Jim Capaldi – Short Cut Draw Blood (1975)

FrontCover1Nicola James Capaldi (2 August 1944 – 28 January 2005) was an English singer-songwriter and drummer. His musical career spanned more than four decades. He co-founded the progressive rock band Traffic in 1967 with Steve Winwood with whom he co-wrote the majority of the band’s material. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a part of Traffic’s original lineup.

Capaldi also performed with Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Alvin Lee, Cat Stevens, and Mylon LeFevre, and wrote lyrics for other artists, such as “Love Will Keep Us Alive” and “This is Reggae Music”. As a solo artist he scored more than a half dozen chart hits in various countries, the best-known being “That’s Love” as well as his cover of “Love Hurts”.

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Capaldi married Brazilian-born Aninha E S Campos in 1975 in All Saints Church, Marlow [23] and in 1976 toured with his band Space Cadets before moving to Brazil in 1977.

He had two daughters, Tabitha born in 1976 and Tallulah born in 1979. The Capaldis lived in the Bahia region of Brazil until the beginning of 1980 and while there he became heavily involved with environmental issues. They maintained homes in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, and Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro. The track “Favela Music” on his 1981 album Let The Thunder Cry arose from his love of Brazil, and he worked with several Brazilian composers.

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Capaldi was a friend and supporter of the London School of Samba and played with the bateria on at least one occasion. He did a lot of charitable work for organisations in Brazil, such as the Associação Beneficiente São Martinho street children’s charity in Lapa, Rio de Janeiro, which the LSS also supported between 1994 and 2001. His wife was also the Porta Bandeira (flag bearer) of the LSS in the 1994 and 1995 Notting Hill Carnival parades.

Outside his music and environmental activism, Capaldi also assisted his wife in her work with Jubilee Action to help Brazilian street children. Because of this charity work, Capaldi and his wife were guests of Tony Blair at the Prime Minister’s country house, Chequers. He remained professionally active until his final illness prevented him from working on plans for a 2005 reunion tour of Traffic. He died of stomach cancer in Westminster, London, on 28 January 2005, aged 60.

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Short Cut Draw Blood is the third studio album by the British musician Jim Capaldi, released by Island Records in 1975. It marked a major turning point in Capaldi’s career: it was his first album recorded after the breakup of Traffic, and more importantly it was his commercial breakthrough. While Capaldi’s first two solo albums had been moderately successful in the United States (in fact, in Short Cut Draw Blood was his least successful album in the United States thus far, with both the album itself at number 193[1] and the single “Love Hurts” barely scraping into the Billboard charts at number 97[2]), Short Cut Draw Blood entered the charts in several other countries for the first time. This was particularly evident in his native United Kingdom; the single “It’s All Up to You” at number 27, released a year before the album, became his first top 40 hit there, only to be overshadowed the following year by his cover of “Love Hurts”, which went all the way to number 4.

The title of the album was conceived by co-producer Chris Blackwell.

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The song “Boy with a Problem” was written about former Traffic bandmate Chris Wood, whose self-destructive tendencies (particularly his drug addiction) were a cause of increasing concern for Capaldi. The song features Paul Kossoff on guitar.

Rolling Stone called the album “still uneven” and “unfocused” but a promising step forward from his first solo work. Their review approved of both the session musicians and the arrangements, but criticized Capaldi’s lyrics as “simply absurd” or “rather embarrassingly sentimental”, being at his best only on the cover of “Love Hurts”, where “he brings a sense of pain very different from Roy Orbison’s original.” (wikipedia)


Jim Capaldi struck out on his own following the break-up of Traffic and the result is the upbeat Short Cut Draw Blood. This album produced hit singles in the form of such tracks as “It’s All Up to You,” “Love Hurts,” and the FM staple “Johnny Too Bad.” Aided by a wide variety of musician friends and dipping into a wide range of musical styles, there is something for everyone on Short Cut Draw Blood. While some cuts still have a thrown-together sound to them, this album holds together even better than his first release. A fine look at the mid-’70s in terms of just how wide a variety of music could be contained on one album by one personality. (by James Chrispell)


Ray Allen (saxophone (on 01., 04., 08. percussion on 03.
Rebop Kwaku Baah (percussion on 02., 04., 05., 07., 08.)
Barry Beckett (keyboards on 04., piano on 05., 07.)
John “Rabbit” Bundrick (piano, clavinet on 02.)
Pete Carr (lead guitar on 04., 05. 07., guitar on 06.)
Phil Chen (bass on 02.)
Jim Capaldi (vocals, drums on 02., percussion on 02. 05., 06., drum machine on 01.
Gerry Conway (drums on 03.)
Rosko Gee (bass on 03., 08.)
Roger Hawkins (drums on 04. – 07.)
David Hood (bass on 04 – 07.)
Jimmy Johnson (guitar on 04. – 07.)
Remi Kabaka (percussion on 01., 04., 08.)
Paul Kossoff (lead guitar on 07.)
Phil (guitar on 08.)
Jess Roden (guitar on 02.)
Rico Rodriguez (trombone on 08.)
Jean Roussel (piano, minimoog on 03.)
Chris Spedding – guitar (on 03., 05.), lead guitar on 06.)
Steve Winwood (guitar on 01. + 08.,  keyboards on 01., 08., bass on 01. piano on 03., bass on 06. mellotron, harpsichord on 08.)
Chris Wood (flute on 08.)
Peter Yarrow (guitar on 04.)
Muscle Shoals Horns (horns on 04.)


