Where are they now? - Steve Howe
This page last updated: 12 Nov 2023
On this page: Solo projects - Album with Virgil - Steve Howe Trio - Guest appearances
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In an Apr
2023 interview, Howe mentioned, "I can play some keys, as I
do in some forthcoming projects", but he didn't expand on what
those projects were.
In an Oct
2020 interview, Howe said, "I tend to write in batches. I
upgraded my studio at the end of  and delighted in it, and I
realized as I released my book All My Yesterdays [see below]
that I'd accumulated a lot of ideas but hadn't really developed
[them] at all. Last year , about October or November, I was
recording ó it's all just sort of floating. [...] I've never been
short of projects I can do. I can rally around those and dabble
with things and see what holds my attention the longest." In a Dec 2020
interview, he talked of an "outpouring of musical ideas"
after he finished working on the book.
In a Jul
2020 interview, asked about the impact of the pandemic, Howe
said: "certainly, even in my own writing and recording work, this
is gonna be a golden opportunity for that, and I daresay a lot of
musicians will turn to their recording system and think, 'well: I
could do some more!'" On Facebook
on 9 Apr 2020, writing about the COVID-19 pandemic, Howe
said, "I've noticed the focus of music has shifted and been
reasserted as a vital link between people and to that end I have
found myself able to turn my attention to the writing and
recording of music of a new era. More information will follow
about what, when and how this work will evolve." Further context
for these comments is unknown. In the Dec 2020 interview, he
remained coy about details, but said he was "keeping busy" during
the pandemic. In a TotalRock radio interview broadcast 18 Jul
2021, but recorded before the announcement of The Quest,
Howe said that the energy he'd normally put into touring during
the pandemic period "has gone into writing and recording". What he
was busy doing and a possible destination for the "outpouring" of
ideas was a new Yes album, largely recorded late 2020: see on main
Howe remains in Yesósee details on main news page.
Motif Volume 2 (HoweSound) is released as a CD and a limited edition (500 copies) gatefold black vinyl LP (HSLP009) on 24 Oct 2023 through Cargo Records. A general release follows 24 Nov 2023. There will also be digital and Dolby Atmos formats. As with Volume 1, this is a solo guitar album mixing new compositions with new recordings of older pieces. Tracks:
Howe previously released Motif
Volume 1 in the same format. Howe explained that the
He has been working on a second volume for a while. Volume 2
was due "perhaps this year " according to a May
2009 Billboard article, and "soon" according to a Jul
2009 article. In an update on his
website in Mar 2010, Howe describes Volume 2 as being "in the
planning stage" and that he will tour in support of it in due
course. In an Oct
2011 interview, he talked of working on Volume 2 and
says "maybe next year " for when it will appear. In another
interview, Howe said:
I am writing new material, I am
going to follow up 'Motif, Volume 1' with, surprisingly, wait
for it, 'Motif, Volume 2'. I've got new material, I'm going to
record it in the studio, as opposed to how I've done it before.
I enjoy that side of my life, probably more than Yes or Asia, I
don't want to make that seem unappreciative, but the older I've
got the more I've dug in to that solo side. That's why 'Motif,
Volume 1' was a very important release for me, because it pulled
together that side of my life that had been spread over Yes,
Asia, solo records, Trio records
In the 2021 TotalRock interview, asked about his future plans,
Howe said, "My next [solo] project will be something different [to
Love Is]." He went on, "I've got a nice concept for it,
that's different again." And said, "I refuse to be typecast as a
rock guitarist or [in any other style]." Later in the interview,
he talked of how, "The guitar family is what I'm interested in
playing", and then how, "My next solo album [will be] a bit of
surprise." That description does not seem to fit Motif Volume
2, so he may have been talking about something else.
Homebrew 7 (HoweSound, distributed
by Cargo Records; duration 49:41) was released 30 Jul 2021,
marking the 25th anniversary of the release of the original Homebrew.
The album is written, arranged, engineered and produced by Howe,
and the album was compiled with Curtis Schwartz (worked
with Yes) and mastered by Simon Heyworth. Previous Homebrew
releases have consisted of his early versions of tracks previously
released elsewhere. In a change, Homebrew 7 consists of
tracks never released in any form before (with one exception), and
where there are no plans to re-record them in the future, although
some tracks had been offered to Asia or other acts down the years.
4 tracks have vocals by Howe ("Half Way", "Outstanding Deal",
"Devon Girl", "From Another Day"). Sons Dylan (worked with Yes) and Virgil Howe are credited
with additional drums. Liner notes are by Steve Howe, including
some of his photography. This was the first release on Howe's
re-started label HoweSound, working with a new distributor Cargo
Howe's prior solo album was Love Is (BMG Records),
released 31 Jul 2020, having been delayed from 17 Apr. Howe
composed the whole album and performs lead vocals, and electric,
acoustic and steel guitars. He also contributes some keys, bass
and percussion on the instrumental tracks. Jon Davison
performs bass and harmony vocals on the songs. Son Dylan Howe
drums throughout, recording some of his parts around 2018,
although there was at least one earlier session with Dylan in Jun
2013. The album was co-engineered and produced by Steve, with
Curtis Schwartz co-engineering and mixing. The album was mastered
by Simon Heyworth (previously mastered New
Frontier). Howe described the album in a Feb
2020 Facebook post as an "equal balance of guitar
instrumentals and songs". In an interview in the Mar 2020 issue of
Prog, Howe said, "I think it's a really out-there record,
split between five instrumentals and five songs. [...] Some of the
tracks I've been working on for years." The album made #71 on the
iTunes chart in Italy (2 Aug 2020).
