Where are they now? - Steve Howe

This page last updated: 8 May 2020
 
YES and projects with several Yesmen
Jon
Anderson
Chris
Squire
Steve
Howe
Alan
White
Geoff
Downes
Trevor
Horn
Tony
Kaye
Peter
Banks
Patrick
Moraz
Bill
Bruford
Rick
Wakeman
Trevor
Rabin
Billy
Sherwood
Igor Khoroshev
Oliver Wakeman

BenoÓt David
Jon Davison
Asia
CIRCA:
Yes ft. Anderson Rabin Wakeman
Others associated with the band

On this page: Solo projects - Album with Virgil - Steve Howe Trio - Guest appearances

On other pages: Yes news - Asia

Steve Howe's official sites: Homepage - News - MySpace page - Official YouTube - Official Facebook - Twitter

Yes
Howe remains in Yesósee details on main news page.

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. On 7 May, he posted on Facebook about "Recording my koto on a new song!"

Solo
Howe's next solo album, entitled Love Is, is due on BMG Records on CD, download and 180g black vinyl. It is now expected 31 Jul 2020. (It was originally announced for 17 Apr 2020, but then delayed, then there were multiple conflicting reports, but we now have clarity again.) 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 (worked with Yes) drums throughout, recording his parts around 2018. The album was engineered and produced by Steve, with Curtis Schwartz contributing further 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." Tracks:

  1. "Fulcrum", instrumental
  2. "See Me Through"
  3. "Beyond the Call", instrumental
  4. "Love is a River", with steel and acoustic guitars
  5. "Sound Picture", instrumental
  6. "It ain't Easy", start of LP side B
  7. "Pause for Thought", instrumental
  8. "Imagination", dedicated to his granddaughter Zuni
  9. "The Headlands", instrumental
  10. "On the Balcony"

The album dates back some years. Davison talked to a fan in 2014 about recording bass for a Steve Howe solo album. A report by the Steve Howe Appreciation Society around the beginning of 2019 had a solo album and a Trio album due in the year: the latter was released in Sep 2019 (see below), while the former is presumably Love Is, due Apr. In the Feb 2018 issue of Eclipsed, Howe had described a solo album as almost finished and that 2018 could see both a solo and a Trio album released. In a Jul 2019 article, asked about doing a new Yes album, Howe said: "we'll see [...] We certainly still write music. I have a new solo album in progress, so I'm obviously writing." That might have been a reference to the Trio album, but it seems to be about Love Is. In his Apr 2020 Facebook post, Howe said the album had been "finalized [2019]".



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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.

An Apr 2020 interview describes Howe as planning solo shows for autumn 2020.

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 previously released Motif Volume 1, a solo guitar album consists of existing pieces plus four new compositions. Howe explained that the album:

is the first part of a collection that will cover all my solo "one man" guitar tunes. Several solos have premiered on group CDs, or live CDs. There seemed no one place to go to reference this most enjoyable aspect of my work. These tunes have become my exclusive repertoire, allowing my writing a long leash, arranging opportunities, and the pick of any tune that I want to interpret.

[...] This was to build up a complete overview of my solo guitar music, afresh in the studio. I've occasionally changed the style of guitar used on previously released tunes, and recorded the first studio versions of others.

He has been working on a second volume, due "perhaps this year [2009]" 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 [2012]" for when it will appear. In another Oct 2011 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

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".

"High Flyer" on Howe's 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 with friends".

Virgil & Steve Howe
Nexus was an album by Virgil & Steve Howe. Steve's son, Virgil unexpectedly passed away in mid-Sep 2017. An interview with Steve pointed 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." Likewise, in the Feb 2018 issue of Eclipsed, Howe said there was enough material for a second album in a similar style.

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. It doesn't obviously fit anything we know.

The Steve Howe Trio
The Steve Howe Trio brings together Steve on electric guitar, son Dylan Howe on drums and Ross Stanley (Dylan Howe Quintet) on Hammond XK3 organ. They released a new, instrumental album, New Frontier (Esoteric Antenna (Cherry Red)), on 27 Sep 2019 on CD (EANTCD1077) and 180g LP (EANTLP1077); sample on Facebook. 3 pieces on the album were co-written by Steve and Bill Bruford. Howe described the album to Prog as "more prog, less jazz and less of our biggest influences - Jimmy Smith and Kenny Burrell". Details at Yescography. Tracks:

  1. "Hiatus" (2:24), by S Howe/Stanley
  2. "Left to Chance" (6:31), by S Howe
  3. "Fair Weather Friend" (4:25), by Bruford/S Howe
  4. "Zodiac" (3:05), by S Howe/Stanley, began when Howe was first writing it as a piece with lyrics
  5. "Gilded Splinter" (3:58), by Bruford/S Howe
  6. "Showdown" (4:35), by Howe; side B of LP starts here
  7. "Missing Link" (5:01), by S Howe/D Howe
  8. "Outer Terrain" (4:59) {but "Outer Limit" according to Cherry Red's website and some early listings}, by S Howe
  9. "Western Sun" (4:31), by S Howe/D Howe
  10. "The Changing Same" (3:51), by Bruford/S Howe


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S Howe played electric guitar, plus acoustic guitar on (1) and (9), and bass on (3) and (9). The album was produced by S Howe, engineered by D & S Howe, and mixed by Ben Farestvedt. It was mastered by Simon Heyworth (on Bruford's recommendation). Photos were by D Howe.

