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Table of Contents
                            Early life
	Early years
	Blind Faith and Traffic
	Solo career
Group work
Personal life
	Spencer Davis Group
	Blind Faith
	Ginger Baker’s Air Force
	Session work
External links
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Document Text Contents
Page 1

Steve Winwood

Stephen Lawrence "Steve" Winwood (born 12 May
1948) is an English musician whose genres include rock,
blue-eyed soul, rhythm and blues, blues rock, pop rock,
and jazz. Though primarily a vocalist and keyboardist,
Winwood also plays bass guitar, drums, guitar, mandolin,
violin, and other strings.
Winwood was a key member of The Spencer Davis
Group, Traffic, Blind Faith and Go. He also had a suc-
cessful solo career with hits including "Valerie", "Back
in the High Life Again" and two US Billboard Hot 100
number ones; "Higher Love" and "Roll with It". He was
inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a mem-
ber of Traffic in 2004.[2]

In 2005 Winwood was honoured as a BMI Icon at the
annual BMI London Awards for his “enduring influence
on generations ofmusicmakers.”[3] In 2008,Rolling Stone
ranked Winwood #33 in its 100 Greatest Singers of All
Time.[4] Winwood has won two Grammy Awards. He
was nominated twice for the Brit Award for Best British
Male Artist: 1988 and 1989.[5][6]

1 Early life

Stephen Lawrence Winwood was born in Handsworth,
Birmingham. His father, Lawrence, a foundryman by
trade, was a semi-professional musician, playing mainly
the saxophone and clarinet. Young Winwood became in-
terested in swing and Dixieland jazz as a boy and started
playing drums, guitar and piano. He first performed with
his father and older brother, Muff, in the Ron Atkinson
Band at the age of eight. Winwood was a choirboy at St
John’s Church of England, Perry Barr. He later admitted
to having “sneaked a few plays” of the organ there. While
he was still young the family moved from Handsworth
to the semi-rural suburb of Kingstanding at the northern
edge of the city.[7]

2 Career

2.1 Early years

While he was still a pupil at the Great Barr School,[8]
Winwood was a part of the Birmingham rhythm and
blues scene, playing the Hammond B-3 organ and guitar,
backing blues singers such as Muddy Waters, John Lee
Hooker, T-Bone Walker, Howlin' Wolf, B.B. King,

Stevie Winwood (1970)

Sonny Boy Williamson II, Eddie Boyd, Otis Spann,
Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley on their United Kingdom
tours, the custom at that time being for US singers to
travel solo and be backed by pickup bands. At this time,
Winwoodwas living onAtlantic Road inGreat Barr, close
to the Birmingham music halls where he played. Win-
wood modelled his singing after Ray Charles.[7]

Winwood joined the Spencer Davis Group at age 14,[9]
along with his older brother, Muff, who later had suc-
cess as a record producer. Steve’s distinctive high tenor
singing voice and vocal style drew comparisons to Ray
Charles.[10] At the end of 1965 the group had their first
number one single with "Keep On Running"[11] and the
money from this success allowed Winwood to buy his
own Hammond B-3 organ.[7]

During this time Winwood joined forces with guitarist
Eric Clapton as part of the one-off group Eric Clapton
and the Powerhouse. Songs were recorded for the Elektra
label, but only three tracks made the compilation album,


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What’s Shakin'. Winwood co-wrote and recorded the hits
"Gimme Some Lovin'" and "I'm a Man" before leaving
the Spencer Davis Group. Winwood met drummer Jim
Capaldi, guitarist Dave Mason, and multi-instrumentalist
Chris Wood when they jammed together at The Elbow
Room, a club in Aston, Birmingham.[12] After Winwood
left the Spencer Davis Group in April 1967, the quar-
tet formed Traffic.[13] Soon thereafter, they rented a cot-
tage near the rural village of Aston Tirrold, Berkshire
(now Oxfordshire) to write and rehearse new music.[12]
The period at the cottage proved important in the band’s

Early in Traffic’s formation, Winwood and Capaldi
formed a songwriting partnership, with Winwood writ-
ing music to match Capaldi’s lyrics. This partnership was
the source of most of Traffic’s material, including popular
songs such as "Paper Sun" and "The Low Spark of High-
Heeled Boys", and outlived the band, producing several
songs for Winwood and Capaldi’s solo albums. Over the
band’s history, Winwood performed the majority of their
lead vocals, keyboard instruments, and guitars. He also
frequently played bass and percussion up to and including
the recording sessions for their fourth album.

