One of the world’s most soulful vocalists is also a great songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who, on top of keyboards and guitar, can easily handle violin, bass and drums, to name but three. Through his strong influence on Wigwam’s Jukka Gustavson and Tasavallan Presidentti’s Frank Robson, he has also shaped Finnish rock history. A living legend!
Back in Birmingham Ray Charles was young Stevie Winwood’s number one idol, but his musical taste was eclectic from the start. Already at 13 he played ska in Jamaican trombonist Rico Rodriguez’ band and jazz with his older brother Muff. He also backed many visiting American bluesmen, like Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf and John Lee Hooker. At 15 he joined, with Muff, the Spencer Davis Group, whose songs I’m a Man and Gimme Some Loving became giant hits thanks to Winwood’s unusual vocals and groovy organ politics.
In 1967 Stevie founded Traffic to investigate the ground between psychedelia and folk rock with unforgettable results. Two years later he started Blind Faith, rock history’s first super group, with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker. Winwood has also worked extensively with African musicians and plays on famous albums by George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix, Sandy Denny, Marianne Faithful and others. He has so far made 9 solo albums, if one doesn’t count the recent live album with Clapton.