The debut single was "The Headlands",
released 9 Jun 2020 and available on streaming audio.
In one Jul 2020 interview, Howe mooted the possibility of touring in support of the album with a band.
Back in an Apr
2016 interview, Howe talked of having several solo studio
projects on the go. In a Sep
2016 one, he said, "I have a lot of projects started that
are behind me. What I will do is go back through them and start to
refine them. I usually come across one that makes me want to get
back at it. All these projects and I am doing them all at once and
they kind of a stock pile and none of them are finished. They will
get finished when I think that it is time for that one to get
sorted." A Mar
2017 Q&A described, among other things:
[a solo album] in progress, and itís gonna be quite exciting. Iím looking forward to announcing it. But other than that Iím not saying much about it until itís finished. Watch this space.In a Jul 2018 interview, Howe talked about how he used to make solo albums "which I call my jamboree approach. I try to show everything I do". However, starting with Turbulence, he described how he has moved to making albums "that have one particular idea that I can then move around in." He goes back to the first approach and continues:
theyíre really like jamboree. I mean, Iím playing jazz here and weird, psychedelic stuff here and a band here and then Iím singing and then Iím not singing. I kind of like those, but I think I should be more in the Turbulence mindset, where I pick a style and put all of my music around that. Iíve actually got a new album coming that, strangely enough ó well, it is not finished yet so I canít tell you the title, even though I do have it ó it is actually a mixture of instrumental and songs, but not quite in the same way.In the Mar 2017 Q&A, asked about the possibility of touring the US, Steve said:
When I do [a solo tour] in other countries [i.e., not the UK] it takes a lot more organising and youíve gotta get the CWA and IRS involved [...] But I would say that Iíve missed not doing either really. The solo tours Iíve done in America, the last one I think was way back in 2010, maybe 2008. So Iíve missed doing that in America. [...] doing a full band tour would be wonderful too. And like I say, I think Iíve got a vehicle for the future that will make that work. So, hold your breath on that one.
Asked about a next solo album in a Mar
2015 interview, Howe replied:
Iíve always got a backlog of music [...] I create a sort of nest egg [...] of music and song that I can back to. And theyíre most probably going to be on another solo album, because once I start to become secretive or very introverted about them Ė because they really are personal, certainly if there are lyrics [...] Ė then Iíll tweak Ďem an awful lot, Iíll go back loads of times, and think, ďWell, you know, I just want this to be something else. Howís this going to live up to my new expectations?Ē
So certainly there is a work in progress, but Iím not terribly clear which way itíll go. But as you prepare, eventually you start to spot that youíve got tracks that really are going in a startlingly different direction, and I think thatís what Iím waiting for. Iím not going to make another Turbulence. [Laughs.] Even though itís a nice album!
[...] So the style of the music, I havenít put my big toe in so deep yet. It might be that Iím waiting to see enough material in another style [...] and just say, ďWell, when I feel itís there, then thatís the album Iím going to do,Ē and Iíll start really building that album. [...] Iím not really pushed to do anything.
2020 interview described Howe as planning solo shows for
autumn 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic seems to have stopped that.
Howe has been working further with Paul Sutin. In a Jan 2012 interview, Howe they have some "new tracks we haven't released yet", "kind of a mix up of some things we've done where we've re-arranged them, re-played them, they're almost like different tunes because they have such a different feel", plus some new tracks which are "almost Europop influenced". He goes on to describe how they've worked together: "What I like to do [...] if you've got a sort of semi Euro dance track, I don't play like semi Euro dance track guitar. [...] I play [...] different sorts of things [...] It came alive because of the contrast."In one of the aforementioned Jul 2020 interviews, Howe is asked about revisiting his solo back catalogue with 5.1 surround mixes. Howe replied: "It's been on my mind a great deal, and I want to start with Beginnings and Steve Howe [Album] as the very first ones. It'll be a while, but that is something that's in the process. I've been accumulating tapes and I've been [...] getting advice as how to do that, and who to do it with. It would be marvelous if I got the chance to do more things in 5.1."
The Steve Howe
Frontier (Esoteric Antenna (Cherry Red)) was released
in 2019. In the May 2023 interview, Howe said, "There's an
alternative mix of the whole album" and also seemed to imply the
possibility of releasing some live recordings.
Guest appearances &
Howe has professed to being a fan of Alison Krauss & Union Station, particularly their dobro player Jerry Douglas (worked with Ray Charles, Phish, Paul Simon, Elvis Costello). In an Apr 2011 article, he said they have discussed collaborating:
"I asked them if they would work with me and they said yes," Steve says. "It has taken some time, but I have not stopped writing tunes [for the project]. I have a country side that I want to explore. I will do country records.
