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Steve Winwood

Singer/multi-instrumentalist Steve Winwood was only 15 in 1963 when he and his older brother Muff joined the Spencer Davis Group. The band released several R&B-oriented pop singles in England before the unforgettable "Gimme Some Lovin'," fueled by Winwood's soulful vocals, became a blockbuster hit on both sides of the Atlantic. By 1967 Winwood had tired of the restrictions of the pop-single format and, in a search for something more expansive, joined Dave Mason, Chris Wood and Jim Capaldi in forming Traffic. Despite two well-received albums, creative conflicts between Mason and Winwood led to the band's breakup in 1969. Winwood joined Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker, both on the rebound from Cream, in the brilliant but ephemeral Blind Faith, and later joined Baker in Ginger Baker's Air Force. Following these outings, what started out as a Winwood solo album became a Traffic reunion, John Barleycorn Must Die, which was followed by the smash Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys and several other albums. When Traffic broke up again, Winwood did session work before recording his first solo effort, Steve Winwood, in 1977. On 1980's extraordinary Arc of a Diver Winwood sang and played all the instruments. He continued to release albums through the '80s with varying success, and in 1994 joined Capaldi for a Traffic reunion. He last released an album in 1997, and in 1998 toured with the jazz group Latin Crossings, which also featured Tito Puente and Arturo Sandoval.

Written by: Mary Eisenhart

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Friday, Jan 30, 2015
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