2.2 Blind Faith and Traffic

Winwood with Traffic

Winwood formed the supergroup Blind Faith in 1969
with Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Ric Grech.[15] The
band was short-lived owing to Clapton’s greater interest in

Blind Faith’s opening act Delaney & Bonnie & Friends—
Clapton left the band at tour’s end. However, Baker,Win-
wood and Grech stayed together to form Ginger Baker’s
Air Force. The lineup consisted of 3/4 of Blind Faith
(without Clapton, whowas replaced byDenny Laine), 2/3
of Traffic (Winwood and Chris Wood, minus Capaldi)
plus musicians who interacted with Baker in his early
days, including Phil Seamen, HaroldMcNair, John Blood
and Graham Bond. However, the project turned out to be
just another short-lived one. Winwood soon went into
the studio to begin work on a new solo album, tenta-
tively titledMad Shadows. However, Winwood ended up
calling in Wood and Capaldi to help with session work,
which prompted Traffic’s comeback album John Barley-
corn Must Die in 1970. In 1972, Winwood recorded the
part of Captain Walker in the highly successful orchestral
version of TheWho's Tommy. He recorded a 1973 album
with Remi Kabaka, Aiye-Keta, for Antilles Records, and
in 1976 provided vocals and keyboards on Go, a concept
album by Japanese composer Stomu Yamashta. In 1976,
Winwood also played guitar on the Fania All Stars’ Deli-
cate and Jumpy record and performed as a guest with the
band in their only UK appearance, a sold-out concert at
the Lyceum Theatre, London.

2.3 Solo career

Weariness with the grind of touring and recording
prompted Winwood to leave Traffic and retire to ses-
sioning for some years.[16] Under pressure from Island
Records, he resurfaced with his self-titled first solo al-
bum in 1977. This was followed by his 1980 hit Arc of a
Diver (which included his first solo hit, "While You See a
Chance") and Talking Back to the Night in 1982. Both al-
bums were recorded at his home in Gloucestershire with
Winwood playing all instruments. He continued to do
sessions during this period, and in 1983 he co-produced
and played on Jim Capaldi's top 40 hit "That’s Love" and
co-wrote the Will Powers top 20 hit "Kissing with Con-
In 1986 he moved to New York. There he enlisted the
help of a coterie of stars to record Back in the High Life in
the US, and the album was a hit. He topped the Billboard
Hot 100 with "Higher Love", and earned two Grammy
Awards: for Record of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal
Performance. Winwood embarked on an extensive tour
of North America in support of the album.[17]

All these albums were released on Island Records. How-
ever, at the peak of his commercial success, Winwood
moved to Virgin Records and released Roll with It and
Refugees of the Heart. The album Roll with It and the ti-
tle track hit #1 on the USA album and singles charts in the
summer of 1988. Another album with Virgin, Far from
Home, was officially credited to Traffic, but nearly all the
instruments were played by Winwood. Despite lacking
a significant hit, it broke the top 40 in both the UK and
USA.[18][19] His final Virgin album Junction Seven also,_Birmingham,_London

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broke the UK top 40,[20] but was Winwood’s first com-
mercial flop in the United States.
A new studio album, Nine Lives, was released 29
April 2008 by Wincraft Music through Columbia
Records.[21][22] The album opened at #12 on theBillboard
200 album chart,[23] his highest US debut ever. In 2008,
he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Berklee
College of Music to add to his honorary degree from
Aston University, Birmingham. On 28March 2012Win-
wood was one of Roger Daltrey's special guest stars for
“An Evening with Roger Daltrey and Friends” gig, in aid
of the Teenage Cancer Trust at the Royal Albert Hall. In
2013 Winwood toured North America with Rod Stewart
as part of the “Live the Life” tour. In 2014, Winwood
toured North America with Tom Petty & The Heart-

3 Group work

Winwood in Knoxville, Tennessee (2005)

In 1994, Capaldi andWinwood reunited Traffic for a new
album, Far From Home, and a tour, including a perfor-
mance at Woodstock '94 Festival. That same year, Win-
wood appeared on the A Tribute To Curtis Mayfield CD,
recording Mayfield’s "It’s All Right". In 1995 and 1996,
Winwood released Reach for the Light for the animated
film Balto. In 1997, Winwood released a new album,
Junction Seven, toured the US and sang with Chaka Khan
at the VH-1 Honors.[24] In 1998, Winwood joined Tito
Puente, Arturo Sandoval, Ed Calle and other musicians to

form the band “Latin Crossings” for a European tour, af-
ter which they split without making any recordings. Win-
wood also appeared in the film Blues Brothers 2000, as a
member of the Louisiana Gator Boys, appearing on stage
with Isaac Hayes, Eric Clapton, and KoKo Taylor at the
battle of the bands competition.
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 Eric Prydz in a song
called "Call on Me". It spent five weeks at #1 on the UK
singles chart. Winwood heard an early version of Prydz’s
remix and liked it so much, he not only gave permission
to use the song, he re-recorded the samples for Prydz to

