Great Electronic Keyboard Players
Stephen Lawrence Winwood (born May 12, 1948
in Great Barr, West Midlands) is an English singer-songwriter
and multi-instrumentalist who, in addition to his solo career,
was a member of the bands the Spencer Davis Group, Traffic,
and Blind Faith.
Winwood was a part of the Birmingham rhythm and blues scene
from a young age, playing the Hammond B-3 Organ and guitar,
backing blues singers like Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker,
T-Bone Walker, Howlin' Wolf, B. B. King, Sonny Boy Williamson
II, Eddie Boyd, Otis Spann, Chuck Berry, and Bo Diddley on
their United Kingdom tours (the norm at that time being for
US singers to travel solo and be backed by 'pick-up' bands).
Winwood became a member of the Spencer Davis Group at 15 with
his older brother 'Muff' (who later had much success as a
record producer), and had hit singles with "Keep On Runnin'".
Steve co-wrote and recorded "Gimme Some Lovin'"
and "I'm A Man" before leaving to form Traffic with
Chris Wood, Jim Capaldi and Dave Mason.
During the late-1960s, Winwood and Mason became close friends
of Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix first heard "All Along the Watchtower"
at a party he was invited to by Mason, they recorded the Hendrix
version later that night in a London recording studio. Winwood
played often with Hendrix, featuring prominently on Electric
Ladyland.' Notably, he contributed the powerful Hammond organ
riffs on Voodoo Chile.
In 1969, Winwood once again gave a powerful organ expression
on Joe Cocker's With A Little Help From My Friends, he has
later played keyboards on albums as diverse as Toots &
The Maytals Reggae Got Soul and Howlin' Wolf's The London
Howlin' Wolf Sessions.
He formed Blind Faith in 1969 with Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker,
and Ric Grech, but the band was short-lived, due to Clapton's
greater interest in Blind Faith's opening act Delaney &
Bonnie & Friends, Clapton left the band after the tour
had ended. However, Baker, Winwood, and Grech stayed together
to form Ginger Baker's Air Force. The lineup consisted of
basically 3/4 of Blind Faith (sans Clapton, replaced by Denny
Laine), 2/3 of Traffic (Winwood and Chris Wood, minus Jim
Capaldi), plus musicians who interacted with Baker in his
early days like Phil Seamen, Harold McNair, and Graham Bond.
But this supergroup turned out to be just another short-lived
project. Winwood soon went into the studio to begin work on
a new solo album, tentatively titled Mad Shadows. However,
Winwood ended up calling Chris Wood and Jim Capaldi in to
help with session work, which instead prompted Traffic's amazing
comeback album John Barleycorn Must Die. Winwood has always
said that the sound of John Barleycorn Must Die really reflects
what Winwood intended Traffic to be.
Constant artistic differences and personnel changes led to
Traffic's final break-up and Winwood's release of his eponymous
first solo album in 1977. This was followed by his 1980 hit
Arc Of A Diver and Talking Back To The Night in 1982 (both
albums recorded at his home in Gloucestershire with Winwood
playing all instruments). He enlisted the help of a coterie
of stars to record Back In The High Life (1986) in the US,
and again he was rewarded with a hit album. All were released
on Island Records. In 1986, he topped the Billboard Hot 100
with "Higher Love".
At the peak of his commercial success, Winwood moved to Virgin
Records and released Roll With It and Refugees Of The Heart.
Both the album "Roll With It" and the title track
hit #1, respectively, on both the album and singles chart
in the summer of 1988. He recorded another album with Jim
Capaldi released under the Traffic name, Far From Home, then
resumed his solo career with his final Virgin album Junction
In 1995 and 1996, his last hit song that Winwood had reached
#1 on the U.S. singles charts was "Reach for the Light
(Theme from Balto)".
In 2003, Winwood released a new studio album, About Time on
his new record label, Wincraft Music. 2004 saw his 1982 song
'Valerie' used by DJ Eric Prydz, in a song called 'Call On
Me'. It spent five weeks at Number 1 on the UK singles chart.
Winwood heard an early version of Prydz' remix and liked it
so much, he not only gave permission to use the song, he re-recorded
the samples for Prydz to use.
In the 2005, Soundstage Performances DVD was released, featuring
his recent work from the album About Time along with his classic
hits including "Higher Love" and "Back in the
High Life". Winwood also performs hits from his days
with Traffic (recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall
of Fame) as well as current recordings that represent a tapestry
of tastes woven after 40 years in music.
