Where are they now? - Steve Howe
This page last updated: 25 Dec 2020
On this page: Solo projects - Album with Virgil - Steve Howe Trio - Guest appearances
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Howe remains in Yesósee details on main news page.
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.
On 7 May 2020, he posted on Facebook about "Recording my koto on
a new song!" In another Jul
2020 interview, Howe talked about having "just finished
mixing" a song called "Penance", a vocal version of "Pennants"
from The Steve Howe Album, having recorded it "quite
recently". He continued: "wait for further information on its
Howe's most recent solo album, entitled Love Is, was on BMG Records on CD, download and 180g black vinyl. It came out 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 (worked with Yes) 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." Tracks:
The debut single was "The
Headlands", released 9 Jun and available on
The album dates back some years. In a Jul
2020 interview, Howe said: "my releases cover more
current material and material that I've been holding back
because I like it and I want to kind of get it right
before I release it, so I keep it to myself. So some of
it's taken over ten years to finesse [...] basically it's
taken a long time." In another Jul
2020 interview, he said some songs come from ideas
dating back from before 2010. In an Oct
2020 interview, Howe said, while work on the album
did date back that far, it was "from about 2016, 17, 18, I
started to build up my time I was giving it", but he also
noted that "Love is a River" took a particularly long to
be developed, having been started around 2004/5. In an
interview for the Sep 2020 issue of Goldmine,
Howe said, "I had many more tracks that had to be whittled
down to just 10." 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
below), while the former was 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 the Oct
2020 interview, Howe said he "finished it in the
middle of the year last year ."
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."
Howe previously released Motif Volume 1, a 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:
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".
In his autobiography, finished late 2019, he
said, "I'm now preparing and writing volume two."
In the Oct 2020 interview, Howe said Homebrew 7 is due
"at the beginning of next year ." Likewise,
in a Dec 2020
interview, he said, "I am preparing Homebrew 7"
for an early 2021 release.
"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".
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
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
Asked about touring, Steve said, "We'd love to[,] but we haven't
got any plans yet. We'll see how next year's  plan shapes
up. We just hope there will be a time when we can." Interviewed on
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
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  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.
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 &
Howe guested 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
K Joyce's Celestial (making-of
video) is a contemporary orchestral music project
featuring songs, soundscapes and the spoken word, released
digitally 15 Nov 2019. (Joyce collaborated on Howe's solo
album Time.) The project was 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 is performed by a 40-piece
orchestra with the poems read by actor Michael Sheen. Guests
include Howe on steel guitar (on "I'll Remember You", 4:14),
Jonathan Hill (violin), Chris Watson (sound recordings),
Ashton Henry-Reid (vocals), Stephanie Sounds (vocals on
"Daydream"), and Nikolas Bjerre (drums). Final work was
funded through a Kickstarter
project (after an earlier unsuccessful
attempt). Much of the recording was in 2017-8; the
album was mixed Sep 2018. The album builds on Joyce's 2014
commission to set some of the poems to music. All profits
from streaming/downloading go to cystic fibrosis charities.
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.
Halcyon Days: 60s Mod, R&B, Brit Soul & Freakbeat Nuggets is a 3CD, 87-track compilation due 4 Dec 2020 on Strawberry, a new Cherry Red imprint, covering the development of mod friendly beat music. It includes the previously released "Am I Glad to See You" by The In Crowd, with Howe on guitar.
Howe guested on Queen's song "Innuendo", which is included on the band's Greatest Hits II. The album continues to sell well, partly following the success of the film "Bohemian Rhapsody". It made #25 in Wallonia and #144 in Flanders (the two Belgian charts) in 2020. It was also the 34th best-selling album of the year in Mexico in 2019. Greatest Hits II is then also included on Queen's The Platinum Collection, which also continues to sell well. In 2019, it made #6 in the US (#1 in Rock), as well as charting in many other countries. It was the 7th best-selling album of 2019 in Switzerland, 8th in Poland, 13th in Italy, 17th in the UK, 18th in Australia, 19th in Austria and 39th in New Zealand.
& 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 2020). The book was #5 in Prog magazine's Critics' Choice 2020. Howe was to talk about the book at an 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 were looking to re-schedule at some point. There was an online, ticketed event in conversation with Howe on 8 Nov 2020.
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
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.