Where are they now? - Steve Howe

This page last updated: 3 Apr 2014
 
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

Benoît David
Asia
CIRCA:
Anderson & Wakeman
Others associated with the band

On this page: Solo projects - Guest appearances

On other pages: Yes news - Asia

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

Yes & Asia
Howe is in Yes—see details on main news page. He amicably left Asia in early 2013 after several years with the reunion line-up in order to focus on other activities, saying, "Myself and the band wish to thank their fans for the enthusiasm shown during the original members' reunion. I will continue with Yes, and with my trio and solo guitar work. I wish my friends continued success." On his website, he said, "I have left Asia to concentrate on Yes, my solo work & my Trio. I've enjoyed the 6 years of touring and recording with Asia, but now it's time to focus more on the above mentioned formations." In an Apr 2013 interview, Howe explained: "it was was the end of last year [2012] that made me realize that this being on call was really too much. I couldn't keep either really happy. I was either making Yes miserable or Asia miserable, because of the other one being in existence."

Solo
Howe is on a solo tour of England later this year: 12 dates 11-28 Sep have been announced.

Howe was on a solo tour of the UK, with 10 dates from 14-29 Jun 2013. The 15 Jun show included, in no particular order: "Masquerade", "Ram", "Beginnings", "Surface Tension", "Corkscrew", "The Valley of Rocks", "The Little Galliard", "Pyramidology", "Mood for a Day", "Roundabout", "Clap", "Close to the Edge" (excerpt), "To be Over", "Devon Blue", "Leaves of Green", "Laughing with Larry", "Sketches in the Sun", "J's Theme" and "Second Initial".

Steve Howe's Cross Styles Music Retreat (19-23 Aug; Facebook) is a 4-day "camp" in Big Indian, NY, part of the Musics Masters series (past artists have included Crimson ProjeKct, Dweezil Zappa, Richard Thompson), with workshops on multiple topics, solo performances, jams, Q&A sessions and other activities; Howe was supported by two other guitarists, Ray Matuza (worked with Steve Howe, Ian McDonald, Annie Haslam) and Flavio Sala (working with Steve Howe). Also involved is Martin Guitar archivist Dick Boak. Tony Levin visited the event.

Howe's latest solo album was Time (Warner Classics; samples now available). The album was 5 years in the making and saw Howe working with a classical ensemble. Tracks:
  1. "Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 (Aria)" by Heitor Villa-Lobos; official video
  2. "King's Ransom"
  3. "Cantata No.140 (Wachet Auf)" by Johann Sebastian Bach; official video
  4. "Orange"; official video
  5. "Purification"
  6. "Rose"
  7. "The Explorer"
  8. "Kindred Spirits" by Steve's son Virgil Howe
  9. "Concerto Grosso in D Minor Op. 3, No. 11" by Antonio Vivaldi
  10. "The 3rd of March"
  11. "Steam Age"
  12. "Apollo"
The project is a collaboration with Paul K. Joyce (wrote music for "Bob the Builder", "The Worst Witch", "Fimbles"; ex-Sense; orchestrations, keys). Howe contacted Joyce after reading an interview with him in 2007 and they started working on the album, based on material Howe had accumulated, including some he had worked on with Paul Sutin. The album includes three versions of 'classical' pieces (as detailed above), original compositions by Howe, material by Joyce and son Virgil (who also guests on keys), and material written with Paul Sutin. Howe discussed the project in an Oct 2011 interview:

Howe: it's a Steve Howe meets orchestra kind of record. We do two kinds of music--we do traditional classical pieces and we do some original pieces. I hope you like it, it's a very special album that's taken a lot of work and it's really been worked on. It's got a real orchestra on it, so there's no compromise. [...]

I was working on this idea with my friend Paul Sutin over in Switzerland. He had some music and I played on it. So, about four or five years ago, I got some of this music and it's kind of almost there, but we hadn't had a complete album. I met up with the composer and conductor on some of the songs on the record, Paul K. Joyce. Basically, he and I got stuck into this idea, and he had a lot to contribute in how we could make this really beautiful record. We gradually developed it with the synthesized orchestra first so we could see how it was shaping up with my guitar work, and develop it. [...] we then said we need the real orchestra. We went into British Grove studios in London and all of the people came in--harp, horn, violin, all of that kind of stuff. Then with the arrangements Paul had done, they played it all and they had real instruments. So, we then gave it to Curtis Schwartz, who mixed all of my solo albums [...]

Interviewer: Are there any songs on this record that you had and looked back on and thought, "Wow, this is a great track"?

Howe: [...] Sutin wrote a track that we rearranged considerably called "The Explorer." On this track, I play a 12-string Steinberger guitar, with a classical ensemble and that tune really worked out well. Another favorite of mine is "Rose." It's a Spanish guitar tune that I wrote, it's a melodic tune where I don't really play much more than single notes. Some of the other ones are more involved, like when I play Bach, it's really more involved, and those are some of the more enjoyable pieces to play [...]

We would like next year [2012] to do some shows and take 12 people and play this live. That would be a luxury. We would be hoping that there would be some other forms of watching us play and do this. We would love to tour, but that's not the big emphasis at the moment.

An Apr 2013 interview reports that Howe is in talks with Warner Classical about a follow-up. In a Feb 2013 interview, Howe talked about possibly doing another solo album along similar lines to Time. He also mentions another project. While talking about working with his sons Virgil and Dylan, he says, "Virgil has collaborated on Spectrum and other albums. We've got an on-going thing. [...] In fact, they'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.

