Volume 166, sent Sep 14, 1999:
  1. Faithfull release
  2. Deja Vu Review
  3. "Mr. Fantasy" snippets
  4. Aspen concert
  5. Session Work - SHAWN PHILLIPS Speaks!
  6. Chicago concert
  7. AC concert
  8. SW in AC
  9. concert at HOB in Orlando
  10. SW - Atlantic City 9/10/99
  11. SW storm song!

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From: "Murray Dreyer"
Subject: Faithfull release
Date sent: Thu, 9 Sep 1999 08:43:31 +1200

I have just received my copy of the Island Records double CD release of Marianne Faithfull - "A Perfect Stranger - The Island Anthology". 35 Tracks, Cat 524-579-2.

Disc One is nearly all from the "Broken English" and "Dangerous Acquaintances" Albums and includes the Faithfull- Winwood track "For Beauties Sake" that we are all aware of.

Disc two covers various later Albums along with a few previously unreleased tracks.

One of the previously unreleased tracks is a Faithfull - Winwood composition titled "A Waste of Time" (5.03)

Our man is not listed on the playing credits for the track and not obviously audible on either vocals or instrument.

However it would be hard to imagine as co writer that he had no input wouldn't it?

cheers
Murray D


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From: "Jacobson, Les"
Subject: Deja Vu Review
Date sent: Thu, 9 Sep 1999 09:10:09 -0500

SW's performance last night at the House of Blues in Chicago was like seeing 2001 for the 10th time. The elements of grandeur and beauty are still there, but we've seen it all one too many times before to be greatly moved.

Which isn't to say the audience, the band and Steve weren't in good form. Except for straining to reach a few high notes, Steve sounded fine. The band, mostly SW veterans, is a tight unit and seemed enthused, and the large (mostly middle-aged) audience was highly responsive.

The problem is with the set list. It's essentially the same show, with the exception of a few songs from J7, that he's been performing since 1987, right down to the same solos. (The only deviations from the set list included in the last SP were the addition of a rather jazzy Arc of a Diver following Freedom Overspill and a disappointing 40,000 Headmen that followed Glad; Family Affair was, thankfully, omitted.) It's hard to avoid playing it by the numbers when you've played it thousands of times before, and frequently it sounded that way.

The high points for me were the numbers from J7 (surprisingly, since it's my least favorite SW album), While You See a Chance and a very moving Back in the High Life, a song that in its purity and beauty reminds me of Bach. On the down side, the longer songs tended to drag. I almost always find Fantasy boring (how far can you get with the same three chords?); Low Spark, a song I used to love, should be retired; and even Gimme Some Lovin was just so much noise (albeit joyful). (One major problem was with the band's or hall's acoustics: the drum kit and percussion instruments were mixed way too loud, obscuring the keyboards and even at times Steve's voice. The result was a frequently muddy sound.).

All in all, I'd call this tour a "holder"--it keeps Steve in the public eye and brings in some cash. But it does nothing to answer the more interesting questions: where is he going next, and does he have anything left? For that we'll just have to be patient -- yet again.

Les


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Date sent: Thu, 09 Sep 1999 12:43:18 -0400
From: Trafficologist (Ted G.) ftg3plus4@cs.com
Subject: "Mr. Fantasy" snippets

Just a trivial little Traffic factoid: It's been mentioned in SP that "snippets" of "Here We Go 'Round The Mulberry Bush" appear between songs on the original U.S. MR FANTASY, but it hasn't been pointed out that actually just one snippet is used repeatedly (the part near the end that evokes the "Twilight Zone" theme).


