I was shocked and devastated to learn of the passing of one of my musical heroes, the legendary Texas Blues-Rock guitar slinger, Johnny Winter.
I remember hearing The Progressive Blues Experiment album when I was in my preteens and was mesmerized by his fast, clean playing along with a very gritty, deeply rooted slide guitar playing. Johnny Winter And Live which features some heavyweights of 70’s Rock, guitarist, Rick Derringer, and killer drummer, Bobby Caldwell, taught me how to be exciting live within the Blues-Rock context but also have moments of quiet subtlety.
I think the ultimate favourite Johnny Winter track for me would be Mean Town Blues, from the Progressive Blues Experiment album. I just love how that boogie riff chugs so nicely on top of that solid and swinging Rock beat. Plus, it also contains one of my favourite guitar solos of all time. Another one would be his cover of Bob Dylan’s Highway 61, renamed as Highway 61 Revisted, from his Second Winter album. His voice, his badass slide guitar playing and that real tough texas shuffle just got to me in a real powerful way.
Thank you, Johnny Winter, for the years of inspiration. Your uncompromising approach to to the Blues, your steadfast belief in being rooted in tradition no matter how far out you take things, is a huge example for me to follow. You truly exemplified the phrase, “Looking back in order to know how to move forward.” The coolest thing about you also is that you always gave credit to the early Masters along the way.
Have a great time jamming up there with all the greats!