Volume, 158, sent July 12, 1999:
1. New SW fan
2. "House For Everyone" inquiry
3. RE: Winwood Blues Band
4. Miscellaneous
5. Winwood and Traffic singles
6. Live CD
7. Jim Gordon
8. Dave Mason & Traffic Reunion
9. Re: Career ebb?
10. Steve articulate?
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From: MARY KATSIKAS
Subject: New SW fan
Date sent: Tue, 8 Jun 1999 15:37:10 -0400 (EDT)

Just to let you know that we have a new SW fan. Angie, who works with me ask to hear something from SW because she had heard me talk about his music so much. She asked to borrow a cd of his, so I give her "High Life" and "Arc of a Diver". She liked "High Life" so much that she ordered a copy from a local cd store. She apparently plays it in her car because as she was leaving work today she said to me that she was going to listen to some Steve Winwood on her way home and smiled.

So what does The Man need with a record company to promote his music when he's got us.

Back in '89 it took me a year and a half to finally get a copy "High Life". I looked everywhere to get information about his music. It wasn't until recent years when I found SP on the internet that I learned more than I ever dreamed existed..... thanks to Bobbie.

MARY KATSIKAS


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Date sent: Thu, 01 Jul 1999 12:04:17 -0400
From: Trafficologist (Ted G.) ftg3plus4@cs.com
Subject: "House For Everyone" inquiry

Lanny Morgan wrote: "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?"

...and specifically wondered if I could help! I wouldn't know anything about what Jimmy did or any of that, but I think I can help anyway. I believe what we actually hear on "House" is not real strings but rather a Mellotron, probably played by Dave. (I assume I don't have to explain what a "Mellotron" is!)


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From: "Aleshin, Nicholas"
Subject: RE: Winwood Blues Band
Date sent: Thu, 1 Jul 1999 13:46:07 -0400

In the last issue, Lani wrote:
"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?"

Just wanna straighten something out here. R&B is much of what Steve HAS been doing all along. That's the problem. He's got to open up to do other than R&B styles, including blues: a healthy dose of blues.

Blues and R&B are not necessarily the same, depending on exactly what one means by R&B. It can be (1) a more or less inclusive term meaning Black American music (with blues as a subset), but I think most people would define R&B as being (2) post-blues, Motown/Stax and derivative styles of music originating in black America in the late '50s and early '60s. Also, much of what is nowadays called jazz is really R&B, but this is a new development.

Blues originated in black America too, in the Mississippi Delta at the turn of the century or earlier. It's a musical style more easily defined, usually (but not always) involving a 12-bar structure with a I-IV-V chord progression. Black America largely abandoned the blues during the early to mid-'60s, gravitating to R&B or "soul" music, but this situation seems to be reversing, as white America has largely been the patron of the blues since then.

I will not attempt to define jazz, but it's another musical style (or conglomeration of styles) also originating in Black America at the turn of the century or earlier.

Don't want to leave out the other, main, Black American music: gospel. But once I think of gospel, these musical styles start converging in my mind in such a way that they are impossible to clearly define. The roots of gospel go back centuries.

DeltaNick


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Date sent: Thu, 01 Jul 1999 22:22:05 -0400
From: Dawn Shaw
Subject: Miscellaneous

I have some things to share: For all the Northeast fans, I called Trump Marina as soon as I got word about the show (800)777-8477 and they verified that the show is Sept. 10, and will be in the Grand Cayman Ballroom. However, there is no ticket info yet. I was told to wait until the end of July and call back. I don't know if this is going to be a dinner/show gig with tables or set up like a regular concert. Anyone know? My husband and I are going to make a weekend of it in Atlantic City, and look forward to meeting up with any SPers who are going!

Also, in response to Berkin, I also wrote in to SW.com to vote for tour songs. I sent my votes on June 13th but they haven't shown up yet. I voted for Shotgun (Jr. Walker & Allstars), Not Fade Away, Twist and Shout, and Walking in the Wind. I haven't posted to SP in a while, but I do pay attention!

