Johnny Winter
American blues guitarist, singer, and record producer
Johnny Winter
John Dawson "Johnny" Winter III is an American blues guitarist, singer, and producer. Best known for his late 1960s and 1970s high-energy blues-rock albums and live performances, Winter also produced three Grammy Award-winning albums for blues legend Muddy Waters. Since his time with Waters, Johnny Winter has recorded several Grammy-nominated blues albums and continues to tour extensively.
Johnny Winter's personal information overview.
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Twenty five Great Jazz Flute Performances
Huffington Post - about 1 year
I recently reviewed an album from the flautist Sam Most recorded in 1978 titled From the Attic of My Mind. He was a fabulous player and an influential creative innovator on his instrument. Unfortunately flute is not often seen as a major jazz instrument, but often relegated to an occasional sidekick to the saxophone. It got me to thinking about some of the other great jazz flute performances that I have heard over the years and so I decided it might be fun to make a list and share them, perhaps eliciting a response. While I'm sure it is not in anyway complete, it does represent some of the most brilliant playing that I have heard on the instrument. Here are some of my favorite and memorable jazz flute performances in no particular order. Sam Most and Joe Farrell "Hot House" from Flute Talk 1979 The incomparable Yusef Lateef : "Yesterdays" From a live Concert at Jazz Harmonie , Paris 1972 James Moody w/ Dizzy Gillespie's Band live from a concert in 1965 on th ...
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Huffington Post article
Janis Joplin: 'Who You Are Is What You Settle For, You Know?'
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Ronald Tiersky December 2015 Documentary: "Janis Joplin: Little Girl Blue" (2015) Janis Joplin: "Who you are is what you settle for, you know?" Janis Joplin was my generation. Born in 1943, she was found dead at the Landmark Motor Hotel in Hollywood at twenty-seven years old from a heroin overdose. She was a kind of landmark herself, another piece in the crazy quilt carnival of American life in the 60s. She was an American original in the sense that she was influenced by her times but the psychedelic country rock blues and soul singer she became was her own creation. There was no pop artist quite like Janis -- just as there was nobody quite like a lot of people in those years. Joplin was an existentialist although she probably never read Jean-Paul Sartre or Simone de Beauvoir. 'What you do is who you are,' goes the proverb. Sartre wrote that "existence precedes essence," meaning that a person is a kind of blank slate until his or her identity emergences out of choice ...
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Huffington Post article
Hot 'Effing' Tuna Takes the Beacon Theater By Storm
Huffington Post - about 2 years
It's often been said, "There's nothing like a Grateful Dead concert." While that's certainly true, there is also nothing like a Hot Tuna concert. Unlike Dead Heads, Tuna Fans tend to be more rowdy and aggressive, less "Peace and Love, man" and more likely to scream out "Hot Fuckin Tuna" to regularly startle everybody. The most recent Beacon Theater' Hot Tuna' concert on December 13, 2014 was exemplary in every way. And, it was the Beacon Theater that always makes it a grand Tuna affair. When Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady play together, whether it's an acoustic show or righteously electric, Hot Tuna fans show up in force. And they're generally not playing hackey sack or selling bean sprout wraps in the parking lot. Much more likely to find them in close-by bars drinking beer and talking about "Come Back Baby" from the Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey on 11/20/76. While rowdier, Hot Tuna fans love their Jack & Jorma and each other. When Jack & Jo ...
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Huffington Post article
Correction: Switzerland-Obit-Winter story
Yahoo News - over 2 years
GENEVA (AP) — In a story July 17 about the death of Texas blues legend Johnny Winter, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Winter's last performance was on July 12 at the Lovely Days Festival in Wiesen, Austria. His last performance was on July 14 at the Cahors Blues Festival in southwestern France, not July 12 in Austria.
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Yahoo News article
Blues legend Johnny Winter dies
CNN - over 2 years
American blues guitarist and singer Johnny Winter died Wednesday in a hotel room in Switzerland, his representative said Thursday.
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CNN article
Remembering blues guitar legend Johnny Winter
USA Today - over 2 years
He was on tour in Europe.           
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USA Today article
Texas Monthly: A Bluesman Looks Back, Through a Few Old Songs
NYTimes - about 3 years
Johnny Winter celebrates his forthcoming 70th birthday with a new box set, “True to the Blues: The Johnny Winter Story,” and a new documentary film, “Johnny Winter: Down & Dirty.”     
