Where are they now? - Steve Howe
This page last updated: 4 Feb 2018
On this page: Solo projects - Album with Virgil - Steve Howe Trio - Guest appearances
On other pages: Yes news - Asia
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Howe remains in Yesósee details on main news page.
In an Apr
2016 interview, he 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. One of the upcoming releases has me looking through back
room stuff, but that is a process that doesn't happen overnight."
It is not known what this upcoming release is. A Mar
2017 Q&A described at least 3 forthcoming projects:
Iíve got [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. And other projects with Dylan of course, weíve been having several years working on a trio album thatís absolutely great. And also Iíve done a record with Virgil which is fantasticÖ A duo record.The projects with Virgil and with Dylan are described below. Asked about the possibility of touring the US with his sons and of seeing him perform solo material with a full band, Steve said that was unlikely in 2017 because of his Yes touring commitments, but he goes on to hint at something, saying:
I have a solution but itís just that Iíve been close to doing some things and then realised that it was a bit too much. [...] 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.
Steve Howe's most recent comments on a solo release are immediately above. 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.
Howe played a 14-date UK
solo tour in Oct 2016 in support of Homebrew
6 (see below). Ric French was the guitar tech and did
front-of-house sound. On 8 Oct, Howe played: "Classical Gas",
"Leaves of Green", "J's Theme", "Concerto in D", "Mood for a Day",
"Intersection Blues", "The Golden Mean", "The Remembering"
excerpt/"It was All We Knew", "Solitaire", "To be Over" solo
guitar arrangement, interval, "Cactus Boogie", Mmedley: "Sweet
Thunder/Georgia's Theme/Sovereigns/Rose", "Second Initial", "Hint
Hint"/"Sketches in the Sun", "In the Course of the Day", "The
Valley of Rocks", tribute to Chris medley: "Disillusion/Onward/All
Good People", encore: "Roundabout", "Clap". At the 12 Oct show, he
played a new, as yet untitled piece after "Rose", and "My White
Bicycle" (with vocals) after "Sketches in the Sun". The 21 Oct
Lancaster show was nearly sold out, while the 16 Oct Otley show
was sold out. The 15 Oct Edinburgh show sold 200, and the 13 Oct
Leeds audience was estimated at ~125.
In a Mar
2015 interview for Rhino, Howe said of subsequent touring:
we canít say itís definitely going to happen, but if it can, it may have legs, this idea. I havenít done America solo since 2008 [...] knowing that later in the year  Yes are quite busy, Iím obviously not looking at prolonging the idea too much, but itíll be something similar in length to the UK dates. I juggle whether to do Japan or Australia or America, and I have a loyalty to come back to America [...] Or Canada! [...] I do like solo shows. Theyíre challenging, but I donít find it a stressful challenge. Yeah, itís something I definitely have a need to keep doing. That gives me a lot of premium and a lot of exploration of what my music is about
Howe released a solo 2CD compilation, Anthology,
in 2015. A 3CD release, Anthology
2: Groups & Collaborations (Rhino), followed 11
Aug 2017. Details
in the Yescography. Tracksódisc 1:
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The last 12 tracks are all previously unreleased and, except
"Running in the Human Race", are with Virgil Howe
on drums. The pieces with Max Bacon come from the period after GTR
and are with S Howe, Bacon (vocals), Phil Spalding (bass) and V
Howe (drums; Nigel Glockner on "Running in the Human Race").
these tracks online in Aug 2017 as being "post GTR '87 stuff
that's never been heard". The Keith West tracks are from 1985.
Album design is by Roger Dean.
On 11 Aug 2017, the album was #71 in Box Sets on Amazon.co.uk
(#474 in physical releases overall).
A 3CD compilation with accompanying DVD was mooted in 2001 under the name So Far, which appears to be the same as a project earlier tentatively entitled Headstock. 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.An Apr 2013 interview reported that Howe was in talks with Warner Classical about a follow-up to his album with a classical ensemble, Time. In a Mar 2015 interview, referring to Time, Howe said, "I'd love to make another record like that". In a Feb 2013 interview, Howe talked about possibly doing another solo album along similar lines to Time.
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."
Howe's previous solo album was Motif Volume 1 (HoweSound).