Steve talked about the Bruford co-writes in a Sep 2019 interview, saying:

Bill gave me some tunes years and years ago. They gathered a bit of dust but in this writing period with the Trio I played a couple of these tunes to the guys and they went, ĎOh wow. This is great. Letís arrange this.í

So, again, we developed them and [...] I, in particular, [...] kind of took those ideas on and developed them to which Bill wanted to share in the credit with me because he felt I had kind of brought them back into the frame by development.

[...]

music in a way often gets buried. Some good stuff gets buried along the way. I donít think there was a way Bill and I could have done those tunes earlier than this, strangely enough. I didnít have a vehicle and Bill had kind of left them with me and theyíd just sort of sat there. Iíd messed Ė Iíd doodled with them. But once the Trio got hold of them we were able to bring the melodies into line with the other things we were doing.

In an Aug 2019 interview, he said, "it must have been about 10 years ago, or maybe a bit more, when Bill he sent me some tunes Ė just embryonic recordings of the melody Ė and I dabbled with them a bit without really seeing how to use them at the time. But when the Trio were composing different titles, I said 'look guys I've got these tunes, what do you think about these?' And their faces lit up and they said 'this fits, this works, we can take this and build on it!'" That date would be from shortly before Bruford retired.

Asked about touring, Steve said, "We'd love to[,] but we haven't got any plans yet. We'll see how next year's [2020] plan shapes up. We just hope there will be a time when we can." Interviewed on the Yes Music Podcast #403 (Oct 2019), Dylan replied "Maybe" when asked about touring, but said there were no plans as yet.

The album was expected for a while. He described the forthcoming album as having been completed in comments at his 8 Oct 2016 solo show. 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 said:

The Trio have just recorded a new album that should be out next year [2015] 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 [2015] to release that, but if the albumís not ready Ďtil next year [2016], we wonít release it Ďtil next year. Iím not really pushed to do anything.

There has also been talk of a live release. A Mar 2016 interview with Steve opened: "[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".

Guest appearances & collaboration
Howe may guest on Jon Anderson's 1000 Hands: see under Anderson for details.

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 style
Paul 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.

GTR
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 a 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." However, in late 2018, Hackett said there had been discussions around a GTR reunion, but that Howe was not interested.

Hackett 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 was released Feb 2018 (streaming on YouTube). Details in Yescography. He also played the song on his 2018 touring. The song is also on the 6CD/2DVD Broken Skies Ė Outspread Wings (1984-2006) (InsideOut Music), out 5 Oct 2018, that compiles his solo albums Till We Have Faces, Guitar Noir, Darktown, Feedback 86 (which includes Hackett's studio version of GTR's "Prizefighters", co-written by Howe: see in Yescography), To Watch the Storms and Wild Orchids, plus the DVD "Somewhere in South America". All the albums are remastered and there are various bonus tracks, including "When the Heart Rules the Mind 2018", and three previously unreleased live videos and selected 5.1 mixes on the DVDs. The release includes a 60 page book with liner notes, rare photos etc., plus new artwork by Roger Dean.

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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Autobiography & other news
Howe has written an autobiography, "All My Yesterdays" (Omnibus Press; 352 pages; ISBN: 978-1785581793), published Apr 2020 in the UK, with a US release following 3 Sep (distributed by IPG). The book includes previously unseen photos and a discography. It was as high as #49 in Rock Music (Books) and #55 in Rock Band Biographies on US Amazon (16 Feb). Howe was to talk about the book at a 16 Apr 2020 launch event in London: he was to be in conversation with Jo Kendall of Prog magazine. Further book store appearances were also planned. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was cancelled. The organisers are looking to re-schedule at some point.

Howe has been working on the book for some years and finished it in 2019. 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 [2012]. [...] 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 [2016]". 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 [2017] for publication during 2018." Final publication took a bit longer.


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. 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.



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YES and projects with several Yesmen
Jon
Anderson
Chris
Squire
Steve
Howe
Alan
White
Geoff
Downes
Trevor
Horn
Tony
Kaye
Peter
Banks
Patrick
Moraz
Bill
Bruford
Rick
Wakeman
Trevor
Rabin
Billy
Sherwood
Igor Khoroshev
Oliver Wakeman

BenoÓt David
Asia
CIRCA:
Anderson Rabin Wakeman
Others associated with the band

Any news, additions or corrections, please e-mail Henry Potts. Thanks.