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NYTimes article
Conversations with The Fray's Isaac Slade, Los Lonely Boys' Henry Garza, Graham Colton and Michael Schenker, Plus a Jordan Mayland & The Thermal Detonators Exclusive
Huffington Post - about 3 years
A Conversation with The Fray's Isaac Slade Mike Ragogna: How do you feel you did on your recent Jimmy Kimmel appearance and does performing on network television for millions get you guys a teensy bit nervous before or during a performance or are you hardcore broadcast warriors by now? Isaac Slade: You know, I do still get nervous. Usually, when we're trying something new--new song with new lyrics, new city we've never played in. We've done Kimmel enough though that he puts me right at ease. He's so chill, helps a lot. We always say, "Hey," side stage right before we play. Jimmy's a class act. MR: Can you take us on a quick tour of Helios' songs, it's creation, et cetera? IS: Yeah. We started writing Helios last January. We hammered out maybe three dozen songs, all over the map. Wrote with a handful of other writers on this album, which we've never done before. It was thrilling to see how the real pros get it done. We put together band demos at our studio in Denver and then start ...
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Huffington Post article
The Enduring Legacy of Stevie Ray Vaughan
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Having sneaked backstage at a C.W. Post College concert on Long Island in 1979, my buddies and I furtively moved around the backstage area, not wanting to attract any attention and look like we belonged. We did not want to get kicked out. Trying to appear as if we were deep in appropriate backstage conversation, we looked over and there was the target of our admiration and backstage list shenanigans, Stevie Ray Vaughan (SRV) on a pay phone, deep in conversation. He wore the hat, slung low over his eyes and when he finally hung up (it seemed like forever as we waited) and walked our way, his sparkly eyes fixed upon us and he said, "How y'all?" We chattered like excited schoolgirls in his wake and to this day, have a story for the ages. There are lots of grizzled rock 'n rollers like me with stories like that about Stevie Ray. He was that kind of guitarist: part Hendrix, part Clapton, part B.B. King and had oh so many influences. Jeff Beck, Albert King, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, ...
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Huffington Post article
Johnny Winter coming to Larcom Theatre
Boston Globe - over 3 years
For 40 years Johnny Winter has been a guitar hero without equal.     
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Boston Globe article
Binky Philips: Summer of 1970, Part II: Gopher-ing for the Coolest Guitar Shop in New York City, Wearing My Granny Takes A Trip Boots, and Meeting "Keith Richards With..."
Huffington Post - over 3 years
When last we were wasting time together, I'd been in London for 13 days during the second half of June, 1970. I'd plunked down the enormous sum of $65.00 US for a pair of wild custom-made boots from the coolest clothes/shoes store in the world, Granny Takes A Trip. But, at the last minute, they weren't ready in time for me to wear on the plane. This made my flight home extra miserable. Not only was I leaving my newly-beloved London, but, I was leaving without my long-dreamt-of rock star footwear. So, enough exposition... here we go... Back in Brooklyn, I was now itching for the mailman every day. Come ON, Granny's! Two weeks later, on a sunny Saturday morning, I got a large package from London. It was wrapped in orange and white striped paper with my name and address in really flamboyant black magic-marker handwriting. Oh my God. I was instantly breathless. Very carefully (I even still have it!), I peeled the striped paper away and opened the box to the most beaut ...
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Huffington Post article
Skyfall – review
Guardian (UK) - over 4 years
Judi Dench takes centre stage, and 007 faces a terrifying blond-off with Javier Bardem, in a supremely enjoyable 50th-anniversary outing This is the seventh time Judi Dench has played the enigmatic spy-chief M. But it is only in this storming new Bond movie that her M has really been all that she could be. Under the stylish direction of Sam Mendes, Dench's M is quite simply the Bond girl to end all Bond girls. Watching this, I thought: of course. How could I have missed it? The real tension isn't with Moneypenny, but with the boss herself. Now M is an imperious, subtly oedipal intelligence-matriarch with the double-O boys under her thumb. She's treating them mean. She's keeping them keen. And she is rewarded with passionate loyalty, varying with smouldering resentment. It's a combination with its own unspoken eroticism, and it has also created the conditions for one of the most memorable Bond villains in recent times. M demands more and more from her agents, with less and less concer ...
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Guardian (UK) article
Fox News - over 4 years
My first concert was either Frank Zappa at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin or it was at the Cinderella Ballroom in Appleton between the years 1969-1972 (I went to two of his concerts in Appleton)….or Johnny Winter at Lawrence University in the same time frame.   For some reason Frank Zappa played Appleton more than one time — I think he thought it funny to play a small Wisconsin town when he went on tour to big cities like NYC, LA, Chicago, Miami…and yes, adding Appleton.  That does sound like Zappa, doesn’t it?  He was an unusual guy. your turn, what was your first MAJOR concert? when was it? and where?
