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Steve Winwood

From Academic Kids

Stephen Laurence ("Steve") Winwood (born May 12, 1948 in Great Barr, Birmingham, England) was a part of the Birmingham Rhythm and blues scene from a young age, playing the Hammond 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 wrote and recorded "Gimme Some Lovin'" and "I'm A Man" before leaving to form Traffic with Chris Wood, Jim Capaldi and Dave Mason.

He formed Blind Faith in 1969, but the band was short-lived, breaking up that August after completing a US tour. Traffic re-formed when Winwood became stalled while recording a solo album, prompting him to again enlist the help of Chris Wood and Jim Capaldi. The solo album instead became Traffic's John Barleycorn Must Die.

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.

At the peak of his commercial success, Winwood moved to Virgin Records and released Roll With It and Refugees Of The Heart. 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 Seven.

In 2003, Winwood released a new studio album About Time on his new record label, Wincraft Music. 2004 saw his 1982 song 'Valerie' sampled by DJ Eric Prydz, in a song called 'Call On Me'. It spent five weeks at Number 1 on the UK singles chart.

His session work includes:

External links

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