Johnny Winter

Johnny Winter: Blues Legends Evolve

Lets find out what is behind a great blues legend of our times. Mississippi Blues Club had the pleasure to speak with Johnny Winter about his past, present, and future.

Johnny Winter is a cordial man, who was raised in Beaumont, Texas. Winter states, “I had a passion for the blues as a young musician growing up with racial tensions surrounding me at that time. I enjoyed listening to blues on a black radio station KJET, and began playing in my first blues band Johnny and The Jammers, releasing School Day Blues, at the age of 15.”

Since his early beginnings with blues music, Johnny Winter has played with many legendary artists such as Jimi Hendrix, John Lee Hooker, Janis Joplin, Stevie Ray, and the list of legends continues on… Winter is most recognized for performing with Muddy Waters, introducing electric blues to the world, while jolting an evolution of electric blues music into rock n’ roll. Johnny played on Muddy Waters’ Grammy Award winning albums Hard Again, I’m Ready, Muddy Waters Live and King Bee.

Johnny Winter’s solo career evolved into a very successful career. Winter had the largest solo record signing with Columbia Records in 1969. He played the original Woodstock Three Days of Love and Peace music festival, after signing his recording contract. He was inducted into The Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1988. Winter’s signature “Firebird Guitar” was released and endorsed with Gibson Guitar manufacturing. Winter has been on the cover of the first Guitar World publication, in 1989. As time evolves, we were pleased to place Johnny Winter on the cover of our first printed magazine, Mississippi Blues Club’s “Collectors Edition”, distributed in January 2012.

Johnny Winter is a legend, who continues to perform on a vigorous tour schedule, he states “It is what I do best.” Winter released his latest recording Roots, in September 2011, with the assistance of his producer-band member Paul Nelson, who performed and lined up contributing musicians on the recording. Somehow Roots slipped through the cracks for a Blues Music Award nomination, Winter admitted, “I’m a bit thrown back by this.” Roots has all the ingredients you would expect from a legendary blues-rock artist’s recording, featuring a lineup of talent that adds blues prestige and quality to every track.

In the meantime, Johnny Winter celebrates his 70th birthday, February 23, 2014, with a show at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grille in New York City, and the legendary artist shows no signs of slowing down. Multiple music projects are being released by Winter, including a four-CD boxed set True to the Blues: The Johnny Winter Story, releasing February 25, 2014, with distribution through A documentary on Winter’s life, which includes footage shot as a crew traveled with Winter to gigs around the world during the past two years, will debut at the SXSW Film Festival. The film is titled Johnny Winter: Down and Dirty, due to release in March of 2014. Johnny Winter’s Roots II, has an anticipated release date later in the Spring of 2014, featuring a compilation CD by Winter joined by a host of outstanding performers, including Eric Clapton, Billy Gibbons, Joe Bonamassa and keyboard wizard Dr. John.

Winter states, “I look forward to playing,” adding that he is happy to play clubs and concerts with his current band or in the studio with music legends. “I’m enjoying everything. If I didn’t like it, I probably wouldn’t do it. I’ve pretty much got it down by now,” he replied.

So how does a blues legend evolve? It requires pure blues passion and Johnny Winter still has it!

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Content provided by Johnny Winter
Interview Article Writer: Dew Allen-Wiuff