This solo guitar album consists of existing pieces plus four new
compositions. Howe explained that the album:
He has been working on a second volume, 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 the Oct
2011 interview, he talks of working on Volume 2 and
says "maybe next year " for when it will appear. In another
interview, Howe said:
Yes and Asia have kept me busy
for three years [...] that's got to stop, and I do want to play
solo. I'm a solo guitarist, and that means that I do want to go
out and do it. 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
Promo for his 2015 solo tour still referred to the Motif
series, and in one of the Mar
2015 interviews, Howe said, "I hope to do Volume 2".
6 (Howe Sound, HSCD006) is out in Europe and the US.
The album contains ideas and material used in Yes, ABWH, GTR
and his solo output. Tracks:
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All tracks and instruments are by Howe unless otherwise stated.
Tracks 1, 6, 11, 12 and 14-18 have vocals by Howe. The album was
produced and engineered by Howe, and compiled by Paul K Joyce.
"High Flyer" on the earlier Homebrew
4 was described as having also been developed by GTR for
an unreleased song called "The Future". The liner notes then
continue, "which I plan to release as part of a forthcoming
project called Radar which contains unreleased songs and tunes
Howe has talked about two new books, one called "The Guitarist's Survival Kit", and the second a collaboration. At the Steve Howe Appreciation Society workshop in Jun 2005, Howe read a chapter from an autobiography that he is writing (which I guess may be related to some of these other projects). 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."
In a Q&A
for YesWorld in Jun 2013, Howe was asked about the
possibility of a follow-up to his 1993 book "The Steve Howe Guitar
Collection". He replied:
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. It is unclear what has
happened with this project or how it may be related to the
projects described above.
Back in an Apr
2016 interview, Steve said Virgil had a forthcoming
new album of piano music, supported by him on guitar. At
his 8 Oct 2016 solo show, Steve again referred to an album
that was nearing completion with Virgil. Virgil discussed
the project on a 5 Jul
BBC radio appearance by his band Little
Barrie. He described the album with his father as,
"Something very special to me [...] I had some piano tunes
that I did, just over the years, just little ideas, and he
[Steve] ended up playing guitar on some of them. Then I
ended up putting drums on them, then I ended up mixing
them and putting some more synths on them, and trying to
make them sound cool and not like spa music... I didn't
want like a new age album. So I made it quite trippy,
psychedelic, spacey, it's a space theme kind of thing.
[...] And it's just me and my Dad." In the Sep 2017 issue
of Prog, Steve said the project is a "full-on
collaboration", but that, "it's Virgil's bed and melodies
but I've come in to add a little bit more." He also
described the project: "Although it's got shades of mellow
music, it doesn't sit still. It moves across electronic
music and my guitars [...] it has a current feel."
Compositions are by Virgil and Steve. Virgil played keys,
piano, synths, bass and drums, with Steve on acoustic,
electric and steel guitars. The album was engineered by
the pair, and produced by Virgil. It was mastered by Simon
Heyworth. Cover art is by Virgil's daughter, Zuni, with
photos by sister Stephanie; package design is by Doug & Glenn
Gottlieb, with the logo by Adam Carter. Tracks:
|Buy from Amazon (UK):
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Steve recorded a video for "Leaving Aurora" in tribute and the Dec 2017 interview reports that more are being considered. The interview also points towards a follow-up release: "Initially when I said to him, 'Look, you've got all these tracks,' it was about 20 or so[.] So since Virgil's passed away I've done an update on what's around. There's a fair bit of material there that could be developed into the same sort of area, 'cause I wouldn't like it to be too radically different. But basically there is sufficient music for another adventure."
In a Feb
2013 interview, Steve said how his two sons (Virgil and
Dylan) "[ha]ve just played on a whole project that's not been
released, that's in the pipeline. Virgil plays drums." It's
unclear whether this is related to any of the other projects
discussed on this page.
The Steve Howe
beide dingen zijn bijna klaar, er komt een trio album met Ross Stanley en Dylan Howe en mijzelf. Dat is echt spannend, het is allemaal originele muziek. Er staat een aantal nummers op van Bill Bruford eigenlijk hebben we ze nog (lacht) niet terug gehoord.