In 2005, his Soundstage Performances DVD was re-
leased, featuring recent work from the About Time al-
bum along with prior hits including “Back in the High
Life”. Winwood also performed hits from his days with
Traffic as well as current recordings. In 2005, he ac-
cepted an invitation from 2008 Grammy Award winner
Ashley Cleveland to appear on her album Men and An-
gels Say. This album of rock, blues and country arrange-
ments of well known hymns includes “I Need Thee Ev-
ery Hour”—which features a vocal duet and organ perfor-
mance. Christina Aguilera features Winwood (using the
piano and organ instrumentation from the “John Barley-
corn” track, “Glad”) on one of her songs from her 2006
record Back to Basics, called “Makes Me Wanna Pray”.

The Steve Winwood Band in 2009 on tour

In July 2007, Winwood performed with Eric Clapton in
the latter’s Crossroads Guitar Festival. Among the songs
they played together were “Presence of the Lord” and
"Can't Find My Way Home" from their Blind Faith days.
Winwood played several guitar leads in a six song set.
The two continued their collaboration with three sold-out
nights at Madison Square Garden in New York City in
February 2008.[26] On 19 February 2008 Winwood and
Clapton released a collaborative EP through iTunes ti-
tled Dirty City. Clapton and Winwood released a CD and
DVD of their Madison Square Garden shows and then
toured together in the summer of 2009.[27]

Page 4


4 Personal life

Between 1978 and 1986Winwood was married to Nicole
Weir (d. 2005), who had contributed background vo-
cals to some of his early solo work. The two married
at Cheltenham Register Office.[28]

Winwood now lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife
Eugenia Crafton, whom he married in 1987. They have
four children and own a 300-year-old manor house in the
Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, England.[29][30][31]

5 Discography

5.1 Solo

Main article: Steve Winwood discography

Winwood at the Hangout Music Festival, May 2012

• 1977: Steve Winwood

• 1980: Arc of a Diver

• 1982: Talking Back to the Night

• 1986: Back in the High Life

• 1988: Roll with It

• 1990: Refugees of the Heart

• 1997: Junction Seven

• 2003: About Time

• 2008: Nine Lives

• 2009: Live from Madison Square Garden (with Eric

5.2 Spencer Davis Group

See The Spencer Davis Group discography

5.3 Traffic

See Traffic discography

5.4 Blind Faith

• 1969: Blind Faith

5.5 Ginger Baker’s Air Force

• 1970: Ginger Baker’s Air Force

5.6 Go

• 1976: Go

• 1976: Go Live from Paris

5.7 Session work

• Chris Knipp – blast

• The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Electric Ladyland,

• McDonald and Giles – McDonald and Giles, 1971

• Jimi Hendrix - The Cry of Love, 1971

• Shawn Phillips – Faces, 1972

• London Symphony Orchestra – Tommy – As Per-
formed by the London Symphony Orchestra &
Chamber Choir, 1972

• Jim Capaldi – Oh How We Danced, 1972

• Eddie Harris – E.H. in the U.K. (Atlantic), 1973

• Lou Reed – Berlin, 1973

• John Martyn – Inside Out, 1973

• Jim Capaldi –Whale Meat Again, 1974

• Robert Palmer – Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley,

Page 5


• Jim Capaldi – Short Cut Draw Blood, 1975

• Jade Warrior –Waves, 1975

• Toots & the Maytals – Reggae Got Soul, 1976

• Sandy Denny – Rendezvous, 1977

• John Martyn – One World, 1977

• Pierre Moerlen’s Gong – Downwind, 1978

• Vivian Stanshall – Sir Henry at Rawlinson End, 1978

• Jim Capaldi – Daughter of the Night, 1978

• George Harrison – George Harrison, 1979

• Marianne Faithfull – Broken English, 1979

• Jim Capaldi – The Sweet Smell of... Success, 1980

• Jim Capaldi – Let the Thunder Cry, 1981

• Marianne Faithfull – Dangerous Acquaintances,

• Jim Capaldi – Fierce Heart, 1983

• David Gilmour – About Face, 1984[32]

• Christine McVie – Christine McVie, 1984

• Billy Joel – The Bridge, 1986

• Dave Mason – Two Hearts, 1987

• Talk Talk – The Colour of Spring, 1986

• Jim Capaldi – Some Come Running, 1988

• Soulsister – Heat, 1990

• Paul Weller – Stanley Road, 1995

• Eric Clapton – Back Home, 2005

• Eric Clapton – Clapton, 2010

• Slash – Hey Joe Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame, 2010

• Miranda Lambert – Four the Record, 2011

• Eric Clapton – Old Sock, 2013

• Gov't Mule - Shout!, 2013

6 References
[1] “WinwoodGives Hub Some Lovin'". SteveWinwood. Re-

trieved 29 September 2014.

