We have a certain affinity for Steve Winwood. He’s written some great songs. And we heard his shows with Clapton a few weeks ago were pretty great. But why is he making videos? We don’t mean, like, he’s not allowed. Just that … where are people going to watch this? Well, Stereogum we guess. Anyhow, “Dirty City,” from the forthcoming Nine Lives, his first album since ’03, finds Steve playing pensive bard in the dirty city, watching some dude who can’t get his shit together lose his girl in two seconds flat. WTF, Steve, whatever happened to higher love?

You want us to believe the M-Train came on time? Winwood kinda resembles Robert Pollard these days. Or vice versa. Also, that’s not Steve doing the blues licks. Look at the headline — Clapton guests on this one.

Nine Lives is out 4/29 on Sony.

Comments (10)
  1. Sir Terrence Tuppins  |   Posted on Apr 11th, 2008 0

    A few things about Lil’ Stevie Winwood: We’ll start with the present and work backwards.

    1. First off, I’m not sure how I feel about the song posted. Would love to hear Daniel Lanois produce an album for these two chaps.

    2. His late 80s/early 90s output is abominable. This can be faulted on those awful keyboards, drum sounds and production value. Awful stuff. Ick.

    3. “Arc Of a Diver” from 1980 is serious favorite of mine. Not being cheeky or ironic about it either. “While You See A Chance” is a great-great song. My hipster elitist music pals (if you read this site, chances are know a few or may be one yourself.) usually scoff at me with digust and sneering contempt when/if this comes up. My calls from the aforemnetioned won’t be returned for 6-9 weeks while they’re busy jerking off to the latest noise/drone records from the NE states..This is alright with me.

    (As a related aside, I really love Blues Control’s music, but at this point I get a kick out of not being accepted as their MySpace friend everytime I make such a request. It’s happened about 5 times now. As Dulli said recently in Pitchfork, “Music – the great unifier.”).

    4. Traffic were great. Fantastic really. Maybe even (for better – or more likely – worse) a prototype jam-band. They went off on musical tangents but weren’t always noodlie-doodlie-whiddlie-diddlie-wank about it. They knew when to reign it back into the song itself. Okay…so maybe they weren’t a prototype jam band…

    5. Blind Faith. Not sure how I feel about them.

    6. Let’s be frank with one another – What were you doing at age 15? Think about it for a bit. What was I doing at age 15? Not exactly contributing much to society or pop culture.

    Lil Stevie Winwood at age 15 was playing the Hammond B3 in the Spencer Davis Group and laying it down. Thick-n-soulful; even for a white boy from Birmingham.

    More importantly, he had the collossal cajones to write, sing and perform “I’m A Man” with the Spencer Davis Group. Listen to that song real carefully next time – lyrics, music and all.

    Then tell me what YOU were doing at age 15.

    Fuckin’ 15 year old Stevie Winwood!!! Yeah!

    • Thanks for the chronology, Sir Terrence Tuppins. But why are you unsure about Blind Faith? Curious.

      • Sir Terrence Tuppins  |   Posted on Apr 11th, 2008 0

        I saw “unsure about Blind Faith” due to only having heard their FM radio staple, “Can’t Find My Way Home”. It’s not a bad song but it never lured me into listening to a full-length Blind Faith album. Thus, no objective opinion can be given.

        Check out Steve Winwood at the ARMS concert, singing background vocals and working the crowd on this Jeff Beck Group 1967 chestnut. He seems like a truly excited schoolboy: He seems more excited about it than the song’s author.


        Listen to the original version sometime and imagine Robert Pollard doing a cover of it.

        • Michael Houghton  |   Posted on Apr 12th, 2008 0

          “A” full length Blind Faith album?

          There was only one album, and I’m not entirely convinced it’d meet your ‘full length’ benchmark.

  2. I like his ’80s synth pop (well, the singles anyway). Even if it did result in the birth of Lefsetz Letter.

    “One of the early subjects,” Lefsetz says, “was Stevie Winwood and whether the fact that he was dancing in his videos was [expletive] his credibility. …

  3. Traffic is goddamn amazing. Most people don’t really think about it too much – they kind of get lost in the whole classic/fusion/prog-rock lexicon, but little Stevie RIPPED it on the keys. As a keyboard enthusiast, he amazes me. And he was like 19 at the time.

    That said… the 80s/90s Winwood is some of the cheesiest, most easy-listening pop nonsense ever created, bordering on elevator music. Hell, his tunes probably ARE in heavy rotation in elevators and department store musac systems.

    Strange dichotomy. I can’t quite figure out what happened to him. It’s like beyond ‘sell-out’, it’s a complete transformation. Makes me very wary of anything new of his. And Clapton hasn’t been interesting in AT LEAST 15 years.

    /end rant

  4. leclairm  |   Posted on Apr 11th, 2008 0

    Clapton hasn’t been interesting in at least 15 years?

    Have you listened to “Road to Escondido” w/ J.J. Cale or “Me and Mr. Johnson”?

    Give them a try if you haven’t – both are pretty darn good.

  5. Sirrockaby  |   Posted on Apr 12th, 2008 0

    Its good to see Winwood making new music. Looking forward to seeing him on tour with Tom Petty…

  6. That’s 3 minutes of my life I’ll never get back…

  7. hodge  |   Posted on Apr 22nd, 2008 0

    sure sounds like Doyall Bramhall was in on this song too?

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