In a Sep 2013 interview, Steve said, "We've got a lot
of new material for the new album, and we've been
recording that. [...] [Music] partly of mine, but also
bringing their music into play." At a Sep 2014 solo
show, he said the Trio may change their name to Howe
Stanley Howe. He said in an Aug
2014 interview that in Oct 2014 he will be "doing
recording, and finishing up a new trio album [...]
that's all original in music. No direct Jazz music in it
at all. But we do swing". In an interview
with Vintage Rock conducted around the beginning
of Apr 2014, Howe said: "We're going to release a new
album eventually ó well we've recorded most of it ó
which is completely original, and not relying on a jazz
kind of repertoire, which is maybe going to hold us
back. Because, strictly speaking, I'm not into playing
standards." In a Nov 2014 interview for YesFANZ, Steve
The Trio have just recorded a new album that should be out next year  we hope, which is unlike, The Haunted Melody', because we just thought ďI know what we will try to surprise them or weíll deviate from theÖ.í The program was you know we will take music from my career sometimes but also Jimmy Smith, Kenny Burrell, Roland Kirk. A kind of jazz, but this time itís all original and itís new original music and I think that has been good for us.
He also says he would like to tour in support of the
album. In the Mar 2015 interview, Steve said:
we have almost finished Ė and itís only a hairsbreadth away from being finished Ė a new Steve Howe Trio album. But weíre not in a hurry. [...] Weíre just going to take our time [...] we may be looking at much later in the year  to release that, but if the albumís not ready Ďtil next year , we wonít release it Ďtil next year. Iím not really pushed to do anything.
In an Apr
2013 interview, Steve said the trio would be
working on the album in Apr/May 2013 (presumably after
Yes's touring leg finished 12 Apr). He said of sessions:
Much like I pushed Asia and Yes to keep reinventing themselves, the trio is going through a bit of that. We may decide to do a completely original record this time without any jazz or blues references. We may not get that far ó we may decide we like something and we want to do it, but weíre certainly going to combine musical styles to come up with another phase of the trio.
Dylan had tweeted in Jul 2013 that the album was "soon
to be released". I asked Dylan about the album on
Facebook on 1 May 2014: he replied that it will be
released, "Hopefully end of the year  or before -
still got some o/d's [overdubs] to do and then mix".
Meanwhile, a Mar 2016 interview with Steve opens: "[Howe ha]s spent a bit of time lately sifting through various concert tapes of the Steve Howe Trio [...] for a future live release. [...] "We're going to hone down to a final mix and then we'll look at how we should release it.""
The band last toured in Sep 2013, with 11 UK dates. The London set list was typical: set 1ó"Mood for a Day", "My Buzzard Friend" (new piece), "The Ancient" (excerpt), "The Haunted Melody", "Tune Up", "Heart of the Sunrise"; set 2ó"Dream River", "Devil of a Chance" (new piece), "Siberian Khatru", "Conversation" (originally by Joni Mitchell), "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother", "Blue Bash", "Close to the Edge" (new arrangement compared to Travelling), encore: electric guitar solo piece by Steve, "Kenny's Sound". The Portsmouth set list was shorter: set 1ó"Mood for a Day", "My Buzzard Friend", "The Ancient" (excerpt), "The Haunted Melody", "Tune Up", "Heart of the Sunrise"; set 2ó"Dream River", new piece (probably "Devil of a Chance"), "Siberian Khatru", "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother", "Blue Bash", "Close to the Edge", encore: "Kenny's Sound".
appearances & collaboration
"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."
"Alison asked me why a guy from Yes likes [country] music so much," Steve recalls. "I really got into guitar because of country music. I loved Tennessee Ernie Ford, he was a fantastic jewel. I was so inspired by his playing, I started playing guitar. Then I heard Chet Atkins -- there are a lot of great guitarists but Chet is at the top -- and knew I wanted to go into country music sometime."
Although Steve is now deeply involved with Yes [...] he thinks the time for the collaboration may well be around the corner.
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 stylePaul K Joyce, who collaborated on Howe's solo album Time, launched a Kickstarter to fund Celestial, a contemporary orchestral music project featuring songs, soundscapes and the spoken word. However, it failed to reach its funding goal. The project is inspired by and features the childhood poems of Johnnie Douglas-Pennant, who died aged 17: you can read more about "Johnnie's Poems" in this article. The music was to be performed by a 40-piece orchestra with Howe on guitar and with the poems read by actor Michael Sheen. This builds on Joyce's 2014 commission to set some of the poems to music.
In the Jan
2012 interview, Howe describes planned work with Italian
classical guitarist Flavio
Sala, and then further possible collaborations:
At the moment I've got a sort
of beautiful backlog of guitarists that I'm gonna be playing with. I
met a young guitarist a few years ago, he's only 28, and he
plays amazingly. So I'll play with Flavio Sala [...] He's from
Italy, highly, highly regarded classical guitarist, but he, like
me, he's not really going to be content with one repertoire,
y'know, he's looking to build repertoires, and I hope we're
going to do a couple of tunes together.