[2] “Traffic”. Retrieved 29 September 2014.

[3] “BMI Honors Top European Writers, Publishers at 2005
London Awards; Steve Winwood Named a BMI Icon”. Retrieved 2010-09-15.

[4] “The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time”. Rolling Stone.
Retrieved 2009-06-13. SteveWinwood exploded onto the
London music scene as a teenager with his powerful, soul-
ful tenor — notably on “Gimme Some Lovin'" and “I'm a
Man” with the Spencer Davis Group.

[5] “1988 Brit Awards”. Awards &Winners. Retrieved 5 Au-
gust 2015.

[6] “1989 Brit Awards”. Awards &Winners. Retrieved 6 Au-
gust 2015.

[7] ""Steve Winwood: English Soul”, BBC4, broadcast 25
February 2011”. BBC. Retrieved 29 September 2014.

[8] Clayson, Alan (1988). Back in the High Life. Sidgewick
and Jackson. ISBN 0-283-99640-4.

[9] “It’s 'About Time' for Steve Winwood”. BBC. Retrieved

[10] “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”. Rolling Stone. (Win-
wood exploded onto the Londonmusic scene as a teenager
with his powerful, soulful tenor). “I thought he had the
greatest voice,” said Billy Joel, “this skinny little English
kid singing like Ray Charles.”

[11] Steve Winwood interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1970)

[12] “Traffic”. Retrieved 2008-03-04.

[13] Traffic Biography AllMusic

[14] “The Traffic Cottage at Aston-Tirrold at winwood-”. Retrieved 29 September 2014.

[15] “Steve’s still winning nine lives later”. Re-
trieved 29 September 2014.

[16] Black, Johnny (May 1997). Feature: Steve Winwood,

[17] “The Pop Life; Steve Winwood Returns To Make The
Juices Flow”. The New York Times. Retrieved 29 Septem-
ber 2014.

[18] “TRAFFIC”. Retrieved 29
September 2014.

[19] “Traffic - Awards - AllMusic”. AllMusic. Retrieved 29
September 2014.

[20] “Steve Winwood profile”. Re-
trieved 29 September 2014.

[21] “Legendary superstar Steve Winwood to release Nine
Lives”. Retrieved 13 June 2009.!_(Gov%2527t_Mule_album)

Page 6


[22] “Columbia UK”. Columbia UK. Retrieved 29 September

[23] “Madonna Leads Busy Billboard 200 With 7th No. 1”.
Billboard. Retrieved 4 March 2010.

[24] “Steve Winwood Fans’ Site: Smiling Phases Com-
pendium”. Retrieved 29 September

[25] “Daily Record & Sunday Mail - Scotland’s Newspaper”.
dailyrecord. Retrieved 29 September 2014.

[26] (7 May 2008). Steve Winwood Enjoys his Highest Chart
Debut & Best First Week’s Sales of the SoundScan era,
PR Newswire.

[27] “Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood at the Bowl”. Los An-
geles Times. 1 July 2009. The stairway to classic-rock
heaven extended straight into Hollywood Bowl Tuesday
night as '60s British rock heroes Eric Clapton and Steve
Winwood closed their all-too-quick 14-city, three-week
U.S. tour with a nearly 2 ½-hour excursion through the
music they created, individually and collectively, three
and four decades ago.

[28] ""No Hiding Place”, Mojo Magazine, May 1997”. win- 24 October 1998. Retrieved 7 April

[29] Ayers, Tia. “Steve Winwood & Eugenia Crafton”. pro-
posalmagazine. Retrieved 31 July 2012.

[30] ""True Brit”, In Style, October 1997”. 22 October 1997.
Retrieved 31 July 2012.

[31] Benjamin, Scott (11 February 2009). “A Rock Legend
Living The High Life”. cbsnews. Retrieved 31 July 2012.

[32] “The Rightful Heir?". Q Magazine #48. September 1990.
Retrieved 2011-07-23.

7 External links
• Official website

• Albums that Winwood guested on and/or produced

• Steve Winwood & Eric Clapton [email protected] Bucharest

• Steve Winwood at AllMusic

• Steve Winwood at the Internet Movie Database

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