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Interview:
Santana Tour Reunites Steve Winwood With An Old Friend
 

By GARY GRAFF
of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Although it’s a bill that makes plenty of aesthetic sense, Steve Winwood has no illusions that it was ticket sales potential that paired him with Santana this summer.

“I think promoters thought the combination of me and Santana would be bigger than me or Santana on his own,” he says with a laugh.

But the British singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist — who had his first big hit at 18 with “Gimme Some Lovin’ ” as part of the Spencer Davis Group — says the package also lets him reunite with an old friend in guitarist Carlos Santana.

“We absolutely do go back,” notes Winwood, 62, who was also in the bands Traffic and Blind Faith and has enjoyed a prolific solo career that includes a pair of Grammy Awards for his 1986 hit “Higher Love.”

“We go back to the ’60s, when he and Buddy Miles used to get up and jam with us when Traffic was in San Francisco.

“I’d been in sort of touch with him on odd occasions since then, and we talked about the possibility of playing together a few years ago as well, which for some reason didn’t come to fruition. But here we are now.”

The tour comes at a time when Winwood is reviewing his past with “Revolutions — The Very Best of Steve Winwood,” which came out last month as both a 17-song single disc and a four-volume boxed set. Besides surveying his career, it also includes a re-recording of one song, “Spanish Dancer” from 1980’s “Arc of a Diver” album, which is something Winwood envisions doing again.

“I have every intention to re-cut more things in the future,” he confirms. “I think it’s quite a valid thing to do. I don’t quite understand why it’s not done more often. It’s interesting to present them in certain different ways.

“I feel a lot of my material from the ’80s ... had a lot of synthetic sounds and echoes and effects and compression and so on. It’s good to sort of unravel that and try to get the song back to ... its organic state. I think there’s a wealth of opportunity there to re-record and rework some of those songs without actually rewriting them.”



Steve Winwood performs with Santana at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 10, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $80 and $60 pavilion, $25.50 lawn with a $77 lawn four-pack. Call 248-644-3556 or visit www.palacenet.com.



Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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