Steve Winwood Tickets for Sale

As a solo artist, Steve Winwood is primarily associated with the highly polished blue-eyed soul-pop that made him a star in the '80s. Yet his turn as a slick, upscale mainstay of adult contemporary radio was simply the latest phase of a long and varied career, one that's seen the former teenage R&B shouter move through jazz, psychedelia, blues-rock, and progressive rock. Possessed of a powerful, utterly distinctive voice, Winwood was also an excellent keyboardist who remained an in-demand session musician for most of his career, even while busy with high-profile projects. That background wasn't necessarily apparent on his solo records, which established a viable commercial formula that was tremendously effective as long as it was executed with commitment.

Steve Winwood first came to prominence when playing piano and singing in his distinctively soulful, R&B voice in Birmingham, England, at the age of 15. Kicked out of school before he was 16, Steve cut his teeth in the Spencer Davis Group, gigging under the watchful eye of his elder brother Muff. The Spencer Davis Group learned their craft in Hamburg's Star club and other seedy venues while creating a series of unforgettable hits that now - as then - embody the sound of London in the swinging sixties. From the rawness of "Dimples" (released in August 1964) through to their chart toppers "Gimme Some Lovin" (November 1966) and "I'm A Man" (SDG's ninth single, released in August 1967) every moment sounds as fresh today as it did the very first time it crackled through the AM static.
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By the age of 16, Winwood had played on stage in clubs with many influential Blues artists of the time, namely; John Lee Hooker, Sonnyboy Williamson, Champion Jack Dupree, T-Bone Walker, and Memphis Slim. He also had played studio sessions with Muddy Waters, BB King, and Howling Wolf during this time. In 1967, he played Hammond organ on Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child." The sixties were an era when musicians adhered to the school of jamming, playing for fun after hours with whomever happened to be in town or were just passing by.

Winwood's collaborations with Eric Clapton (which would later evolve into Blind Faith) began through mutual musical respect and playing together. A sideman to John Mayall, Clapton was the new white-blues kid in town and The Powerhouse's contribution to this set (originally released in England 1966) is ample testimony to his and Winwood's burgeoning talents.

After making his way out of Traffic in 1974, Steve Winwood embarked on a solo career that displays the spotty inconsistency of an artist casting about for a workable aesthetic. Some of his failures have been utter, such as his lackluster 1977 solo debut; but when Winwood produces, he is capable of inspired, memorable song craft on par with his work in the Spencer Davis Group and Traffic. Back in the High Life (1986) is perhaps the best demonstration of the singer's abilities. Painting with a large palette of jazz, gospel, and world rhythms, Winwood achieved that rare feat in modern music -- an album that is successful both artistically and commercially. His follow-up album Roll With It added R&B to the seemingly endless list of styles Winwood has tinkered with during one of the longest-standing careers in rock.
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