Mojo Magazine:
The 100 Greatest Singers
October, 1998

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Steve Winwood #68
"A unique voice, from what was the best era of British singers." - Chris Farlowe

After 30-odd years of top pipemanship, as a solo star and for The Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, and Blind Faith, the former multi-instrumentalist teen wonderkid still self-effacingly insists that on early hits like "Keep On Running" he was "impersonating Ray Charles". Winwood denies that suffering is essential to making great music, but the alienated desperation in his voice suggests a man swimming in emotional depths that would drown most vocalists. A love of rock, country, blues, folk, jazz and standards enriches his essentially soulful style, but it's his mastery of understatement that enables Winwood to reveal hidden subtleties in every lyric he interprets. (J.B.)

Born: May 12, 1948

Sublime moment: The redemptive elation of "You know love will save us after all", from "I Will Be (sic)There" (Refugees of the Heart, Island, 1990)

Recommended: Arc of a Diver, Island, 1980

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Page created September 16, 1998.
Last updated September 16, 1998.
© 1998 by the author; reproduce only for non-commercial purposes and with full attribution.