Saturday Juke Joint
Back by popular demand positive comments from Dave and Will and the fact that with Scott gone we forget to do the Jukebox last night, the juke joint returns.
Today’s featured artist is (early) Steve Winwood. Perhaps the most soulful of the blue-eyed souled crowd. Here’s his Wiki. He was a child prodigy–on multiple instruments. When famous US R&B artists like the legendary Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf toured England they played with local musicians (talk about sustainability!!) and Winwood (in his early teens!!!) was playing with these fathers of the blues. At 15 (yes 15) he joined The Spencer Davis Group, the first of a number of musicians musicians bands he was to join/front (a band that other musicians listen to): later with a short-lived supergroup with Clapton called Blind Faith and from there to the justly praised Traffic.
In his prodigy-ness, his ability to master multiple instruments and tonally amazing voice, the only contemporary artist I can think of who reminds me of Winwood is Prince.
I have only chosen clips from The Spencer Davis Group years (it was a hard call whether to bring in some Traffic or not, given they are one of my all-time favorite bands). The Spencer Davis Group was very influential to later acts like The Allman Brothers, The Blues Brothers, Joe Cocker, Chicago amongst many others, all of whom covered Spencer Davis tunes.
The first two clips I’ve picked here are from a concert the group did in ’67 when Winwood by now was the ripe old age of 19. The last is from ’66.
The first one shows up his blues singing chops and bad ass guitar stylings:
The second a rendition of the great Ray Charles’ Georgia on my Mind was so good that Clapton famously said the first time he heard it he thought he was just listening to Ray himself. Here also check out the unreal organ playing–the instrument probably for which Winwood is best known (but again he was so amazing at so many). When he played with people like Clapton and Hendrix he played the Hammond organ as he was a true master of this instrument as you will see. Did I mention he was 19 when he did this?
We’ve seen Winwood do blues, Soul-R&B, and now show of his frontman rock skills with Keep on Running one of the great rock-blues songs of all time.