The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys was the album and the song, and it’s a song that’ll never die. It was recorded by Traffic, written by Winwood/Capaldi, and last time I checked, Winwood still goes out on the road and plays it for people. Play it for yourself, but sit back and listen carefully, there’s a lot happening.
OK, John Barleycorn may be more coherent, but Low Spark is the Traffic album (and the song) for me. The melody is memorable, the singing is strong, and the piano foundation is dreamy, but for me it’s the sax line from Chris Wood that brings it home.
Wood is another chapter in the sad old rock-n-roll drink/drugs/death story, but he left some fine music behind. I have an obscure 2008 album called Vulcan; then there was a later, apparently distinct, compilation called Moon Child Vulcan.
Anyhow: If you see something that looks like a star / And it's shooting up out of the ground / And your head is spinning from a loud guitar…
Links · Spotify playlist. This tune on Amazon, iTunes (album only), Spotify. This live video from 1972 is a little unfortunate in that the audio mix loses the percussion entirely (and is that Larry Wall on drums?) but it does highlight a big Chris Woods solo. There’s lots more video, mostly from one of Winwood’s other touring bands, each of which has a sax player, and they all sound like they listened to Chris a whole lot.