As for the career ebb, I was seriously thinking that the heyday (80's)is past, and maybe we all just refuse to accept that the retirement celebration (Roll with It LP and tour) is over. It seems that he has been keeping his hand in, for the love of the craft, for the last ten years. He certainly knows the formula for a hit pop album, but chooses not to do that. In part, I think that's what makes us so special, because we keep the torch lit, buy the music, see the shows, reminisce in past creations, and keep our hearts open to the future. If you mull it over enough in your mind, you'll see mad shadows dancing on the wall. Let's not judge, let's wait and see. Who knows what tomorrow may bring?

Keep Shining!
Dawn S.

[To Dawn and everyone else who emailed me privately that email to the official web-master and Live Requests are being ignored - Steve is in rehearsals for the late-summer tour and has already chosen what songs to play. No new requests are being accepted at this time. I don't have a clue why an announcement to that effect isn't on the web-site. -- BG]


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From: Stephen Smith
Subject: Winwood and Traffic singles
Date sent: Mon, 5 Jul 1999 12:51:54 -0400

In response to Ted, as you know Winwood has released tons of non-album single tracks in his solo career. Most are just mixes, instrumental versions, or other variations of album tracks. Even "Penultimate Zone" is apparently an instrumental version of "Time Is Running Out" (1977). Only the other three you asked about are actually different songs: "Two Way Stretch", "GoJuan", and "Always". (I'm not forgetting the soundtrack singles - they appeared on the respective soundtrack albums!)

"Always" was the flipside for the "One And Only Man" single (1990). This one is a pretty instrumental in need of a vocal. I don't think it's the same as any other song.

"GoJuan" was released on at least two versions of the "Holding On" single (1988). The UK 12" has both "AAGHH Mix" and the "Groove Mix", while the US CD3 (remember those?) has just the first one. The song is a mostly instrumental sample-and-mix production job, perhaps based on "Holding On". The vocal snippet ("Aw go on") doesn't sound like Steve. The track has some interesting ideas, and it's a decent basis for a club tune, but doesn't quite hold together as is.

"Two Way Stretch", the flipside for the single "There's A River" (1981), is actually a different song with full vocals and verses. It sounds like a working demo rather than a final product, though. The single may have been released for Christmas, and this b-side just didn't make it to the subsequent album, Talking Back To The Night. If you're looking for early solo material, this is a great place to start!

Since we're talking about solo singles, I'll mention the two other groups of non-album tracks: outtakes and live versions.

Two outtakes have been released to date. A demo version of "Come Out And Dance" appeared on both the UK and US singles for "Spy In The House Of Love" (1997)., and an outtake of "Put On Your Dancing Shoes" appeared on the UK single "Gotta Get Back To My Baby" (1998). Both are interesting but not quite fascinating - they weren't meant to be!

Steve's first solo single to include live material was an oddity. Early UK 12" gatefold pressings of the "Freedom Overspill" (1986) single included a bonus white label 7" record with two live tracks. The tracks are "Gimme Some Lovin'" and "Low Spark...", apparently performed by Steve alone at a piano in a Shepherds Bush pub and aired on BBC Old Gray Whistle Test in 1986. I have Bobbie and "PM" (Paul Minkkinen?) to thank for that info! The tracks are short, but of course quite intimate.

In 1991, the UK promo single "I Will Be Here" included a live version of "Don't You Know What The Night Can Do?". More recently, the UK single "Gotta Get Back To My Baby" (1998) included a live version of "Roll With It", recorded in Munich.

And speaking of live tracks on singles...

Trafficologist wrote:
"Traffic: U.S. 7" promo single - Virgin - SOME KINDA WOMAN / 40000 HEADMEN (live) ...as we now know, the live track is not really from a Traffic concert but an SW solo one."

Three live tracks were released on Traffic singles in 1994 - "40,000 Headmen" and "Low Spark" (both with "Some Kinda Woman"), and "Glad" (with "Here Comes A Man"). I know someone mentioned fairly recently about those live tracks being Winwood rather Traffic, but I didn't quite register! Could someone please explain this again?

