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Nine Lives

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Editors’ Notes

While Steve Winwood’s commercial instincts were spot-on in the mid-80s with “Back in the High Life” and “Higher Love,” he’s never been a particularly commercial artist. His fans, following him from the R&B of the Spencer Davis Group through the mystical, progressive tailwinds of Traffic, have always cherished his impeccable soulful singing and his tasteful instrumental prowess. For 2008’s Nine Lives (his ninth solo album with nine songs), Winwood retreated to his home studio with a seasoned crew of musical veterans to fashion a smooth, relaxed, optimistic brew. The textures hint towards world music with Guyana born Richard Bailey on drums and Brazilian native Jose Pires de Almeida Neto on guitar. “Raging Sea” perfects Winwood’s laid-back funk with his Hammond B-3 easily breaking through the sparse mix. Eric Clapton guests with the album’s toughest sounding guitar solo for “Dirty City.” Primarily, however, Winwood isn’t looking to raise anyone’s blood pressure. The self-assuring sentiments of “Fly” and the shared search for fulfillment of the nightclub blues of  “We’re All Looking” reflect Winwood’s natural talent to find a silver lining even if it’s only in the unencumbered beauty of his own musical abilities.

Customer Reviews

One of rock's great voices

Those of us old and wise enough, know Steve Winwood as part of the soundtrack of our lives. Through Traffic, Blind Faith, and his solo career, his consistently soulful and tasteful work has never disappointed. This release is a great treat, especially the tasteful guitar work of guest Eric Clapton on the track, 'Dirty City." Welcome back, Mr. Winwood. We missed you.

Another solid album from a truly gifted musician

Those of us lucky enough to have seen Steve Winwood in concert realize that this is no ordinary musician. This is the man who has been in the public eye for over forty years and whose voice has only improved. He is a first rate musician equally adept at playing the Hammond B-3 organ, acoustic guitar, mandolin, electric guitar and probably six other instruments that he just does not bother playing live. While he is not a great song writer, that is just not what his music is about. It is about polyrhthyms, latin and african beats, long melodic instrumental solos and modal expermentation. This is a soulful exploration about aging gracefully. While I tend to believe his prior effort, Different Light, is a bit stronger, any Steve Winwood album that looks back to Traffic and Blind Faith is worth a few listens.

"Life Is Much Too Beautiful!"

.."We'll Meet Again!"..Oh; So good to have the rich, mellow sound of Steve Winwood back! { A voice so familiar to any fan of "Classic Rock" radio; From "Traffic" through "Blind Faith" to his splendid Solo A.O.R. "Hits"; Yes; "At Times We Do Forget!"} Themes of: Living & Looking; Yearning & Longing and Flying & Water=It takes at least "Nine Lives" (or more) to get there from here! Yeah; Steve Winwood has still "Got It!"; At @ 60 years young; Guitar & Keyboards & Vocals & Arranging yet another "WinCraft Masterpiece!" Grimmbo.


Born: May 12, 1948 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

As a solo artist, Steve Winwood is primarily associated with the highly polished blue-eyed soul-pop that made him a star in the '80s. Yet his turn as a slick, upscale mainstay of adult contemporary radio was simply the latest phase of a long and varied career, one that's seen the former teenage R&B shouter move through jazz, psychedelia, blues-rock, and progressive rock. Possessed of a powerful, utterly distinctive voice, Winwood was also an excellent keyboardist who remained an in-demand session...
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