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From: Dialectic1@aol.com
Date sent: Thu, 9 Sep 1999 23:08:25 EDT
Subject: Aspen concert

Just the set list and some opinions from SW's concert in Aspen last Labor Day:

I'm a Man
Roll With It
Freedom Overspill
Arc of a Diver
Let Your Love Come Down
Gotta Get Back To My Baby
Empty Pages
Can't Find My Way Home
Dear Mr. Fantasy
Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys
Glad
40000 Headmen
Finer Things
Just Wanna Have Some Fun
Higher Love

encore
Back In The High Life
Gimme Some Lovin'

In my opinion, as with some of the others, the Son of J7 Tour is an apt moniker, if only for the set list similarities. However, this is not to say that this concert was in any way disappointing. In fact, as the Denver Post music reviewer stated, it was one of the best concerts all summer. The night, the mountains, the music, and an energetic and exuberant Winwood made this an INCREDIBLE show! It was a gorgeous, end-of-summer day with the stage surrounded by mountains and pine trees. By the time Steve took to the stage, the heat of the day was gone and replaced with the cool night breeze of the mountains. One of my friends commented that it was the perfect night to lay on your back, listen to the music and watch the stars. She was soooooo right! I abandoned my little group of friends to a blanket and worked my way to the front of the stage. Steve played with an enthusiasm that was lacking the last time he passed through Colorado on the J7 tour. He was grinning and smiling the whole show, stopping numerous times to laugh with his bandmates during solos, acknowledging the audience, etc... The crowd was really into the show as well. Most were standing in a large group around the stage dancing and singing along. During songs like Higher Love, Back In The High Life, and Gimme Some Lovin' the audience was singing loud enough to take over the vocals on their own. The songs sounded crisp and fresh and you could feel SW's enthusiasm wash over the crowd as he indulged in various instrumental solos, etc... This show served as a reminder as to the sheer power Winwood can have as performer. I only hope that sometime before he hangs it up for good that he'll capture one of these performances and release it as a live CD. Granted, the magic of the night will never be reproduced on a CD, but it would be a tragedy to let this man's career as a live performer end without a decent live solo recording to serve as a reminder to the power of his musical prowess.


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From: Stephen Smith
Subject: Session Work - SHAWN PHILLIPS Speaks!
Date sent: Fri, 10 Sep 1999 13:35:29 -0400

I recently had the pleasure of communicating with the one and only Shawn Phillips and his manager, Arlo Hennings. Steve played on Shawn's albums Contribution (1970) and Faces (1972), and we've heard rumors that he also played on Second Contribution (1971). There were several mysteries about these sessions. Shawn was kind enough to share his recollections of Steve's session work with him and resolve those mysteries!


Shawn on Contribution

Shawn confirmed that Steve played on "For RFK JFK & MLK", along with Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood, and Dave Mason. We already knew that Steve played piano and some other Traffic members were on that song, thanks to a Rolling Stone article. We (or at least I!) didn't know that Dave was on it, too, which means that all of early Traffic took part!

Shawn also clarified that the organ part on "Man Hole Covered Wagon" was Mick Weaver (the same Wynder K. Frog). Marc Roberty's book on Eric Clapton's recording sessions credited Steve here, apparently in error.

Shawn on Second Contribution

Shawn explained that "Steve played on the Second Contribution sessions, but the track, "Parisien Plight II", appeared on the Faces album". In short, Steve wasn't on the final album!


Shawn on Faces

Shawn clarified that the uncredited organ parts on "We" and "Anello (Where Are You)" were played by Joe Sample, who is credited with piano. He said that "...they were both recorded in Studio B, at A&M in California... I never worked with Steve in the US". I had previously thought these might be Steve.

The LP credits Steve with organ and organ bass on "Parisien Plight II". Shawn recalled this session: "Steve played organ (B3), and was the bass for the tune, as well, as he was kicking the pedals. I remember thinking "Christ, this kid, (which he was at the time), is amazing. He's not only playing lead lines, and vamping, but rolling the bottom along at the same time. Occasionally, I will hear the track somewhere, and I'm still amazed." So are we!


