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Steve Winwood still driven by music

for Journal Register Newspapers

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At 63, Steve Winwood is decidedly in the AARP zone. But he's also young compared to many of his peers -- the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Blind Faith bandmate Eric Clapton and others -- the mark of having started with the Spencer Davis Group when he was just 14 years old, writing and recording the seminal "Gimme Some Lovin' " two years later.

"I suppose I was driven by music," Winwood says of his youthful accomplishments, which led to a long tenure with Traffic and Grammy Award-winning success as a solo artist. "At the end of the day, I don't think it's that unusual for kids to be driven by music, is it?

"Yeah, I was fairly driven, and I suppose that led to the exclusion of possibly any other sort of normal school life, sports or anything like that. But I had my sights set on what I wanted to do, and I was just going for it."

Winwood has reviewed his achievements many times over the years, most recently on the 2010 box set "Revolutions." His last album of new material, "Nine Lives," came out in 2008, and he's since toured with the likes of Clapton, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Santana and Steely Dan.

And he foresees more fresh music ahead, though he won't hazard a guess about when that will happen.

"I do have a lot of ideas I'm compiling, some I'm looking forward to when I get a chance to work on them," Winwood says. "There's lots of directions. I'm quite interested in dance music that's played rather than put together with samples. There are some elements in that which I find interest me a little bit.

"But until I start doing it, I can't tell you what it's going to be like."

Steve Winwood performs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 16, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Tickets are $29.50-$99.50. Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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