Today we lost another good one: legendary rock / blues guitarist JOHNNY WINTER. He was 70.
Back in the late 60’s / early 70’s, many of Johnny’s contemporaries called him the best white-blues guitar player around. That’s not faint praise when there guys like Clapton kicking around.
Johnny is of a league of Texas blues players that starts with the “3 Kings of the blues” – all from Texas = BB King – Albert King – Freddie King. Johnny, like fellow Texan Stevie Ray Vaughan was an interpretive player. Johnny worked on both rock and blues stages. Johnny’s first band included his younger brother Edgar – who later went on to success of his own with the hits Frankenstein and Free Ride. In the early 70’s a young whip named Rick Derringer joined his band. Johnny produced Derringer’s breakout single “Rock & Roll Hoochie Coo” but not before cutting his own refined version.
Johnny Winter's blazing virtuosity brought new life to standards by The Stones & Dylan but his best work was playing the blues. In 1977 Johnny brought together Muddy Waters with many of his legendary sidemen. He produced and performed on 3 albums of gritty, hard blues including a definitive “new” version of the classic Mannish Boy. All three albums won Grammy Awards. Over time earned the respect as a living blue legend himself. Johnny has been in the limelight but he’s never stopped faithfully playing to his legions of fans.
Johnny Winter will always be “still and well” in our hearts and minds.