Celebrity Playlist: Steve Howe

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015
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Celebrity Playlist: Steve Howe

An integral part of two of the world's most beloved progressive rock bands (that would be Yes and Asia), it is no surprise that guitar great Steve Howe also has 19 solo efforts under his belt. On the release of Howe's ANTHOLOGY, a 2-disc collection featuring 33 handpicked tracks from this vast and varied solo career, we thought we'd find out what the acclaimed musician listens to when he is not busy making music of his own. (And just to round things out, we've got a full interview with the man himself here.)

1)
FROM BALTIMORE TO PARIS by GO WEST
I liked the whole thing about this band, once I'd hear Bangs & Crashes, a remix of their hugely successful first album. One The Couch was their second, containing this song. It maybe about Alan Murphy, their guitarist who we sadly lost. We'd become friends, and I admired his playing so very much.

2)
CHESTNUT MARE by THE BYRDS
Eight Miles High and dozens of other great recordings, then The Sweetheart Of The Rodeo, what a catalogue! The imagery used here is great, they were so adventurous!

3)
WOULDN'T BE SO BAD by ALISON KRAUSS & UNION STATION, featuring JERRY DOUGLAS
Have all the albums, Alison's singing, song selection, violin and production are all just exceptional. Dan Tyminski, Ron Block, JD & Barry Bales create the most PERFECT sounds to compliment each song & instrumental.....

4)
ALBION by BABYSHAMBLES
The second Libertines album & the first Babyshambles album sounded like the essence of rock n roll hadbeen reinvented! Things very nearly fell apart, but hang together through a sense of desperation!

5)
LIKE A ROLLING STONE by BOB DYLAN
Followed Bob from his beginning till Street Legal around 1988. His songs resound with the period & atmosphere.

6)
WE HIDE AND SEEK by ALISON KRAUSS & UNION STATION featuring JERRY DOUGLAS
'Instrumentally superb' is an understatement! I challenge Yes to learn this piece! Watch on AKUS's live dvd from St Louis!

7)
VENUS by SANTO & JOHNNY
Many great players have shaped my appreciation for the steel guitar, Jimmy Day & Speedy West for starters, but the success that these brothers found & the tunes they wrote became part of my musical DNA.

8)
SHE HAS NO TIME by KEANE
I need bands without guitars to give me a break! Great melodies, arrangements, loads of energy & an individual style make Keane so unique. This song is like an AKUS track, sad and touching.

9)
DIAMONDS AND RUST by JOAN BAEZ
Joan BAEZ, like Joni Mitchell projected the female voice to reach you, inside. This song maybe about Bob...

10)
YOUR SMILING FACE by JAMES TAYLOR
This song lifts you up, it's full of positive energy. Always enjoyed James’ guitar work, writing & of course, singing. World class, like others here.

11)
LOVER MAN by KENNY BURRELL
Live from the 5 Spot Cafe, NY this recording is captivating. Only one person dares to clap at the end of his solo! Kenny has always been one of my favourite jazz players.

12)
HELLO MARY LOU by RICK NELSON
Besides his more slushy recordings, the others are astoundingly tight, imaginative and seriously rocking numbers, featuring JAMES BURTON on his Telecaster guitar. His concise and melodic approach using tasty bends were the benchmark of 'guitar solos'.

13)
MY BABE by THE PIRATES
Mick Green was justifiably one of the early UK guitar heroes.

14)
STORMY MONDAY BLUES by CHRIS FARLOW & THE THUNDERBIRDS
This features ALBERT LEE on guitar, my personal all time favourite UK player!

15)
PUNK SANDWICH by DIXIE DREGS
In 1980 I heard the album "What If " by Dixie Dregs, produced by UK's Ken Scott. Immediately I said “I've got to reach out to these guys!". I did, and found that Steve Morse is a real gentleman and a sensational all round player & writer. Dixie Dregs & The SM Band always knock my socks off!

16)
THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL by ABBA
Almost all of their recordings met my highest approval. Their final, Visitors, equally good. Pop with a feel and a groove, songs with that heartfelt singing!

17)
13 WOMEN by BILL HALEY & THE COMETS
Back almost to where it began! This is one of their quirky songs, I love the vocal- guitar interplay, this may be Danny Cedrone or Franny Beecher on guitar, also all the classics have excellent guitar breaks, of course.

18)
THE GLORY OF LOVE by BIG BILL BROONZY
Country blues caught me early, very early on. Bill was a great player, his delivery always so professional, his personality so engaging. One night on tour, when I'd been including this song in my set, I finished it and strangely said “I now know what that songs about!".......

19)
MYSTERY TRAIN by ELVIS PRESLEY
This is from the first LP I bought! (thanks Roy!) I noticed the voice & guitar interplaying and started to think, this was my roll, where's MY Elvis? (thanks to Tom Ladd, Kevin Driscoll, Johnny Lamb, Keith West, Clive Skinner, Jon Anderson, John Wetton, Max Bacon)