Volume 157, sent July 1, 1999:
1. Winwood/R&B
2. Re: Career ebb?
3. Review of RWI
4. Re: Career ebb?
5. inquiry
6. No Musica Latina
7. "Go Juan" & other singles trax
8. LA movie fest showing 2 SDG movies
9. LA Gathering
10. Re: Career ebb?
11. Give Steve a chance
12. Discography item / "Nowhere Is There Freedom"
13. Re: Career ebb?

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From: lani arthur
Subject: Winwood/R&B
Date sent: Sun, 13 Jun 1999 12:42:49 PDT

I think 'Deltanick' has a great idea, "Winwood Blues Band". The more I run that across my mind the more I like it, I think it has a good feeling to it! I do agree with Robert Seim and 'Deltanick' I wish Steve would do a real R&B album, he is so good at it why not? Maybe we should flood that concert request on SW.com with R&B and then he would see what we want?

*Lani*


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From: "Paul Frenette"
Subject: Re: Career ebb?
Date sent: Sun, 13 Jun 1999 19:42:53 -0600

This SP 156 is the most interesting in a long time. Les brought out a lot of emotion from the readers and I think it is a spot that many of us have kept in the back of our minds, but hesitated to contemplate, about SW.

With success achieved, monetarily and musically, it's time to raise a family for SW. The driving forces and the hunger to 'make it' in his youth have spent themselves artistically. Energies once available to expend in music, clubs, gigs, etc are now taken up for the maturing family. I had expected J7 to be mild and not earth shattering (i.e. hit parade material), so no disappointments there. We may not see new material for a few years yet, but rest assured I would wager the material will focus on family/children with Christian overtones.

SW can explore new areas now, some may hit it good in the marketplace. But the early years that most postings are about are, face it, gone. Everyone has their day in the sun, SW has had his.

I enjoyed the Golden years of SW and that is why I continue to enjoy SW's music. Timeless music and lyrics that carry themselves into the years forward, as with a good wine, will only improve with age. So go and enjoy the golden years of SW. The future may surprise us and with the caliber of SW, I will continue to wait eagerly for that time, once again, when the public will tune in and listen on their AM radios in the new millennium to a top 10 hit or two from someone called Steve Winwood, one of the most influential artists of the late 20th century.

Paul Frenette


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From: Jasonburg@aol.com
Date sent: Mon, 14 Jun 1999 10:21:21 EDT
Subject: Review of RWI

Dear Smiling Folks,

A review of Steve's _Roll With It_ album will be featured on the Daily Vault (www.dailyvault.com) on Wednesday, June 16. If you're interested, but reading this after that date, look on the Vault's "Archives" page, where reviews stay for a week before rotating deeper into the Vault.

Hope you enjoy it.
Jason


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From: PBookstein@aol.com
Date sent: Mon, 14 Jun 1999 23:09:46 EDT
Subject: Re: Career ebb?

Winwoodies,

Let's cut the guy some slack. He has never been a prolific writer as a solo artist. Only in his Traffic days has he been able to churn out original stuff. He has always been deliberate in releasing his best solo stuff. When "Arc of a diver" & "Back in the high life" came out both times he felt pressured to release a follow up in a hurry, and he released albums which were much inferior in comparison. Junction 7 was put together in a few months. He found a producer he wanted to work with and they put out a typical SW R&B offering. But what's wrong with that. How many Elton John albums can you name. All 40 or so. He is allowed ho-hummers. He still can play and perform brilliantly. His instrumental talents will hopefully lead to a more original sound, would it be latin, jazz or R&B influenced. Phil Collins is going to make more millions from Tarzan. Maybe SW needs an opportunity like that. Maybe he needs to write music with other musicians or lyricists. His best lyrics have always been co-wriiten. Maybe his "Imagine" cut on the John Lennon tribute will be a spark. Regardless, Steve is in charge of his own career and destiny. Eventually talent prevails.

Perry


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Date sent: Wed, 16 Jun 1999 12:14:39 -0400
From: "Morgan, Lanny W"
Subject: inquiry

Since I am one of the few who continues to look for stickler details regarding Traffic's musical inquiries, (I guess maybe Ted can assist in replying to this one): Who was responsible in the string arrangement for "House for Everyone"(D.Mason)? Did Jimmy Miller coordinate this as well or was this the group's idea? Was this a 2 violin, viola, cello arrangement?