Shawn is a very friendly and generous guy, and I thank him and Arlo for this opportunity. He is also a unique musician, and all three of these albums have some great material. Contribution and Second Contribution are currently available on CD. They would like to reissue Faces as well, but it's not scheduled yet. Shawn is also touring a bit this year. The official Web site is (not surprisingly!): http://www.shawnphillips.com

I've revised the Collaborations & Session Work pages on the Smiling Phases site for all this info. Contribution and Faces are under Known Sessions, and Second Contribution under Rumored Sessions.

Off to Atlantic City to see Steve tonight! YAY!!!

Steve


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From: "Blues"
Subject: Chicago concert
Date sent: Sat, 11 Sep 1999 11:37:15 -0500

I just want to say I saw Steve at the House of Blues in Chicago and it was great. The crowd was great, they sang along with almost every song. Steve was great, he was smiling all night. I got to touch his hand, as I was at the front of the stage all night. I started receiving this newsletter for my friend Chuck (Barrelhouse Chuck, a Chicago blues musician(keyboards)and probably one of Steve's biggest fans), but I just felt like I had to add my 2 cents worth. Keep up the good work.

Jim(Blues)


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Date sent: Sun, 12 Sep 1999 01:42:44 -0400
From: Dawn
Subject: AC concert

The "What Steve Did On His Summer Vacation" Tour Grand Cayman Ballroom, Trump Marina, Atlantic City, NJ - Sept. 10, 1999

OH.... MY.... GOD... This was the best I have ever seen Steve, no kidding.

Our man was in great voice, looking well, playing beautifully, particularly guitar. And he has a kick-ass touring band - incredible as individuals, tight and powerful as a band. Steve must've thought they were playing well too, if the frequent big grins he threw at them was any indication. And I liked the subtle rearrangements on the songs, and the big contributions from the band whether they played a solo, or everybody jammed.

It was so good to see Steve enjoying playing that much - sheer, obvious joy. And his attitude was contagious - the audience simply LOVED him. Frequent and heart-felt standing ovations abounded - you could just feel the respect and affection off the audience. And Emma and Valerie singing, "Everybody keep moving, everybody get up..." was redundant. Hardly any butts were left in the chairs by the end of the show. (Even my brother was up, and let me tell ya, THAT takes some doing!) Oh, and I spotted two SPers shaking that thang in the center section. Caught ya, guys! ;-)

The setlist was the same as Chicago, but "Empty Pages" was played after "Got To Get Back", rather than before "Let Your Love Come Down" (a smart rearrangement of order, IMHO).

Highlights: The choice of guitar instead of synth on "While You See a Chance" was such an improvement over the original. And the guitar was just lovely on "Arc" - understated. "Empty Pages" was a great addition - love that song. "Can't Find My Way Home" was good on electric. "40,000 Headmen" was disappointing, as was "Let Your Love"...the only two songs where it seemed like the enthusiasm lagged (it didn't seem his heart was in 40K in particular). Long, unusually hard-edged *mandolin* solo during BITHL! I could swear Steve got lost in that mandolin, the rest of the band was staring at him like, "Hello? Earth to Mr. Winwood." Love that, when he gets so into it he looks zoned out, biting his lip. Oh yeah, the man was gone...

...As he was during two other great solos: 1.Piano on "Low Spark" - spooky, atmospheric, but not overly theatrical, more moody and sometimes latin-tinged. 2. The unbelievably hard-edged rocking guitar during "Dear Mr. Fantasy". That alone made the trip to AC worthwhile. DAMN, that boy can play guitar.

Ok, the setlist issue... I know that a bunch of people, myself included, saw the setlist from the first show and were disappointed that it seemed to be, as Steve S. quipped, "The Wrath of J7 Tour". While I stand by my recent rant in SP about how Steve deserves to do as much or as little touring/recording as he wants, since he's more than earned it, I wish to add to that the point that it is reasonable for fans to expect that if he *does* tour, it will not be a carbon copy of the previous one. I admit to speculating with a friend, before I went to the show, that this must be the "Piss Off the Faithful Fans" tour, because it seemed like we were going to see the exact same show as the J7 tour. Which doesn't make sense, since we all know that the SAME diehards who came out in '97 would be coming out for this tour - why give them the same exact show???

