Steve Winwood–Still Rollin With It

windwooddefault-news-imgLast week I saw Steve Winwood as art of a double bill with Steely Dan. The show was at the Arts Center off the Garden State Parkway in Holmdel, NJ. I’ve been to this venue countless times (since the 60s). Always great to see a concert there and I’ve seen many.

Steve Winwood opened the show. Best opening act I’ve ever seen. Truth of the matter his material and performance is headline material and I’ve seen him a few times as a headliner.

The first time I saw him was as part of the short-lived “supergroup” Blind Faith at Madison Square Garden in July 1969. It was their U.S. debut behind their new (and only) album. The tour would last 7 weeks and the group would break up in the fall of 1969. Interestingly the tour was not a great one from their perspective since the group didn’t have enough Blind Faith material and were “forced” to play music from Cream for Clapton, and Traffic for Winwood. Tough stuff for the audience to hear!

Steve Winwood has a 50+ year career though he looks great and sounds great. His career began as a 14-year old as a member of The Spencer Davis Group in 1962.

He has a really tight band which alas only played for an hour—loved every song they played and could have heard so many more (for example…. Roll With It, Back in the High Life, Empty Pages, Paper Sun, While You See a Chance, and many more).

Here was the set list…
1. I’m a Man (The Spencer Davis Group song)
2. Pearly Queen (Traffic song)
3. At Times We Do Forget
4. Can’t Find My Way Home (Blind Faith song)
5. Them Changes (Buddy Miles cover)
6. The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys (Traffic song)
7. Higher Love
8. Dear Mr. Fantasy (Traffic song)
9. Gimme Some Lovin’ (The Spencer Davis Group song)

But even for the 9 songs he played, he rocked. Not bad for an old man. Sure glad I made it.

More Strumings


  1. ks says:

    I remember reading about the first Blind Faith tour and it was exactly as you described. Eric Clapton was trying to move on from Cream and quickly grew tired of Blind Faith, finding the group dynamic constrictive. In fact, he would spend more time with opening act Delaney & Bonnie, sometimes jumping on stage to swish a tambourine around. Clapton has since been quoted that hanging out with D&B was the most fun he had during this period. Clapton’s disengagement allowed Winwood to take more of a lead role in Blind Faith; however, it left little doubt that Clapton would leave the band once their tour was complete. Little wonder why so few supergroups have any lasting power.

    • Lonny Strum says:

      Yes. Clapton was a big Delaney & Bonnie fan and they toured with him later on. Alas Blind Faith did not last but a few months. Only 1 album to show for it. But Can’t Find My Way Home is a classic. Thanks for the feedback, Kel.

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