As I said once before, Steve Winwood’s music and voice is the sound of Summer to me. With this heat wave we need some cool vibes.
This concert is from the Soundstage series jointly produced by the PBS station in Chicago, WTTW, and HD Ready. Original broadcast date: Sept. 2004.
Steve Winwood was precocious and is often called a prodigy. Born in Birmingham, England to a working class family with musical talents, he learned drums, guitar and piano from toddler age and began performing publicly with his father and older brother Muff at age 8. In the following six years, he backed B.B. King, Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters on their U.K. tours, and often did session work.
Young Steve became a singer and songwriter with the Spencer Davis Group at 14, playing and singing on hits like “I’m a Man” and “Gimme Some Lovin'”. By the age of 20, he’d recorded with Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton and, more importantly, formed the group Traffic (with Dave Mason, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood). Then during a hiatus from Traffic, Winwood joined Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, and bassist Rick Grech, to tour as Blind Faith. When he tired of touring and recording and left Traffic he went on to form a couple of bands but spent most of the mid 70s in session work. His subsequent 2 albums, 1980s “Arc of a Diver” and 82’s “Talking Back to the Night” were entirely solo- he played every instrument.
Winwood returned to touring again in 1986 with a series of solo albums. He scored hits with “Higher Love” and “Back in the High Life Again”, which had heavy play on the new video channels. In 1994, he and Capaldi reformed Traffic and recorded an album, “Far From Home”; they then toured and even appeared at Woodstock 94.
This concert was part of the tour that followed the release of his 2003 solo album, “About Time”. He was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Traffic in 2004.
Pour a cool one, sit back and enjoy.