The similar setlist notwithstanding, it WASN'T the same show as J7 - it was way better. I can't put my finger on why exactly. Was it the arrangements, the enthusiasm? Maybe simply because it's been a while since he played live (taking "Latin Crossings" into account). I couldn't say for certain.

I don't get the purpose of this tour in the first place: no new album to support, no record company to pressure him to tour, he's obviously not trying out new songs on the road, and it's presumably not for the money, since it's such a short tour.... Whatever the reason, I'm extremely happy and feel lucky to have been at that show, since it was GREAT. If Steve gives any thought to releasing a live album (as we have all begged and pleaded for over and over in SP), I fervently hope that someone had a tape player going in AC!

Still smiling,
Dawn


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Date sent: Sun, 12 Sep 1999 13:46:10 -0400
From: Dawn Shaw
Subject: SW in AC

Hi there!

I wanted to write to tell you about the Atlantic City show!

Hot! Hot! Hot! Crazylegs Winwood hits the jackpot at Trump Marina!

The SW show Friday Sept 10 in Atlantic City was awesome! The show started a little after 10PM. We had 7th row center seats, and could almost reach out and touch him! As always, he and the band came out with no fanfare or introduction and simply flew into the first number. The setlist was as follows:

I'm A Man
Roll With It
Freedom Overspill
Arc of a Diver
While You See a Chance
Let Your Love Come Down
Back to my Baby
Empty Pages
Can't Find My Way Home
Dear Mr. Fantasy
Low Spark
Glad
40,000 Headmen
Finer Things
Just Wanna Have some Fun
Higher Love
Encore: Back in the High Life Again
Gimme Some Lovin'

Steve looked very relaxed and at ease in a short sleeve, light blue, plaid shirt and khakis. He and the band were really enjoying themselves, and it really showed on his face. Arc of a Diver was a real treat with some great guitar work, and While you See a Chance ended in a thunderous ovation. Steve really poured it out! I have NEVER seen him grabbed hold of a microphone and pour it out like he did Friday! His voice was in top form, strong and true. He also danced around quite a bit and did a lot of interacting with the audience, prompting them to their feet to dance. Back To my Baby was like Mardi Gras, with everyone singing and dancing together. There were all ages 20's - 50's jammin' together in the crowd. Except for 1 or 2 altercations and a few drunks, the crowd was really in tune with him, and it was great to see all ages coming together.

There are some critical comments I would like to make. I really would prefer a pared down version of Can't Find My Way Home. Just him and an acoustic guitar, no electric. He has such raw emotion in his voice that is lost in the electric instrumentation. 40,000 Headmen was a surprise, as I like the song, but the presentation seemed to fall flat. Many in the crowd were calling out for more Traffic, but this song didn't seem to reach out. Higher Love, which always moves me, just doesn't come across as well live, as it does in the studio version. This is not a knock on his performance, but more of a nod to the excellent production of the High Life album.

There were some really high points to the show. He really smoked on guitar during Dear Mr. Fantasy, only reconfirming what an incredibly gifted, inspired, and UNDERRATED, guitar player he really is! During Low Spark he turned the spotlight over to his trumpet player, who dazzled the crowd with an amazing solo! His percussionist really stood out as well.

The backup singers were great on the new Glad arrangement, and were a great complement to Steve when he went free-form on vocals. His voice was the strongest I've heard in years. Say, do I hear a LIVE ALBUM? This tour is the perfect opportunity to put one together, and many of us SPers who were there, give two thumbs up! We didn't want it to end. Very satisfying, both musically and personally. What FUN!

