Steve Winwood

About Time (Wincraft)

ACL Fest Record Reviews

Steve Winwood

About Time (Wincraft) The "return to form" tag bandied about for About Time, Steve Winwood's first album in six years, is a misnomer unless your introduction to him was Traffic's second go-round in the early Seventies. Winwood sprang from the English midlands in the mid-Sixties, a teen wunderkind with the soulful voice of a whiskey angel belting out "Gimme Some Lovin'" behind a Hammond organ with the Spencer Davis Group. His vision of Traffic intersected rock, jazz, and English folk in a truly original way before he veered into Blind Faith, then stepped back into Traffic. Yet it's the post-Traffic Eighties that saw Winwood's success, his chartbusters, the Grammys, and his decline into mediocrity. If you've been waiting for the bass thump of SDG or Hammond swell of Blind Faith, don't exhale, but if you loved The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys-era Winwood, you'll love About Time. With a cool blend of Caribbean, gypsy, and jazzy undertones, Winwood still evokes yearning with his voice, even singing "I'm no longer certain of my destiny" on "Different Light." Even if he's not certain, Winwood sounds comfortable, ensconced in the funky, Santana-like rhythms of "Why Can't We Live Together," "Cigano (for the Gypsies)," and "Domingo Morning" that linger with the listener, but not for long. He comes across better on "Bully," as classic a song as he's put out in 40 years, but the sum of the 11 lengthy tracks on About Time just misses making the whole. (Friday, 7pm, Capital Metro stage)


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