01. Goodbye Love (Capaldi) 4.34
02. It’s All Up to You (Capaldi) 4.14
03. Love Hurts (Bryant) 3.31
04. Johnny Too Bad (Bailey/Beckford/Crooks) 4.16
05. Short Cut Draw Blood (Capaldi) 4.29
06. Living On A Marble (Capaldi) 4.31
07. Boy With A Problem (Capaldi) 6.34
08. Keep On Trying (Capaldi) 7.28
09. Seagull (Capaldi) 4.17



More from Jim Capaldi:

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Various Artists – Dear Mr. Fantasy – A Celebration For Jim Capaldi (2007)

FrontCover1Following his death, several tributes in celebration of Capaldi’s life and music came out under the name Dear Mr Fantasy. The first was a tribute concert that took place at the Roundhouse in Camden Town, London on Sunday, 21 January 2007. Guests included Bill Wyman, Jon Lord, Gary Moore, Steve Winwood, Cat Stevens, Paul Weller, Pete Townshend, his brother, Phil and many more. The performances were evenly split between Capaldi’s solo songs and his work with Traffic. All profits went to The Jubilee Action Street Children Appeal. A recording of the concert was released as a double CD set the same year. (by wikipedia)

In January 2007 a fantastic line-up of guests gathered at the Roundhouse in London to pay tribute to the late Jim Capaldi of Traffic and to raise money for his children’s charity The Landmark Trust. Old friends such as Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens), Pete Townshend of The Who, Joe Walsh of The Eagles, Jon Lord of Deep Purple, Gary Moore, Dennis Locorriere of Dr Hook and of course his Traffic colleague Steve Winwood, were joined by younger admirers such as Paul Weller and The Storys to perform their favourite Traffic and Jim Capaldi tracks in front of a sell out audience.


And this is a preview of the Show:

Jim Capaldi played with Traffic as well as Hendrix, Clapton, and others. At last there’s a celebration gig.
‘Jim Capaldi is a bit of an unsung hero, a really under-rated drummer, and one of the greatest musicians and lyricists to come out of this country,’ says Paul Weller, who knows a thing or two about Sixties heroes. Later on this week, the Modfather will join another two of his idols, Capaldi’s Traffic bandmate Steve Winwood and the Who mainman Pete Townshend, as well a host of other musicians, for Dear Mr Fantasy: A Celebration For Jim Capaldi, at the Roundhouse in London.
Weller first heard the group in 1967, and later recorded with Winwood and Capaldi. ‘I would have been nine when I heard Traffic through the first singles, ‘Paper Sun’, ‘Hole In My Shoe’, ‘Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush’, ‘No Face, No Name. No Number’, all the early stuff. I came in at the pop end of it all. I just loved those records, I still do. They’re real magical. ‘Paper Sun’ is probably my all-time favourite Traffic song. It’s such a brilliant melody and the words are great. All that stuff is fantastic, the psychedelic pop thing, whatever you want to call it, but, ultimately, their music encompassed everything. They had all different styles all mixed into one,’ expands the Jam and Style Council frontman, who drew on Traffic’s sound when he launched his solo career.
‘They influenced what I did, especially on Wild Wood. Steve Winwood played organ on a couple of tracks on my next album, Stanley Road. Steve said Jim had mentioned to him to check out Wild Wood so that was nice,’ says Weller. ‘A few years later, I played with Jim on what would have been his last solo album, Living On The Outside.
‘Jim was a great character. We sang ‘No Face, No Name, No Number’ and ‘Paper Sun’. He was talking about those days in Berkshire, when Traffic were all living together and making music. They would come back from gigs and play all night. It must have been amazing,’ muses Weller.


