The legendary singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist Steve Winwood has signed a new deal with Columbia Records who will release the artist's highly-anticipated new major label album, "Nine Lives," on Tuesday, April 29.

The eagerly-awaited "Nine Lives" is Winwood's first full-length studio album since About Time, released on Winwood's own independent label, Wincraft, in 2003; and it opens an important new chapter in Steve's extraordinary career. The musician also recently announced that he will head out on a national tour with Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers this summer for shows across the U.S.

Each of the nine tracks on the aptly-titled "Nine Lives" paints a musical portrait of spiritual transformation as Winwood continues the exploration of soul, rock, blues and world music which began in 1957, when, at the age of 9, he played guitar in his father's band in Birmingham, England.

Songs on "Nine Lives" include "I'm Not Drowning," "Fly," "Raging Sea," "Dirty City," "We're All Looking," "Hungry Man," "Secrets," "At Times We Do Forget," and "Other Shore." Additionally, fellow musical legend Eric Clapton lends guitar work to "Dirty City."

News of Steve Winwood's "Nine Lives" comes in the wake of a transcendent live collaboration between Winwood and his erstwhile Blind Faith bandmate Eric Clapton at the Chicago Crossroads Guitar Festival in July 2007. The pair's staggering on-stage chemistry in Chicago led to the announcement of three historic Steve Winwood & Eric Clapton concerts at New York's fabled Madison Square Garden, scheduled for February 25, 26 and 28, 2008. Tickets for all three of Winwood's MSG shows with Clapton sold-out within minutes of their release.

Winwood (who turns 60 this year) was perhaps the youngest member of the original British pop music invasion of the mid-1960s. A prodigious guitarist and keyboard player in the Birmingham R&B scene by his mid-teens, Winwood cut his musical chops as a back-up musician for an impressive array of American rock & roll and blues pioneers -- including Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley -- during their UK tours.

In 1962, Steve and his older brother, Muff Winwood, began playing with Spencer Davis and drummer Pete York in The Rhythm & Blues Quartet, an ensemble which would eventually morph into the Spencer Davis Group. An intensely powerful and emotional vocalist and formidable songwriter, Steve Winwood launched an enormously influential "blue-eyed soul" movement with hits like "Keep On Runnin'," "Somebody Help Me," and, especially, the massively successful pop-soul anthem, "Gimme Some Lovin'." Originally released in 1966, "Gimme Some Lovin'" entered the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1996. Winwood left the Spencer Davis Group in 1967 to form the groundbreaking jazz-rock ensemble Traffic.

In 1966, as "Gimme Some Lovin' transformed the pop landscape, the 18-year-old Steve Winwood entered into his first collaboration with Eric Clapton, recording three songs -- "Steppin' Out," "Crossroads," and "I Want To Know" -- as the Powerhouse (a group which also included future Cream bassist Jack Bruce). Winwood and Clapton would join forces again in 1969 to create Blind Faith, one of pop music's first bona fide supergroups, with drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Rick Grech.

Following the break-up of Traffic in 1974 (they would reform and successfully tour in the 1990s), Steve Winwood launched a successful solo career which reached an apogee in the mid-1980s with the release of four classic albums in a row: Arc of a Diver (1981, platinum); Talking Back To The Night (1982); Back In The High Life (1986, 3x platinum), which featured the #1 smash, "Higher Love," which earned Winwood a trio of Grammys including "Record of the Year"; and the #1 Billboard chart-topping Roll With It (1988, 2x platinum).

Through his unparalleled five-plus decades career, Steve Winwood has remained an in-demand session player, contributing his signature sound to an amazing variety of projects for artists including Jimi Hendrix ("Electric Ladyland"), Joe Cocker ("With A Little Help From My Friends"), Leon Russell ("Leon Russell"), Lou Reed ("Berlin"), George Harrison ("Dark Horse," "George Harrison"), Toots & the Maytals ("Reggae Got Soul"), Marianne Faithfull ("Dangerous Acquaintances"), David Gilmour ("About Face"), Tina Turner ("Break Every Rule"), Billy Joel ("The Bridge"), James Brown ("Gravity"), Rosanne Cash ("King's Record Shop"), Jimmy Buffett ("Hot Water"), Phil Collins ("But Seriously"), Etta James ("Right Time"), Paul Weller ("Stanley Road"), and Christina Aguilera ("Back To Basics"), among many others.

The private Steve Winwood is an outdoorsman who loves hiking and walking, and a dedicated family man who spends his Sundays playing the organ and singing in his church choir.

With "Nine Lives," Steve Winwood opens up his world and gives his fans, old and new, nine new reasons to celebrate the life and music of this ageless, and still prodigious, musical treasure.

"Dirty City"

Steve Winwood Tour Dates (With Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers):
5/30 Grand Rapids, MI Van Andel Arena
5/31 Detroit, MI The Palace
6/5 Wilkes-Barre, PA Wachovia Center
6/8 Bristow, VA Nissan Pavillion At Stone Ridge
6/10 Pittsburgh, PA Post- Gazette Pavilion
6/11 Hartford, CT New England Dodge Music Center
6/13 Boston, MA Td Banknorth Garden
6/17 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
6/18 Boston, MA Prudential Center
6/21 Darien Ctr, NY Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
6/22 Cuyahoga Falls, OH Blossom Music Center, Stadium
6/25 Hollywood , CA Hollywood Bowl
7/2 Chicago, IL United Center
7/3 Noblesville, IN Verizon Wireless Music Center
7/8 Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center
7/9 Alpharetta , GA Verizon Wireless Amp At Encore Park
7/11 Charlotte, NC Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
7/12 Raleigh, NC Walnut Creek Amphitheater
7/15 Sunrise, FL Bankatlantic Center
7/16 Tampa-St.Petersburg, FL St. Pete Times Forum
7/19 Denver, CO Dick's Sporting Goods Park
7/20 Omaha, ne Qwest Center
7/22 Kansas City, MO Sprint Center
7/23 Minneapolis, MN Target Center, Arena
8/7 Maryland Hts, MO Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
8/15 Quincy, WA Gorge Amphitheater
8/16 Quincy, WA Gorge Amphitheater
8/20 Glendale, AZ Jobing.Com Arena
8/23 San Francisco, CA Tba
8/26 Selman City, TX Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
8/27 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
8/29 The Woodlands, TX The Woodlands