He is currently working on his new studio album slated for
release in 2006, and is preparing a live album from his American
2005 tour. Steve also recently announced his fall 2006 tour.
Additionally, Christina Aguilera features Steve on one of
her songs from her upcoming record 'Back to Basics', called
'Makes Me Wanna Pray'.--Bio Courtesy of wikipedia
Visit the official Steve Winwood Web Site stevewinwood.com
The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
Despite not even charting in the band's native England, this
album became a platinum-selling American hit on the basis of
three enduring FM radio staples--the expansive, jazzy impressionism
of the near-12 minute title track, and the more straightforward
funk of the R&B charmers "Light Up or Leave Me Alone"
and "Rock & Roll Stew." Those disparate tracks
perfectly underscore Traffic's rich musical appeal and its restless,
sometimes problematic creative and interpersonal relationships.
With now thrice-departed Dave Mason out of the mix and percussionists
Jim Gordon and Reebop Kwaku Baah participating in the studio
for the first time, the band's innate musicality truly takes
wing. Winwood's familiar vocal phrasings nearly take a backseat
to his fluid, dramatic guitar work on "Rock & Roll
Stew Roll" and "Many a Mile to Freedom," while
the Tull-ish, folk-madrigal sensibilities of "Hidden Treasure"
and "Rainmaker" are further punctuated by Chris Wood's
deft flute and woodwind flourishes. Compared with the more organic
John Barleycorn album, the contrast is all the more remarkable.
While many contemporary bands were experimenting with various
attempts at fusion, few achieved this collection's rock-jazz-folk-R&B
range or level of often subtle sophistication. Digitally remastered,
this edition also contains the six-minute-plus U.S. single version
of "Rock & Roll Stew, Parts 1 & 2" as a bonus
track. --Jerry McCulley
of a Diver - He wasn't Little Stevie, the 16-year-old
phenom who set mid- '60s London blazing with his Ray Charles-like
vocals, anymore. He was a half-forgotten ex-member of some of
rock's most progressive (Traffic) and vilified (Blind Faith)
bands, and he was considering leaving show business while recording
this--his second album--alone and without a backup band. Arc
of a Diver reflects a resigned-to-fate mood. It boasts a synth-heavy,
dub-like ambience, with dirge-y tracks like "Spanish Dancer"
and the wistful single "While You See a Chance" all
but zoning out of your speakers. The fates were kind, though.
Recording the single, Winwood inadvertently erased the drum
intro. This spacey alteration, together with his catchiest tune
since "Paper Sun," catapulted the song onto the charts.
In a few years he would be among the top-selling vocalists in
the world. His mood was lighter. He could afford to hire engineers
that didn't make mistakes. --Don Harrison
in the High Life. Steve Winwood was indeed enjoying
the high life after the release of this album in 1986. Back
in the High Life is one of the best albums of that musically
rich decade, providing Winwood with four huge hit singles: Higher
Lover, The Finer Things, Freedom Overspill, and Back in the
High Life Again.-- Daniel Jolley
|Sound Stage: Steve Winwood Live in Concert (2005)--DVD
Smooth delivery, high-spirited melodies, that velvet
voice and a soul-stirring rhythmic foundation. All are the elements
that Steve Winwood brings to Soundstage featuring his recent
work from the album About Time along with his classic hits including
"Why Can't We Live Together" and "Back in the
High Life." Winwood also performs hits from his days with
Traffic (recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)
as well as current recordings that represent a tapestry of tastes
woven after 40 years in music.
you are a Steve Winwood fan then perhaps you will enjoy my CD as
My CD is more electronic than Steve Winwood but my record is loaded
Fender Rhodes, Clav, and Moog sounds along with soulful guest vocalists.
Orchestra is the latest project from Los Angeles keyboardist
Lee. The music is a cinematic journey into soulful
live electronica with Lee navigating from a Fender
Rhodes electric piano. The CD was released in Sept.
2006 and features Rico Belled on bass, Allen Lightner on percussion,
Dino Soldo on bass clarinet and flutes, Dave Karasony on Drums,
and vocalists Jody Watley, Jeff Robinson, and
The Satellite Orchestra is like a chance meeting of Massive
Attack, Zero-7, and Herbie
" I have always believed that an album is a trip..not
just music to wash the dishes to, but a place to go.. a journey
to take.. an album goes to a place in your soul that maybe you
forgot was there...or maybe you never discovered.. The Satellite
Orchestra is such an album..it's music you feel...make sure
to bring your headphones." -DJ
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