CW: Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys Edition

Traffic’s drummer Jim Capaldi sheds some light on the origin of the song title…

[While in Morocco,] Michael J. Pollard and I would sit around writing lyrics all day, talking about Bob Dylan and The Band, thinking up ridiculous plots for the movie. Before I left Morocco, Pollard wrote in my book ‘The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys.’ For me, it summed him up. He had this tremendous rebel attitude. He walked around in his cowboy boots, his leather jacket. At the time he was a heavy little dude. It seemed to sum up all the people of that generation who were just rebels. The ‘Low Spark,’ for me, was the spirit, high-spirited. You know, standing on a street corner. The low rider. The ‘Low Spark’ meaning that strong undercurrent at the street level.

The Bridge: This Baltimore band has the built-in advantage of having a saxophone player in the band, as the original Traffic version also features some sax action. Source: 8-17-2005

Mr. Blotto: Very nice mixture of acoustic and electric guitars from Mr. Blotto in this one. Slightly different arrangement from these guys as they skip the first refrain (a trend this week). The song structure allows for prominent featuring of keyboardists and the Blotto boys take advantage of it. Source: 9-14-2007

New Monsoon: Brisk tempo from New Monsoon – a fair clip faster than our first two entries. Like Mr. Blotto before them, they rearrange the song and strangely New Monsoon never sings the refrain at all. Source: 4-23-2005

Phil Lesh & Friends: This is just the balls. And if you don’t understand my lingo – that’s a good thing. Every member of this band just kills it. It’s incredible to hear the chemistry these guys had after just playing together for roughly one month. I’m really hoping to see this lineup of Phil & Friends (The Quintet with: Molo/Barocco/Haynes/Herring) log some dates next year with Widespread Panic taking some time off. Note to Warren Haynes Fans: While Gov’t Mule does cover this as well, I thought it might be overkill and just included this extended take from the PLQ. Source: 10-6-2000

Rickie Lee Jones: It’s always nice to get a “which one of these is not like the other?” entry into Cover Wars. Before this week, I had never heard of Rickie Lee Jones, but her Billie Holiday-esque tackling of the melody is superb. The whole album is great too, Steely Dan fans should hear her rendition of Showbiz Kids that is on the same disc. Source: It’s Like This

Widespread Panic: Low Spark has been a staple in Panic’s repertoire since the inception of the band having been played 179 times since it’s stage debut in 1986. Panic, like many others this week, have also chosen to skip a few vocal sections of the song. Source: 5-8-1997

And that’s all we’ve got this week. Scroll back up to place your vote for your favorite cover and check back every Tuesday for a new batch.

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2 Responses

  1. panic OWNS this cover. nice work mr blotto, but really, everytime panic plays this, they play the hell out of it and always do it justice

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