After the show, a bunch of us, who had gathered in New York last fall, found each other at the Fountain Bar, on the concourse, outside the casino. We had a great time talking and laughing, and we all really hope to see a live album soon! We also saw the saxophonist and trumpet player at the bar, but no glimpse of Steve! We were all running on adrenaline at this point, and caroused until about 3AM, and then had to go our separate ways. Thanks to Steve S. who gave me the poster from the reception desk! I stayed at the casino until about 4AM, and then called it quits. Back to the hotel for some much needed rest! All in all, a great show, with a great bunch of friends!

I look forward to hearing about the other shows! I will surely send some pictures(if they come out) as soon as I get them!

Take Care!
Keep Shining!

Dawn S.


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From: "lani arthur"
Subject: concert at HOB in Orlando
Date sent: Mon, 13 Sep 1999 17:33:10 PDT

Guess you have heard the state is in a 'state of emergency'....so we of course came home. We went to Sam's in Orlando to hurricane shop, now that is about 180 miles from us, north and THEY WERE OUT OF WATER! The lines at the gas stations and store's are getting long. After I'm done with this post I've got to get my supplies organized. Have to unpack too!

We started our journey to Orlando at 1:30pm on Saturday (11th). My husband, Tim almost didn't make the trip...had some serious dental problems and had to have 2 root canals 4 days before we left.

I had some Winwood tapes to play while I drove...thought it would be a good idea to play some of the songs from the concert that Tim is not familiar with. But he decided to relax and take a nap!

After finally finding our hotel and getting unpacked we (I) thought it would be a good idea to find the House of Blues. We were happy to find that the HOB was less than 10 min. from our Disney hotel. The HOB is in a area called Downtown Disney...the whole area has a "Disney feel" to it. Designed to take your $$. And get this, across the street from the HOB is a Virgin Mega Store.

The HOB is marked by a 'old looking' water tower and at night the sign 'House of Blues' is in blue neon. Since the box office was open, I went ahead and picked up our tickets that I had ordered months ago. At that time the concert was not sold out, the young man who told me this had a slight resemblance to John Belushi!

We walked into the gift shop and I was happy to see a display of CD's and under the sign "Essential Music" was a row of Steve's Chronicles CD's! When we checked out the Virgin Mega Store they had no outstanding display of Winwood...but did find a small display of Clapton CD's. And being a =true Sper= I turned all the Clapton CD's backwards also the small sign to mark them:-)

Sunday morning of the concert, after having a great buffet breakfast at the hotel we went over to Downtown Disney to see if we could see Steve's tour buses. The parking lot is massive!...and we found an area behind the HOB and thought that may be where the tour buses would park. Tim had pointed out a large area that was marked off with cones and said that is where they would probably park. Later that evening his guess was right. And when we came back after 5:30 sure enough they were there and took a photo of them.

The doors were to open at 7pm...didn't till about 7:15. When they did let us in, I made a dash to the area in front center of the stage on the floor. Tim went upstairs to our reserved seats. I had a nice conversation with a reporter/photographer from the New Smyrna Beach newspaper....told him the readers of SP would love to read his review of the concert. He happened to be a Winwood fan and so was the man next to me and another young (29) man on my right.


I found out from the young man's girl friend they are from our area of Fl. she said he was a big fan of Steve's.

No other way to describe the concert but "WONDERFUL"....nothing went wrong...all equipment worked and Steve did a great job. Voice was good, although Tim noticed he did let the girls sing the high notes on some songs. And Steve really looked happy to see the reaction from the PACKED house....lots of cheers!! He was really appreciative and you could see him say 'thank you' and 'you're sweet' over and over again. And girls, he wore his 'usual uniform'....cream colored jeans, white t-shirt and a light blue button shirt and boots. His hair looked good.....oh my, he doesn't look 51!! :-) And I was within 10 feet of him so I know how good he looked!!! Everything was going GREAT...until 7 drunks pushed their way up to the front and in front of 'us real' fans and made fools of themselves. It was so nice to see the young kid sing along with Steve,like me he knew all the words...except for the J7 songs. I told his girlfriend about SP and told her to tell him about it.

