Friday, June 17, 2011

Old Stuff Friday: Steve Winwood

Haven't done an Old Stuff Friday post in quite a while... and I don't think I spend enough time writing about my fellow Nashville residents, so when I heard "Arc of a Diver" the other day, I thought it was time to kill two birds with one stone, and feature the great Steve Winwood. Well, he's a part-time Nashville resident...

He started out as a 14-year old soul shouter in the Spencer Davis Group, brought on board by his older brother Muff. Before he left to form Traffic at the age of 18, he had recorded this absolute classic:

Traffic had a truly amazing run of great albums, including Mr. Fantasy, Traffic, John Barleycorn Must Die, and The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys:

In the middle of Traffic's run, Steve teamed with Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce to form Blind Faith, just a little side project:

And at one point he found time to stop by the studio to play organ on this song with his friend Jimi:

He played and jammed with, and led various rock and jazz collectives throughout the early and mid-70's before releasing his very first solo album in 1977... and since this is an old stuff post, I'll take it just a little further to 1980's Arc of a Diver:

And I would end it there, except that I would like to close with another Nashville reference and describe one of the greatest acts of rock and roll courage I've ever witnessed. In 1998, the Music City Bowl was just getting its start as the proliferation of college football bowl games continued, and as part of the TV draw they were thrilled to have the great Steve Winwood. I doubt anyone would have blamed him and his band for shrugging off an outdoor halftime show in 15 degrees with 20mph winds and freezing rain, but when the time came, there was Steve playing "Roll With It"... I wish some video of the performance was available, but it probably belongs to Disney since the game was on ESPN. All I know is, I was impressed.

His website is worth a visit and bookmarking for future visits... today they're featuring a vintage video of Traffic performing "John Barleycorn Must Die".

Steve Winwood Website

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