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Fox News article
Binky Philips: Binky's Revenge: My Own Damned Most Influential Guitarists List!
Huffington Post - over 4 years
I have long had a love/hate relationship with The Top 10 (20, 50, 100) All Time Guitarist lists. As in, I love to see how much hatred and rage they can generate in my arrogant pedantic know-it-all bile-soaked soul. It is absolutely guaranteed that at some point, a guy who doesn't belong within a fer-piece of any list will be ranked far above a Giant, and I'll want to tear the heads off the dolts who had the temerity to write/publish such tripe. So, in that spirit, I've decided to have my head torn off. I've been writing for Huffington Post since June of 2010 and it only occurred to me last week, Hey, I have a forum! I can make my own damn list. Oh, boy! Oh, boy! [Check my archive... I have plenty of posts about plenty of the guitarists mentioned in this one.] You are about to embark on a journey (sorry, no Neil Schon) into the mind of a Total Dick when it comes to the subject of (guitars and) guitar players. It's simple, really... I know more than you. Nyaaaah Nyaaah ...
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Huffington Post article
Music video — Johnny Winter and band, playing Ray Charles’ “Black Jack” at Elmwood Park, July 14 - over 4 years
Johnny Winter photo courtesy Bullseye Management From the finally getting around to posting recent videos file: Johnny Winter, one of blues-rock music’s ultimate survivors, is back on the beam again, and he showed it in a fiery headlining set at July 14th’s Blue Ridge Blues & BBQ Festival, at Elmwood Park. Yep, the elderly bluesman had to sit down throughout his set, but he still delivered the goods on six strings, and his singing was not totally shot. Backed by a great band that included his manager/producer/guitarist Paul Nelson, Winter performed lots of classic rock and blues numbers, including this deep cut, Ray Charles’ “Black Jack.” It was a real shame that this event coincided with the Sedalia Blues Festival, in Bedford County, and a natural drag that it rained like mad before Winter’s set. But there was still a pretty good crowd at Elmwood Park for Mikey Junior and Stone Cold Blues. And old-school blues-rock fans got a huge dose of Winter and his band. I personall ...
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Johnny Winter
  • 2014
    Age 70
    His last studio album, Step Back (which features appearances by Joe Bonamassa, Eric Clapton, Billy Gibbons, Leslie West, Brian Setzer, Dr. John, Paul Nelson, Ben Harper and Joe Perry), was released on September 2, 2014.
    More Details Hide Details Winter continued to perform live, including at festivals throughout North America and Europe. He headlined such prestigious events as the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Chicago Blues Festival, the 2009 Sweden Rock Festival, the Warren Haynes Christmas Jam, and Rockpalast. He also performed with the Allman Brothers at the Beacon Theater in New York City on the 40th anniversary of their debut. In 2007 and 2010, Winter performed at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festivals. Two guitar instructional DVDs were produced by Cherry Lane Music and the Hal Leonard Corporation. The Gibson Guitar Company released the signature Johnny Winter Firebird guitar in a ceremony in Nashville with Slash presenting.
  • 2011
    Age 67
    In 2011, Johnny Winter released Roots on Megaforce Records.
    More Details Hide Details It includes Winter's interpretation of eleven early blues and rock 'n' roll classics and features several guest artists (Vince Gill, Sonny Landreth, Susan Tedeschi, Edgar Winter, Warren Haynes, and Derek Trucks).
  • 2009
    Age 65
    In 2009, The Woodstock Experience album was released, which includes eight songs that Winter performed at the 1969 festival.
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  • 2007
    Age 63
    Beginning in 2007, a series of live Winter albums titled the Live Bootleg Series and a live DVD all entered the Top 10 Billboard Blues chart.
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  • 2004
    Age 60
    In 2004, he received a Grammy Award nomination for his I'm a Bluesman album.
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  • 1992
    Age 48
    After his time with Blue Sky Records, Winter began recording for several labels, including Alligator, Point Blank, and Virgin, where he focused on blues-oriented material. In 1992, he married Susan Warford.
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  • 1977
    Age 33
    And in 1977, after Waters' long-time label Chess Records went out of business, Winter brought Waters into the studio to record Hard Again for Blue Sky Records, a label set up by Winter's manager and distributed by Columbia.