[...] of course Steve Morse and I have always had a point in destiny where [...] we're going to do more, but time might run out, we might not do that, but I'd love to do that
[...] Martin Taylor [...] I'd love to get back with him
website describes how he's been inspired by Howe, inter alia, and goes
on that he is "working on new CDs, that will be released
between 2012 and 2014, with classical, pop, flamenco and
fusion repertoire." In a Jul
2012 interview, Howe said, "There's an
Italian guitarist I've been doing a bit with. His name is
Flavio Sala". Sala also participatied in Howe's guitar
retreat in Aug 2013. Discussing the retreat in this Apr
2013 interview, Howe said of Sala: "We started
meeting up and we have recorded a tune together that we're
both sort of holding back to see how we use. So we've done
a duet together."
Howe guests on Sala's "discographical project", Mi
Guitarra y Mis Amores, playing acoustic guitar
on the first piece, "Sabrosa". The piece by Renť Touzet
was recorded at Howe's studio in Jun 2012 and released 21
Dec 2014. Mi Guitarra y Mis Amores is a free, bimonthly
download available by
signing up to Sala's regular mailing list. Others
guesting on the project include Rafael "El Pollo" Brito,
Israel El Pirana, Antonio Serrano, Fabrizio Bosso,
Pasqualino Garzia and Euro Zambrano.
In a Mar 2015 interview, Steve Hackett (ex-Squackett, ex-Genesis) said: "Steve Howe and I just started talking recently about possibilities of things [...] At this point in time, obviously there's a lot of other things on the agenda, first of all. So we'll see how that goes." In an Apr 2016 interview, bassist Phil Spalding discussed the post-GTR demos with Steve Howe/Max Bacon/himself/Robert Berry, but he said there wasn't a second album as such. The interviewer summarises this as "fragments" existing. At which point, Spalding said that "some of those fragments are going to see the light because, believe it or not, I've had some GTR action today [...] between Max and Steve Howe, and Max and Steve Hackett. There is some stuff that Steve Howe has curated and kept that he made with Max and I, he's looking to find an outlet for it." This was presumably reference to Anthology 2 (see above), now out, with 5 of these post-GTR songs, credited to Max Bacon & Steve Howe. Spalding later continued: "On the back of conversations we had today, I'm due [...] to write with [Bacon] because we are... there's something brewing [...] I can't really say that much [...] Max and I have got to go see Hackett too." Are these hints at some new recordings, perhaps tying in with Hackett's 2015 comments?
Hackett has recorded a new version of GTR's "When the Heart Rules the Mind 2018" with himself on vocals and guitar, and with Steve Rothery (Marillion; additional guitar), Amanda Lehmann (additional vocals) and Roger King (keys, programming). A digital single is released 2 Feb 2018 (streaming on YouTube). Details in Yescography. He will also be playing the song on his touring in Feb/Mar 2018, beginning with the Cruise to the Edge.
Jonathan Mover, who drummed in GTR, had announced some years ago that he is planning a "a two volume collection of works from various artists that I've played with over the past twenty or so years. Mainly, a variety of tracks that are dear to me in one way or another and have not had the chance to see the light of day." On his website, he refers to "unreleased GTR (1985)". As GTR was released in 1986, presuming this is not a typo, Mover would appear to be referring to material before the first album.
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||Bodast ft Steve Howe
Esoteric Recordings (Cherry Red) have re-released the Bodast material as Towards Utopia (ECLEC2593), out Sep 2017. Bodast existed for about a year in late 1968/early 1969 and consisted of Howe on guitar, acoustic guitar and bass, Dave Curtis (sometimes Curtiss) on bass and vocals, the late Clive Skinner (later Muldoon) on vocals and acoustic guitar, and Bobby 'Clarke' Woodman on drums. The material was first released as The Bodast Tapes, mixed by Howe, and then as Spectral Nether Street, with the original mixes by producer Keith West, with bonus tracks including 4 by Canto, an earlier version of the band before Skinner joined. This new remastered release consists of the core Bodast material and 3 of the Canto songs, and uses the West mixes. Tracks:
Any news, additions or corrections, please e-mail Henry Potts. Thanks.