Asked about the collaboration in the Feb
2013 interview, Howe said:
Iíve got immense respect for Alison and the band. I just love them to bits. Things were mooted and there were was a little opportunity to try something. In the time that these things were talked about and mentioned, shifting sands changed here and there. So I never count on things like that. [...] My determination is to do some recordings that reveal some more of my connection with country and bluegrass through people like Chet Atkins [...] also Mel Travis and Tony Rice, Stevie West, Jimmy Bryant, I could go on and on. Iíve written 30 solo pieces, half of which are in the country styleBilly Currie's 2001 Keys and the Fiddle album is being reissued by Burning Shed (BSHED2302). Howe guests on and co-wrote one track, "Sojourn".
Due 28 Apr 2023 is Permanent Dream (SOUMCD065), a new version of Tomorrow's 1968 eponymous debut album, re-imagined by Howe (with help from Curtis Schwartz). Available on CD, black vinyl or limited edition violet vinyl. The album has been, according to promo, "post-produced using the technology now available on the balance and edits to enhance and re-present what the band were trying to achieve 55 years ago!" It is billed as having been "remastered from the original mono mixes", but post-production has been extensively used. They used iZotope's RX 9/RX 10 sound editing software. All three surviving Tomorrow members (Howe, drummer John "Twink" Alder and singer Keith West) were involved in the release. This version includes some less well-known studio tracks, a new title, running order and art by the Gottlieb Brothers. There are liner notes by Howe and Twink. Tracks:
Thus, "Shy Boy" and "Auntie Mary's Dress Shop" from the
original album is omitted. In an Apr
2023 interview, Howe explained by calling the songs
"filler". Howe described the process of making the album
in another Apr
He continued: "nobody's really heard the mono for a while and also we put a slight bit of phasing on a couple of bits in it just to kind of simulate a little from the stereos."
The album made #16 in the UK Independent Album Breakers Chart (5 May 2023), which covers "independently-released albums [...] by an artist who has not yet reached the Top 40". "My White Bicycle" is included on a digital sampler album available through Prog issue #142 (Aug 2023).
& other news
Howe's autobiography, "All My Yesterdays" (Omnibus Press; 352 pages; ISBN: 978-1785581793), was published Apr 2020 in the UK, with a US release in Sep (distributed by IPG). Howe was working on the book for some years and finished it in 2019. In 2020, he described starting writing the book in 2009. However, at the Steve Howe Appreciation Society workshop in Jun 2005, Howe read a chapter from what he described as the autobiography he was writing. In a Feb 2011 interview, asked about his autobiography, Howe said:
Quite a few years ago I started talking about the fact that Iíd written up quite a lot of my book. What I did, I got up to 1972, I think, in the book. And that was quite an achievement. What happened was, that Iíve had so much other things to do, I havenít really addressed that very much. But I have a plan. The plan is about expansion [...] I look at those 15,000 words and I think, ĎRight, well, that isnít quite right, it isnít quite thick enough, there isnít quite enough depth,í so I want to bring a little more to it. So when I get another block period, Iíll get back to it [...] What itís about is work in music. [...] My book will be about my work [Ö] I hope to finish it, maybe even next year . [...] It might be a realistic plan to have it out by 2012.
Asked about it in Feb 2015, Howe replied on Facebook:
"it's in the works. It could be out in the Spring, next
year ". That didn't happen, but a Jul
2017 interview with him described plans for a
two-part memoir, which he hopes to deliver to his
publisher before the end of this year  for
publication during 2018." Final publication took a bit
Howe was also among those interviewed for Ian L Clay's "Thinking
About Tomorrow Ė Excerpts from the Life of Keith West",
about Howe's bandmate in Tomorrow, Keith West. The book
was published in 2021.
Iíve been thinking about it since the first collection is now out of print [...] Iíve had some ideas about something more like a Steve Howe catalog of great guitars that I did keep, because since then Iíve traded, given, and sold instruments; a few a year, so that my collection would get smaller. [...] itís more about things that, over the last thirty or forty years, I still value, as oppos ed to when the book was done, I was having a great time; buying shed-loads of guitars, and that doesnít interest me now. [...] I have done some preparation, itís just a matter of when and if I put it into action.
NVP (Nicolet Vidťo
Productions) described on
their website filming in Oct 2008 a 3D film and an
accompanying one-hour, 2D film about Howe, but Howe says in the
autobiography that the footage was lost. In a Jan 2009 interview for Notes from the
Edge, Howe talked about "a lot of my films that I've
been preparing for many years that will eventually come out on a
DVD" (including performances of "Corkscrew"), which may have been
related to this project or be something else. Howe has previously
talked about a documentary of his career, concentrating on his
solo work from 1975-1994. In his autobiography (finished 2019), he
again talks about hoping to do a DVD compilation, mentioning a
performance by The Syndicats on the BBC's The Beat Room
and his 3-track promo video for his debut solo album, Beginnings.
Any news, additions or corrections, please e-mail Henry Potts. Thanks.