I think the sax/flute player was a substitute....he looked very young, about 25 with very blond hair....the girls behind my husband upstairs loved him! Every time he played they yelled out "Baby" "Baby".

After the concert I missed my chance to see Steve....our van was parked near the tour buses and by the time we were done with our dinner Steve was in the bus....we saw him in there. We did wait for him, but thought he would be in the club longer. Oh well..... we did have a wonderful time anyway...even Tim liked the concert said he was a great guitar player. I checked the Orlando paper this morning but no mention of the concert....and it was the HOB 2nd anniversary. That reporter I talked with said his review would be in his Tues. paper. Well, I've got to go and get ready for that stupid hurricane! *Lani*


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From: Stephen Smith
Subject: SW - Atlantic City 9/10/99
Date sent: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 01:44:48 -0400

Steve's star was shining brightly on Friday night. The show at Trump Marina' Grand Cayman Ballroom was just superb, Steve was in top form musically, and he seemed to be having a great time himself! The set list:

I'm a Man
Roll With It
Freedom Overspill
Arc Of A Diver
While You See a Chance
Let Your Love Come Down
Gotta Get Back to My Baby
Empty Pages
Can't Find My Way Home (electric version)
Dear Mr Fantasy
Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys
Glad
40000 Headmen
The Finer Things
Just Wanna Have Some Fun
Higher Love
Encore: Back In the High Life Again
Encore: Gimme Some Lovin'


Steve played piano, guitar and organ during the show, and sounded great on all of them. He really seems to have found a good mix. His guitar work at the end of "While You See A Chance", in particular, was totally sublime and brought tears to my eyes. The entire audience stood and cheered for several minutes, delaying the next song.

The trumpet player was Kevin Robinson, with whom I spoke for a few minutes after the show. His playing was strong throughout, but his fluegelhorn during "Low Spark..." was outstanding. The sax and flute player was not Randall, and didn't seem quite up to speed on some of the songs, but his solos were good.

"Arc Of A Diver" received a light funk jazz treatment, which grew on me and provided a subtle reminder that it's been a long time since Steve recorded any jazz work! Let's hope he does some soon...

People at earlier shows said that "Freedom Overspill" was a slower version, but it seemed fairly normal here. The lyrics for "Glad" were just a throwaway backup vocal vamp, but the Latin interlude was promising. In fact, the "Low Spark..." interlude musically made more sense to me this time than in 1997, but I don't know how much it's really changed. "Just Wanna Have Some Fun" included the band introduction. "Gotta Get Back To My Baby" generated the kind of audience enthusiasm that it deserves, yet somehow didn't happen in 1997.

So what was the downside? Well, it was Atlantic City (yuck!), which is a short ride from nowhere, and it was scheduled for 10:00, which pretty much means getting a room. In the end, though, the venue was excellent, we found a cheap hotel (thanks to another SPer!), and we took advantage of the beautiful weather on Saturday by sitting on the beach! As an added bonus, I learned about Margate's bizarre and utterly captivating national treasure - Lucy the elephant! But I digress...

I saw Steve at New York's Irving Center and Atlanta's Chastain in 1997. Both were excellent shows, but I felt this one was stronger than either of those. I'd love for some of this to see the light of day on CD - the legitimate kind!

Steve



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From: "lani arthur"
Subject: SW storm song!
Date sent: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 13:01:52 PDT

Hi....how appropriate for Florida today:

"Don't be afraid, love, when the storm comes.
We're gonna make it through on our own"......Riding High

That crazy classic rock station in Miami has been playing....for the past 24 hrs!!!.....you guessed it PINK FLOYD!


*Lani*


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End of Smiling Phases, volume 166