+ special guest tba
Friday, May 11 • DOORS OPEN at 7:30PM
- The Riverside Theater
sponsored by The Shepherd Express and WUWM
A Rock & Roll LEGEND! Traffic,
Blind Faith + solo
Can’t Find My Way Home, Dear Mr. Fantasy, Low Spark of High Heeled Boys, Gimme Some Lovin’, Presence of the Lord, Back in the High Life, Higher Love.
Winwood was just a teenager when he rocketed into the international spotlight as the prodigious singer of the Spencer Davis Group (which also featured his brother Muff on bass). The blues and R&B-influenced rock of “Gimme Some Lovin’” and “I’m a Man” stood among the leading hits at the peak of the British Invasion, Winwood’s singing drawing comparisons to that of his idol Ray Charles – despite his tender age. Looking for a wider artistic palette, in 1967 he headed to the countryside with friends Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood and Dave Mason, forging the collective spirit into Traffic, producing some of the most inventive and durable works of the psychedelic-tinged late-”60s.
In 1969 he and Clapton, having worked together briefly in the short-lived Powerhouse project, formed Blind Faith with Clapton’s Cream-mate, drummer Ginger Baker, and bass player Rick Grech, though the “supergroup” lasted just one acclaimed album and tour. Intending to mix English folk styles along with jazz and rock, Winwood started work on what was meant as his first solo album, but ultimately enlisted Capaldi and Wood in a reconvened Traffic for the landmark John Barleycorn Must Die album. An expanded Traffic lineup (including African percussionist Reebop Kwaku Baah) went on to make two of the most arresting albums of the early ’70s in The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys and Shoot Out At the Fantasy Factory, expanding on the jazz and world music elements. A scaled-back line-up brought the Traffic era to a close with 1974’s When the Eagle Flies. With 1977’s Steve Winwood, a rich solo career launched in earnest. Arc of a Diver (1980) featured the hit “While You See a Chance”, and subsequent solo albums Talking Back to the Night (1982), Back in the High Life (1986), and Roll With It (1988) produced era-defining songs including “Valerie,” “Higher Love,” “Back in the High Life,” and “Roll With It."