Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Steve Winwood Remembers Late Spencer Davis: He Influenced My Tastes in Music

Steve Winwood Remembers Late Spencer Davis: He Influenced My Tastes in Music

After the death of The Spencer Davis Group’s founder was made public, his former bandmate shares a few special words about his ‘big brother’, recalling their first meeting when he was only 13.

Steve Winwood has paid tribute to former bandmate Spencer Davis, following the news of his death on Tuesday, October 20.

Winwood was a teenager when he and his brother joined the band that was to become The Spencer Davis Group in the mid-1960s, and after hearing the guitarist had died while battling pneumonia in a California hospital, he had a few special words to share about his “big brother”.

“I’ve known Spencer since I was about 13, he would have been about 22,” Winwood told Rolling Stone. “I was playing a show at Birmingham University with my brother and his band (and) Spencer, who was a student at Birmingham, was playing with a small group of musicians. We met and the the seeds of Spencer Davis Group were sown.”

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“Spencer was an early pioneer of the British folk scene, which in his case, embraced folk blues, and eventually what was then called rhythm and blues. He influenced my tastes in music, and he owned the first 12-string guitar I ever saw. He was taken with the music of Huddie ‘Leadbelly’ Ledbetter and Big Bill Broonzy. I’d already got a big brother who influenced me greatly, and Spencer became like a big brother to me at the time.”

As members of The Spencer Davis Group, Winwood and Davis would enjoy a string of hits with songs like “Keep on Running”, “Gimme Some Lovin'”, “I’m a Man”, and “Every Little Bit Hurts”, before Steve left the band in 1967 to form supergroup Traffic.

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