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:

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:

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

Homebrew 5 (Howe Sounds) is out digitally in the UK and US, with a UK physical release following 15 Jul. The album contains ideas and material used on Fly from Here, Asia's XXX & Omega, and Howe's solo album, Spectrum. Tracks:
  1. "Bumpy Ride" (1:29)
  2. "Yang" (2:44), used as the extensions of "Hour of Need" for the 'full-length' version on the Japanese release of Fly from Here
  3. "Solitaire Excerpt" (2:23)
  4. "Hairpin Bend" (1:39), used as part of "Into the Storm"
  5. "Recollection" (4:15), used in "No Religion" on XXX
  6. "Silver" (3:56), used as "Reno (Silver and Gold)" on XXX
  7. "The Other Sphere" (4:15), used in "Judas" on XXX
  8. "Hiding from the Sun" (4:19), used as "Through My Veins" on Omega
  9. "Every Boundary" (3:32), used as "Light the Way" on Omega
  10. "Seven on Seven" (1:11), used as part of "Drop a Stone" on Omega
  11. "Tiger's Den" (0:59)
  12. "Labyrinth" (3:26)
  13. "Ultra Definition" (1:35)
  14. "Raga of Our Times" (2:14)
  15. "Ebb and Flo" (2:05)
  16. "Realm Thirteen" (4:06)
  17. "Highly Strung" (2:18)
  18. "Fool's Gold" (0:50)
  19. "Where Words Fail" (2:10); tracks (11-19) are 2008 demos for Spectrum
  20. "Addicted to You" (1:17), used on Keys to Ascension and previously released in an instrumental form on a prior Homebrew release
  21. "Family Tree" (3:26), electric version of a piece on Natural Timbre

"High Flyer" on the previous 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".

So Far is the name given to a planned 3CD anthology of Steve Howe's career to date with accompanying DVD which was originally due in 2001. This appears to be the same project earlier tentatively entitled Headstock, being compiled by Howe for Rhino. At least at some point, So Far was to include "Traveller" (written by Currie/Howe—Currie: keyboards, viola; Howe: guitar, bass; Toby Anderson: synth) from Billy Currie's 1988 Transportation. Comments from Howe suggest So Far may also include some Yes or Yes-related material. It has been years since anything was heard of this project. An Apr 2013 interview says "Howe is at work on a best-of compilation of his solo work", which may (or may not) be the same project.

In his 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 be the same project. Howe has previously talked about a documentary of his career, concentrating on his solo work from 1975-1994, which may also be somehow related, and two new books, one called "The Guitarist's Survival Kit", 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 I’d 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 I’ve had so much other things to do, I haven’t 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, ‘Right, well, that isn’t quite right, it isn’t quite thick enough, there isn’t quite enough depth,’ so I want to bring a little more to it. So when I get another block period, I’ll get back to it [...] What it’s about is work in music. [...] My book will be about my work […] I hope to finish it, maybe even next year [2012]. [...] It might be a realistic plan to have it out by 2012.

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:

I’ve been thinking about it since the first collection is now out of print [...] I’ve had some ideas about something more like a Steve Howe catalog of great guitars that I did keep, because since then I’ve traded, given, and sold instruments; a few a year, so that my collection would get smaller. [...] it’s 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 doesn’t interest me now. [...] I have done some preparation, it’s just a matter of when and if I put it into action.

NVP (Nicolet Vidéo Productions) described on their website (scroll down to second item) 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.

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. The band toured the UK with 11 dates 6-22 Sep. The London set list was typical: set 1—"Mood for a Day", "My Buzzard Friend" (new piece), "The Ancient" (excerpt), "The Haunted Melody", "Tune Up", "Heart of the Sunrise"; set 2 (52 minutes)—"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 1 (44 minutes)—"Mood for a Day", "My Buzzard Friend" (new piece), "The Ancient" (excerpt), "The Haunted Melody", "Tune Up", "Heart of the Sunrise"; set 2 (52 minutes)—"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". The Stockport show was reported to have an audience of ~150 and to have been filmed in some capacity; London was sold out (120 capacity).

A new studio album has been expected for some months. Dylan had tweeted in Jul 2013 that the album was "soon to be released". 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 — we may decide we like something and we want to do it, but we’re certainly going to combine musical styles to come up with another phase of the trio.

In a Sep 2013 interview, he 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." In an Apr 2014 interview, Howe said, "We've recorded a new album that's all originals –– we're not relying on the jazz repertoire at all."

Steve Howe and Ross Stanley both appear on Dylan Howe's new Subterranean: New Designs on Bowie's Berlin: see under Dylan Howe.

Guest appearances & collaboration
Howe guested on a covers album by Nektar, also featuring Moraz, Geoff Downes, Rick Wakeman and Billy Sherwood. See details on main page.

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."

[...]

"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:

I’ve 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. I’ve written 30 solo pieces, half of which are in the country style

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

Sala's 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 is also participating 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."

Other news
In the Jan 2012 interview, Howe was asked about the possibility of a Tomorrow reunion and said:

[Keith West and I,] we'd love to do it. […] I know Twink would like to do it. […] Keith and I have talked about it quite often. I think he's a bit more retiring than I am […] I think he would jump at it if he felt you could do it.

Jonathan Mover, who drummed in GTR, 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. Two tracks on Steve Hackett's (ex-Genesis, ex-GTR) solo album Beyond the Shrouded Horizon are co-credited to Howe and Mover, through Hackett re-using old GTR ideas: see details under Squire, who guests on the album.


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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

Benoît David
Asia
CIRCA:
Anderson & Wakeman
Others associated with the band

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