Complete List Of Traffic Band Members

Traffic Band Members

Feature Photo: Dina Regine, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Ask any classic rock fan to name one of their favorite groups from the 1960s and 1970s, and the band Traffic will always be in the conversation. No one sounded like this group. Traffic was formed in 1967 in Birmingham, England, by Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood, and Dave Mason.  As I said in the opening sentence, this band was unlike any other as they were known for its fusion of rock, folk, and jazz. Traffic released eight studio albums and underwent several line-up changes throughout their active years before initially disbanding in 1974. They briefly reunited in 1994 for a final album. Their innovative sound was widely acclaimed, leading to significant chart success and a 2004 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Steve Winwood

Steve Winwood was a founding member of Traffic, contributing as the lead vocalist, keyboardist, and guitarist. He was involved in all of Traffic’s albums, from their debut “Mr. Fantasy” (1967) to their final album “Far From Home” (1994). Winwood’s remarkable musicianship shaped the band’s sound, particularly evident in albums like “John Barleycorn Must Die” (1970) and “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” (1971). Outside of Traffic, Winwood enjoyed a successful solo career, known for hits such as “Higher Love” and his collaborations with other major artists, including Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker.

Read More: Top 10 Steve Winwood Songs

Jim Capaldi

Jim Capaldi, another founding member, served as the drummer and also contributed significantly as a songwriter alongside Steve Winwood. Capaldi played on all of Traffic’s albums and was crucial in writing many of their songs, including “Dear Mr. Fantasy” and “Paper Sun.” After Traffic disbanded, he embarked on a solo career, releasing albums like “Oh How We Danced” (1972) and collaborating with notable artists such as George Harrison and Bob Marley.

Chris Wood

Saxophonist and flautist Chris Wood was integral to Traffic from their formation until his departure in 1974, just before the band’s first dissolution. Wood’s woodwind instruments added a distinctive jazz element to the band’s sound, particularly noted on tracks like “John Barleycorn” and “Glad.” After his time with Traffic, Wood collaborated with other musicians and was part of the project Mason Capaldi Wood and Frog, though his career was hindered by health issues until his death in 1983.

Dave Mason

Dave Mason was a guitarist and songwriter with Traffic during their early years, contributing to albums like “Mr. Fantasy” and “Traffic” (1968). His time with the band was marked by intermittent departures and returns, featuring his significant contributions to songs like “Feelin’ Alright?” Despite leaving the band before their most commercially successful period, Mason went on to have a fruitful solo career and was a well-known figure in the rock and pop scenes.

Read More: Top 10 Dave Mason Songs

Rick Grech

Rick Grech joined Traffic in 1970 after the breakup of the supergroup Blind Faith, in which he played with Steve Winwood. Grech, a bassist and violinist, played on “Welcome to the Canteen” (1971) and “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” (1971) during his short tenure with the band. He later joined notable bands such as Family and played with musicians like Gram Parsons.

Read More: Complete List Of Traffic Albums And Discography

Rebop Kwaku Baah

Percussionist Rebop Kwaku Baah was added to Traffic in 1971 and contributed to the albums “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys,” “Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory” (1973), and “When the Eagle Flies” (1974). His percussion work added a more rhythmic layer to Traffic’s music. Baah also worked with other groups, including Can, before his untimely death in 1983.

Roger Hawkins

Roger Hawkins, part of the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio’s rhythm section, was brought into Traffic for the recording of “Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory.” His drumming was part of a shift towards a more rhythm and blues-influenced sound on this album. Hawkins was already a well-regarded session musician, known for his work with artists like Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett.

David Hood

David Hood played bass for Traffic, joining during the same period as Hawkins and featured on the album “Shoot Out at the Fantasy Factory.” Like Hawkins, Hood was a key figure in the Muscle Shoals rhythm section, and he contributed significantly to the sound of the albums he played on. Post-Traffic, Hood continued to be a sought-after session musician.

Read More: Top 10 Traffic Songs

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