Lanny Morgan


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From: "Timothy Arthur"
Subject: No Musica Latina
Date sent: Wed, 16 Jun 1999 14:22:33 -0700

To Steve Seim..."POR FAVOR, NO MUSICA LATINA" (please no latin music). Now I am not throwing stones at my latin background...we know Steve can do the latin music, he is so talented he can do just about anything and has. But if we are talking about something to rejuvenate his career, I think we need to stick to the "Blues".

And Berkin, you are so right, there is no variety in that song list! So ... is anyone adding anything to it? I have been, so far have only seen one of the songs I requested, maybe the others will show up soon when the list is updated, for example, I can see Steve doing "The House is Rocking" by SRV... it would be great to see him do that!! Come on people, post some blues tunes on that official site.

*Lani*


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Date sent: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 08:23:37 -0400
From: Trafficologist (Ted G.) ftg3plus4@cs.com
Subject: "Go Juan" & other singles trax

I recently came across a Winwood item I'd never seen before - a 12" single of a 9-ish-minute remix of "Holding On" with two mixes of some "previously unreleased track" -- the discography calls it "Go Juan" but it seemed to me the cover and label gave it as one word, "Gojuan" (whatever that would mean). I was able to stand listening to about 10 seconds of each mix. Ugh! I can't believe Steve would have anything to do with such tuneless, noisy boombox (fill in your own impolite term here)! What gives?

Speaking of previously unreleased tracks (PUTs for short, I guess), I notice a few others of these (Penultimate Zone, Two Way Stretch, Always) listed on singles in the discography. Looking in the Song Encyclopedia it seems they're all instrumentals and "P.Z." is actually an instrumental "Time Is Running Out". What are the other two like, and are they worth seeking out?

Ted


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From: Winwoodie@aol.com
Date sent: Sun, 27 Jun 1999 04:28:46 EDT
Subject: LA movie fest showing 2 SDG movies

There is a groovy shagadelic movie fest in Los Angeles which over the 4th of July weekend will be showing "The Ghost Goes Gear" and "Go Go Mania". The Spencer Davis Group appears in both films. On Saturday July 3rd Spencer Davis himself is scheduled to appear in person around the time they roll "The Ghost Goes Gear". In "The GGG" SW sings "Georgia" & "When I Come Home". On the 4th of July "Go Go Mania" features The Beatles, SDG, Peter & Gordon, The Animals, Herman's Hermits, The Nashville Teens, Billy J. Kramer & many more. They also claim an all star band will play there on the 4th of July. For more information on the 2 week film fest go to: http://martinlewis.com/mod/ or call (323) 461-2020.

Craig Loudon


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From: Winwoodie@aol.com
Date sent: Sun, 27 Jun 1999 04:41:15 EDT
Subject: LA Gathering

Don't forget you must RSVP for the second annual SW gathering which is on Sept 18th in beautiful downtown Burbank at 6 PM. We are getting together some nice door prizes and plan to have lots of fun. Please RSVP to Bobbie now by replying to this.

Craig Loudon


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From: MARY KATSIKAS
Subject: Re: Career ebb?
Date sent: Mon, 28 Jun 1999 12:10:13 -0400 (EDT)

I really am impressed of all the information given by your sophisticated SP readers as to why SW's career is waning. Has it occurred to anyone that the reason that SW is not going after the limelight these days is the fact that he has a beautiful wife and growing children. I say he is doing it right. Before he started his family, he did all the career promoting he needed to do for us to get hooked on his music. Now, after 50 he is probably tending to family and enjoying what he is doing without the pressure. I hope that's the case.

Take Care,
Simple Minded Mary


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From: Winwoodie@aol.com
Date sent: Tue, 29 Jun 1999 01:01:50 EDT
Subject: Give Steve a chance

I am quite dismayed about the sudden burst of negativity in SP. Some fans seem to be declaring Steve's career over (even when they know how very talented he is). SW was very big in the 60's then again in the 80's & I predict he will be very big again in the new millennium. This is not based on any inside information but a look at other performers. Clapton was mentioned in other posts but there are many more including Cher's most recent comeback. Her new big hit "I Believe" is still being played 6 months after it's release on the radio & in the clubs in LA. I believe that Steve will surprise us too.

I am also tired of the whining about J7. You're entitled to your opinion but I liked all but one song on that album. Even J7's most harsh critics admit they really do like at least one song or another on the CD. I wonder how many records or CD's they have in their collections that only have one great song on them. If they're like me probably quite a few.

