The Rolling Stones have done it. The Bee Gees, Rod Stewart, Elvis of course, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Ray Charles, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Barbara Streisand have done it. Cher had hits in four decades and Louis Armstrong had hits in five decades. A name that is missing from this list of greats is Steve Winwood. You may not even know him but check out some of the songs he has played on and you will definitely know them.
Steve has played every instrument on some albums. He started as a guitarist, then became an amazing vocalist. He bought a Hammond organ from his first record sales and created his own sound with the Spencer Davis Group, Blind Faith and Traffic. Along with Clapton and Paige and others, Steve Winwood was a virtuoso musician and vocalist. He was committed to technically brilliant performances. The Punk Movement came along in the 1970's to smash this idea that musical talent was required to perform. Bands could make noise, provoke and deface, as freedom of expression took over from any notions of artistic quality. Punk was important in that it allowed space for metal and grunge to grow out of, as well as many others on the fringe. However, Steve no longer performed and until the 80s preferred a role as a farmer, session musician and songwriter. His comeback in the 80s, twenty years after his first hit, was remarkable and songs like Roll with It, showed a return to his blues roots.
As a singer, Steve was influenced by Ray Charles, who brought gospel and blues roots together. In looking for songs that Jaya Blues could play which still had a current sound, we were drawn to several of Steve's songs from different bands: Keep on Running and Gimme Some Lovin (Spencer Davis Group); Presence of the Lord (1969 - Blind Faith, with Eric Clapton who he later joined in a sell out US tour in 2008-9) and Roll with it (1988 - solo). Enjoy the links:
Keep on Running
Presence of the Lord - originally played with Blind Faith, but here on reunion with Clapton after 30 years
Roll with it
We do the Blues Brothers version of Spencer David Group's Gimmie Some Lovin' - performed of course at Bob's Country Bunker, behind chicken wire...