die,” 1970, was not the last album by Traffic. “Welcome to the Canteen” followed in 1971. “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” was also released in 1971. “Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory” in 1973. “When the Eagle Flies” in 1974. Winwood appears on all of these albums. I’ll leave it there not wishing to go to far into the woods on this.

    I will not dispute what you write about Winwood seeing “Barleycorn” as the high point of the band. It is so fucking good and Winwood may have expressed the feelings you state. I just don’t know.

    Today I think I would rank “Mr. Fantasy,” 1967, as my number one, followed by “Barleycorn.” The others, in my opinion, fall way short of those two but “Boys” and “Shoot Out” are fine records.

    Just needed to clear this up, as I said LOVE the stuff.

    Best song ever written about rock and roll – “Rock and Roll” by Lou Reed. Part of the lyric, “Despite all the amputations she could dance to the rock n’ roll station, and it was ALL RIGHT, ALL RIGHT.” Give it a listen, let me know what you think.Report

    • Avatar Chris Dierkes says:


      Thanks for the fact check. I thought Barleycorn was the last album the original four-some did before breaking up but apparently Mason wasn’t on that record.

      And I know the Lou Reed song of which you speak. Guy’s a genius, what can you say?Report

  6. Avatar Bob says:

    “Guy’s a genius, what can you say?”

    Well I can only say, guy’s a genius.

    Last bit of trivia on Traffic. As best I know Mason played on only one album, the eponymous “Traffic.” the second album. Mason is given writing credit on two songs on “Mr. Fantasy,” “Hole In My Shoe” and “House for Everyone.” Traffic began as a trio, Winwood, Jim Capaldi, and the late Chris Wood.

    There have been numerous reissues and compilations on which Mason appears but of the original albums Mason plays on only one, to the best of my knowledge.

    And way off topic, I really liked your “Notre Bama” post.Report