Born Nicola James Capaldi in Evesham, Worcestershire in August 1944, Capaldi came from a musical family but forsook his father’s accordion for the drums and played in covers bands around the Midlands. With Dave Mason, Capaldi formed the Hellions and recorded three singles, for Piccadilly, which got nowhere fast in 1965.
At the time, Winwood was a teenage prodigy singing and playing organ with the Spencer Davis Group. By the middle of 1966, they’d topped the British charts with ‘Keep On Running’ and ‘Somebody Help Me’, but Winwood was having a better time jamming with Deep Feeling, Capaldi’s new group. ‘We used to go and meet at this club called the Elbow Room in Birmingham,’ says Winwood. ‘We started as friends. With Traffic, we could explore so much more.’ He has vivid recollections of his friend thinking up the group’s name. ‘We’d been in a coffee bar in Worcester. We came out and we wanted to cross the road and we stood waiting. Suddenly Jim, with the massive burst of enthusiasm he always had when he thought of an idea, said: ‘I’ve got it! That’s it! Traffic!’ And from that day on, we became Traffic.’


Mr Fantasy, the band’s debut album, and their 1968 follow-up simply called Traffic, both made the Top Ten, as did their first three singles, but a rift developed after the success of ‘Hole In My Shoe’. ‘We never really felt that was Traffic, because Dave Mason wrote it and sang it. That caused him to leave,’ reflects Winwood, who briefly joined Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker in the super-group Blind Faith before reuniting with Wood and Capaldi in 1970 for John Barleycorn Must Die, arguably Traffic’s finest album. ‘Jim was a great help to me as a writer. When we wrote together in Traffic, there was no outside influence from record companies. Everything we created was born out of the playing we did. ‘Dear Mr Fantasy’ is an absolute gem. ‘Forty Thousand Headmen’, ‘Withering Tree’, a slightly lesser-known one, ‘Stranger To Himself’, all great songs.’
Though Winwood played keyboards, guitar and sang lead on most tracks, the more outgoing Capaldi was the perfect foil. He proved so prolific a writer that he managed to record three excellent solo albums – Oh How We Danced, Whale Meat Again and Short Cut Draw Blood – alongside his work with Traffic between 1972 and 1975. That year, the group split and the drummer scored a Top Five solo hit in the UK with a cover of ‘Love Hurts’, recorded by Roy Orbison and the Everly Brothers.


Capaldi’s writing often had a prescient tone, as the Free and Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke, another long-standing friend, is keen to emphasise. ‘Jim was one of the first guys in rock’n’roll to voice his worry, his concerns with was going wrong with the environment, 35 years ago. And then he took up the cause for the children of the favelas in Brazil. He was a wonderful man,’ says Kirke. (Profits from the Roundhouse concert will go to the Jubilee Action Street Children Appeal, with which Aninha, Jim’s Brazilian wife, is involved.)
Capaldi went on to release 12 more solo albums, often contributed to Winwood’s post-Traffic output, and co-wrote ‘Love Will Keep Us Alive’, the hit from Hell Freezes Over, the Eagles’ mid-Nineties comeback album. In 1994, Capaldi and Winwood reactivated Traffic – without Wood, who died in 1983 – for the Far From Home album, toured with the Grateful Dead and sounded like they’d never been away. In 2004, they were inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall Of Fame. Jim Capaldi died the following January.
‘Jim and I had an agreement that neither of us would go out as Traffic without the other,’ says Winwood, ‘but I play some of those songs. I want to make this show as special as I can.’


Pete Townshend, too, is looking forward to joining Yusuf Islam, Winwood, Weller, Joe Walsh, Gary Moore, Jon Lord, Bill Wyman and Simon Kirke for an event that echoes another occasion 34 years ago. ‘Jim took part in the Eric Clapton Rainbow concert in 1973. He was an extraordinary artisan on the drums. I’m such a huge fan.’
Dear Mr Fantasy: A Celebration For Jim Capaldi is at the Roundhouse, London on Sunday, 21 January (by Pierre Perrone, The Independent)
I include a fantastic review from this concert (taken from The Coloured Rain E-Zine)



The Dear Mr. Fantasy Band:
Pete Bonas (guitar)
Dave Bronze (bass)
Ray Cooper (percussion)
Simon Kirke (drums, percussion, vocals on 05.)
Andy Newmark (drums, percussion)
Mark Rivera (Saxophone, flute, Percussion, vocals on 20.)
Paul ‘Wix’ Wickens (keyboards)
Margo Buchanan (vocals on 15., 19.)
Phil Capaldi (vocals on 14.)
Yusuf “Cat Stevens” Islam (vocals, guitar)
Stevie Lange (vocals on 02., 13., 19.)
Jon Lord (organ on 03., 13., 14. + 20.)
Gary Moore (vocals, guitar on 11. + 20.)
Dennis Locorriere (vocals, harmonica on 04., 19.)
Pete Townshend (vocals, guitr on 16.)
Joe Walsh (guitar, vocals on 03., 07., 17. + 20.)
Paul Weller (vocals, guitar on 01., 12.)
Steve Winwood (vocals on 09., 10., organ on 09. + 20., guitar, on 10.)
Bill Wyman (bass on 03., 14., percussion on 20.)
The Storys (on 06., background vocals on 20.)