Single minded,
Steve


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From: SayOnceMor@aol.com
Date sent: Mon, 5 Jul 1999 20:00:26 EDT
Subject: Live CD

Is Jim and Dave's new live CD any good?? I don't remember reading anything in the last SP about it, but I was in a hurry and only skimmed it. Stupid question -- when did it come out?? I noticed it for the first time Friday at work.

thanks,
andrea


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From: "Tony Wesley"
Subject: Jim Gordon
Date sent: Mon, 5 Jul 1999 19:05:11 -0400

I was reading other pages on the site. I had no idea about the tragedy involving Jim Gordon.

In his career, I didn't see anything listed for him playing with Gordon Lightfoot. I've always assumed it was the same Jim Gordon, who is listed on Lightfoot's albums Sundown, Cold on the Shoulder, Gord's Gold (Lightfoot did all new recordings for the greatest hits album), and Summertime Dream as playing drums.

Any idea if these are one and the same? Or are there two drummers named Jim Gordon?

Idle thought: I'm not sure if Gordon played drums on "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald", because there are two drummers listed on the album (Barry Keane is the other). But if so, he was part of Layla and Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, two huge but very different songs.

Tony


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From: "Fischler, Sol (NBC)"
Subject: Dave Mason & Traffic Reunion
Date sent: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 09:51:03 -0400

Hi --

Heard this on the radio this morning. The tease for an interview with Dave Mason said he'd gladly go on tour with a bona fide Traffic reunion. Well, I was ready to book a flight right then & there. Then they played the actual bite from the interview. In Mason's own words:

" ... if Steve Winwood would get his head out of his butt " and it were a reunion of Winwood, Capaldi, and him as the real Traffic, then he'd go on tour with them " in a minute."

Well, put in those terms, I don't think I need to sleep outside the box office any time soon ...

By the way, Capaldi seemed happy & got along well with the crowd at the Bottom Line on June 24th. But this time he opened for Al Stewart, rather than the other way around. Glad I stayed through Stewart, though, because as an encore Jim came back out & did John Barleycorn with him. Very nice.

-- Sol


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From: Dawn
Subject: Re: Career ebb?
Date sent: Fri, 9 Jul 1999 15:24:13 -0400

I have been reading the ongoing "Low Ebb" comments with much interest, but didn't have time to comment before now. With your indulgence, one more post about it...

This whole debate reminded me of something. Just before Thanksgiving, when I was twelve years old , a New York City radio station asked listeners to call in and say who they thought was a "turkey", and why. Since this was during the period of time when John Lennon was tucked away in the Dakota, doing his "house-husband" thing, in my youthful exuberance, I called in to say that I thought Lennon was a turkey, for not recording for so long.

I'll never forget how the deejay answered me. He said since Lennon had given the world so much music over so many years, didn't I think it was time he had time to himself - hadn't he EARNED it? Although the deejay said it kindly, speaking, after all, with a naive twelve year old girl, the shame of my greedy attitude, "Give me MORE MORE MORE" has never left.

So as far as Steve goes...yes, I'm thrilled he is touring, and you bet I'm going. And I hope for more music from him, perhaps even some blues or r&b? And it's frustrating that he has all that talent but is not overly prolific, nor is he big on the charts right now. BUT...I think he needs a break from being "Mega-Winwood". If he chooses to stay home and raise his family, keep up with the price of sheep and check for holes in the fence, or whatever it is he does...God bless him. He's earned it.

Have a great summer!
Dawn


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From: Dawn
Subject: Steve articulate?
Date sent: Fri, 9 Jul 1999 15:26:48 -0400

Hi gang,

How incredibly funny it was to read the "Ready, Steady, Go" article that just went on the website, particularly to see Steve say that he "mutilated" some of the lyrics to fit the shape of his voice. That just makes a world of sense. We have often good-naturedly teased Steve on SP about not being able to understand his lyrics, and that quote says to me what I have recently come to suspect - that the sometimes hard to understand lyrics are deliberate. He's using his voice as another instrument, and it's the sound of the words, rather than the words themselves, that interest him most. At least in the cases where he is being less than articulate. And you know he can be quite articulate and precise, "Can't Find My Way Home", for example. He simply chooses not to. Hey, that's cool. More fodder for the mondegreen page. ;-)

Mumble mumble,
Dawn


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End of Smiling Phases, volume 158