Don't kick the guy when he's down. Hang up your high-heels boys & see what happens with this summer tour & beyond. All I am saying is give Steve a chance.

Craig Loudon


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Date sent: Tue, 29 Jun 1999 09:16:35 -0400
From: Trafficologist (Ted G.) ftg3plus4@cs.com
Subject: Discography item / "Nowhere Is There Freedom"

(1) Came across a Traffic item that I don't see in the discography:
U.S. 7" promo single - Virgin -
SOME KINDA WOMAN / 40000 HEADMEN (live)

Of course, as we now know, the live track is not really from a Traffic concert but an SW solo one. (Then there's the question of what possessed them to release "Some Kinda" as a single...)

(2) Speaking of FAR FROM HOME, I notice that the credits say Mick Dolan plays rhythm guitar on "Nowhere Is There Freedom", but I don't hear any rhythm guitar on that track. Does anyone else? What's the deal here?

Ted


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From: RRopek@aol.com
Date sent: Tue, 29 Jun 1999 18:05:38 EDT
Subject: Re: Career ebb?

Ahh, the discussion continues - what is Steve Winwood to do next? Of course only time will truly tell, but it's always fun to speculate - so here goes:

First, I don’t pretend to be objective. To me, Traffic is the context in which both Steve and Jim Capaldi have done their best work, and even without the vital input of Chris Wood, it is still a realm filled with potential - why not explore it again?

There would be several things that they could do to jumpstart the process; First, release a box set retrospective - with all the hits, plus outtakes, etc. This will re-ignite all the old-time rabid fans that have wanted a nice anthology, and finally get to hear all the 'rarities'. Follow this (as Steve Seims and others have suggested), by releasing a live album, ala 'unplugged'. Traffic material is particularly amenable to this treatment - imagine acoustic “40,000 Headmen', and "Low Spark ...". This can be for the hook for 'new' fans, as it was for Eric Clapton back in 1992. To make a comeback truly viable, the audience needs to be a mixture of the both groups (old and new). Finally, 'hit the road' to support the whole thing - steering clear of the arenas in favor of more 'user friendly' venues. Assuming that this does bring a measure of success (the big 'IF'), then Traffic is back in business. The next logical step is new material - and by this time they will have had time to write, and a 'road tested' band to record with. If this album is also a success...well, it would at least provide to opportunity for Traffic to live out whatever potential is still there.

A problem: The specter of Chris Wood's absence would hang over the whole thing as it did for the ’94 tour. To some extent it is sacrilege to even ask if he can be 'replaced' - in ’94 Randall Bramlett didn't really try to do anything 'new', but mostly stuck to the script of what Chris had created. For a 'real', viable, future Traffic however, I think that they need to at least try to find someone who can honor the past, but create a new path as well. Personally, I think that Pete Zorn is the guy - he has played a lot with Richard Thompson, and is currently in a band called WAZ! that plays a lot of traditional English folk tunes, and some originals. Pete plays flute, pennywhistle, saxophone, bass and god knows what else - and does it all excellently and with a lot of heart. Who else would fill the bill, I have no idea, but I think Pete could do it.

Is any or all of this likely to happen? Probably not, I think that the will power and commitment to see this kind of project through is would be hard to conjure up at this stage of the game. But in the current sea of pointless Seventies bands 'reunions' taking place today - Grand Funk, Bad Company, etc., Traffic makes the most sense - a low hype, spiritually uplifting group that can still deliver the goods. Geesh, the music scene of today needs this!

In regard to Steve Seim's comments about possible 'Christian' or 'True R& B' albums for Winwood, I would suggest a kind of hybrid - an album of traditional Gospel and Spirituals, such as has been done by Sam Cooke, the Staple Singers and Aretha Franklin. This would give Winwood room to use the emotional power of his religious beliefs, with a classic rhythmic underpinning not at all far removed from R&B. With all of the great songs out there, this could be an excellent and even critically acclaimed 'side project' if handled correctly. On the other hand, the public could perceive an album of "Christian Rock" quite differently. The danger is in being lumped in with the current Christian music genre that is heavy on dogma and limited on outside appeal. Commercial suicide for sure, but this could also alienate a lot of the 'core' audience that has stuck with him through thick and thin. Now if he really wants to do an album of religious music, a recording of Bach's Mass in B Minor would be a different story ...

Some hint of where he's heading may not be too far off - the Fall tour is approaching, and as the 'tour reports' roll in the analysis can being anew ;-)

Dan

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End of SP, volume 157