One of the enduring and most versatile musicians in the business is Steve Winwood.
At 66, he’s still touring, with a set of credentials that includes two Grammys, membership in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and even a couple of honorary doctorates.
He burst onto the scene in 1963, as a teenager with the Spencer Davis Group, (“Gimme Some Lovin’ ” and “I’m A Man”). Later, he was a founding member of the supergroups Traffic and Blind Faith, then finally went solo.
There’s plenty to like about Winwood. Aside from owning one of the most distinctive voices in rock, he plays both keyboards and guitar, and he’s a superb songwriter.
I’ve seen him twice before, with Traffic at San Francisco’s Cow Palace and with Blind Faith at the Oakland Coliseum. Tonight, Lori and I will see him at Edgefield in Troutdale. Hoping it won’t rain since it’s an outdoor concert. If it does, I guess we’ll just, ahem, “Roll With It.”
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Sunday postscript: Winwood and his band put on a marvelous show. Played a set that included: “I’m A Man,” “Can’t Find My Way Home,” “Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys,” “Empty Pages,” and a 20-minute version of “Light Up Or Leave Me Alone” that gave every band member room for a solo. Came back on with a two-song encore: “Dear Mr. Fantasy” and “Gimme Some Lovin’ ”
He had gray pony-tailed men and their wives and girlfriends up and out of their low-back seats, dancing as if the years hadn’t flown by.
Really nice to see an accomplished musician playing so effortlessly. Amazing that songs he wrote three and four decades ago sound just as good now as then.