CD 1:

01. Paul Weller: Paper Sun (Winwood/Capaldi) 4.23
02. Stevie Lange: Lost Inside Your Love (Santana/Thompson/Walker/Capaldi/Vilató) 3.46
03. Joe Walsh, Bill Wyman, Jon Lord:  Living On The Outside (Capaldi) 5.56
04. Dennis Locorriere: Elixir Of Life (Capaldi/Anderson) 5.31
05. Simon Kirke: Whale Meat Again (Capaldi) 4.25
06. The Storys: Love’s Got A Hold On Me (Capaldi) 5.34
07. Joe Walsh: Forty Thousand Headmen (Winwood/Capaldi) 4.11
08. Yusuf Islam: Man With No Country (Capaldi/Cipra) 4.50
09. Steve Winwood: Light Up Or Leave Me Alone (Capaldi) 7.26
10. Steve Winwood: Dear Mr. Fantasy (Winwood/Capaldi/Wood) 8.22

CD 2:
11. Gary Moore: Evil Love (Capaldi/Wullemse) 8.24
12. Paul Weller:  Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush (Winwood/Capaldi/Wood) 3.28
13. Stevie Lange & Jon Lord; Let Me Make Something In Your Life (Winwood/Capaldi) 5.14
14. Phil Capaldi, Jon Lord & Bill Wyman: Gifts Of Unknown Things (Capaldi) 6.02
15. Margo Buchanan: Love You ‘Til The Day I Die (Capaldi) 4.47
16. Pete Townshend: No Face, No Name, No Number (Winwood/Capaldi) 3.25
17. Joe Walsh: John Barleycorn Must Die (Traditional) 6.43
18. Paul Weller: Pearly Queen (Winwood/Capaldi) 4.27
19. Dennis Locorriere, Margo Buchanan, Stevie Lange: Rock And Roll Stew (Winwood/Capaldi) 4.36
20. Steve Winwood, Joe Walsh, Mark Rivera, Gary Moore, Jon Lord, The Storys & Bill Wyman:  Love Will Keep Us Alive (Capaldi/Carrack/Vale) 4.54
AutographedGuitarGuitar signed by many of the performers on the night, presented by Coloured Rain contributor Steve Milner to Aninha Capaldi with the intention that the guitar be auctioned and proceeds given to The Jubilee Action Trust.

Jim Capaldi – The Sweet Smell Of Success (Expanded Edition) (2012)

FrontCover1Recorded after a hiatus which saw Jim living in Brazil, the album featured classic tracks such as `Man with No Country’, the album’s title track, a fabulous re-interpretation of the classic Traffic  track `The  Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys’ and Going Home’, co-written with Steve Winwood. Jim engaged the services of such musicians as Mel Collins (saxes & flute), Pete Bonas (guitar & bass) and Chris Parren (keyboards) for the sessions and the album was a welcome return to form. This reissue has been remastered from the original master tapes and includes seven bonus tracks, including six previously unreleased recordings. Of these, four tracks are demos recorded in Brazil in 1979.

CapaldiMarleyThis photo of Jim Capaldi and Bob Marley  was taken in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in the 1980’s, during a football match among Brazilian musicians.

Ray Allen (percussion)
Pete Bonas (guitar, bass on 02., 06. + 07.)
Jim Capaldi  (vocals, drums)
Phil Capaldi (percussion, background vocals)
Mel Collins (horns, flute)
Chris Parren (keyboards)
Mick Feat (bass on 03.)
Brent Forbes (bass on 04., 05. + 08.)
Fruit Hill (guitar on 07.)
Rob Mason (drums on 07.)
Alan Spenner (bass on 01.)
The Voice Squad (background vocals)

01. Hold On To Your Love (Capaldi) 3.53
02. Take Me How You Find Me Girl (Capaldi) 4.14
03. The Sweet Smell Of Success (Capaldi/Bonas) 5.17
04. Every Man Must March To The Beat Of His Own Drum (Capaldi) 5.51
05. Tonight (Capaldi) 4.13
06. The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys (Capaldi/Winwood) 5.17
07. Fortune And Fame (Hill/Capaldi) 3.36
08. Man With No Country (Capaldi/Cipra) 4.05
09. Going Home (Capaldi/Winwood) 4.38
10. Bathroom Jane (Single B-Side) (Capaldi) 9.19
11. Summertime (recorded during sessions for ‘The Sweet Smell Of Success’)     4:57
12. I Was Meant For You (1979 Polydor Dutch 45 B-side)     4.35
13. Rowena (Home Demo) 4.31
14. Kiss (Home Demo)     2:38
15. The Palace Of Fun (Home Demo)     4:58
16. It’s In Your Eyes (Home Demo) 3.21
(13. – 16.) Recorded directly to a Cassette Recorder in Ipanema, Rio, Brazil in 1980 – Previously unreleased)