    More Details Hide Details In addition to producing the album, Winter played guitar with Waters veteran James Cotton on harmonica. Winter produced two more studio albums for Waters, I'm Ready (with Big Walter Horton on harmonica) and King Bee and a best-selling live album Muddy "Mississippi" Waters – Live. The partnership produced three Grammy Awards for Waters and an additional Grammy for Winter's own Nothin' But the Blues, with backing by members of Waters' band. Waters told Deep Blues author Robert Palmer that Winter had done remarkable work in reproducing the sound and atmosphere of Waters's vintage Chess Records recordings of the 1950s. The albums gave Waters the highest profile and greatest financial successes of his life. In 1996, Johnny and Edgar filed suit against DC Comics and the creators of the Jonah Hex: Riders of the Worm and Such limited series, claiming, amongst other things, defamation: two characters named Johnny and Edgar Autumn, in the series strongly resemble the Winters. The brothers claimed the comics falsely portrayed them as “vile, depraved, stupid, cowardly, subhuman individuals who engage in wanton acts of violence, murder and bestiality for pleasure and who should be killed.” The California Supreme Court sided with DC Comics, holding that the comic books were deserving of First Amendment protection.
  • 1974
    Age 30
    In live performances, Winter often told the story about how, as a child, he dreamed of playing with the blues guitarist Muddy Waters. He got his chance in 1974, when renowned blues artists and their younger brethren came together to honor the musician (Muddy Waters) responsible for bringing blues to Chicago, and the resulting concert presented many blues classics and was the start of an admired TV series: Soundstage (this particular session was called "Blues Summit in Chicago").
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    Saints & Sinners and John Dawson Winter III, two albums released in 1974, continue in the same direction.
    More Details Hide Details In 1975, Johnny returned to Bogalusa, Louisiana, to produce an album for Thunderhead, a Southern rock band which included Pat Rush and Bobby "T" Torello, who would later play with Winter. A second live Winter album, Captured Live!, was released in 1976 and features an extended performance of "Highway 61 Revisited".
  • 1973
    Age 29
    By 1973, he returned to the music scene with the release of Still Alive and Well, a basic blend between blues and hard rock, whose title track was written by Rick Derringer.
    More Details Hide Details His comeback concert at Long Island, New York's Nassau Coliseum featured the "And" line-up minus Rick Derringer and Bobby Caldwell. Also performing on stage was Johnny's wife Susie.
  • 1970
    Age 26
    In 1970, when his brother Edgar released a solo album Entrance and formed Edgar Winter's White Trash, an R&B/jazz-rock group, the original trio disbanded.
    More Details Hide Details Johnny Winter then formed a new band with the remnants of the McCoys—guitarist Rick Derringer, bassist Randy Jo Hobbs, and drummer Randy Z (who was Derringer's brother, their family name being Zehringer). Originally to be called "Johnny Winter and the McCoys", the name was shortened to "Johnny Winter And", which was also the name of their first album. The album included Derringer's "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo" and signaled a more rock-oriented direction for Winter. When Johnny Winter And began to tour, Randy Z was replaced with drummer Bobby Caldwell. Their mixture of the new rock songs with Winter's blues songs was captured on the live album Live Johnny Winter And. It included a new performance of "It's My Own Fault", the song which brought Winter to the attention of Columbia Records. Winter's momentum was throttled when he sank into heroin addiction during the Johnny Winter And days. After he sought treatment for and recovered from the addiction, Winter was courageously put in front of the music press by manager Steve Paul to discuss the addiction candidly.
  • 1969
    Age 25
    Beginning in 1969, the first of numerous Johnny Winter albums was released which were cobbled together from approximately fifteen singles (about 30 "sides") he recorded before signing with Columbia in 1969.
    More Details Hide Details Many were produced by Roy Ames, owner of Home Cooking Records/Clarity Music Publishing, who had briefly managed Winter. According to an article from the Houston Press, Winter left town for the express purpose of getting away from him. Ames died on August 14, 2003, of natural causes at age 66. As Ames left no obvious heirs, the ownership rights of the Ames master recordings remains unclear. As Winter stated in an interview when the subject of Roy Ames came up, "This guy has screwed so many people it makes me mad to even talk about him."
    The album's success coincided with Imperial Records picking up The Progressive Blues Experiment for wider release. The same year, the Winter trio toured and performed at several rock festivals, including Woodstock. With brother Edgar added as a full member of the group, Winter also recorded his second album, Second Winter, in Nashville in 1969.
    More Details Hide Details The two-record album, which only had three recorded sides (the fourth was blank), introduced a couple more staples of Winter's concerts, including Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" and Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited". Also at this time Johnny entered into an intimate, albeit short-lived affair with Janis Joplin, which culminated in a concert at New York's Madison Square Garden, where Johnny joined her on stage to sing and perform. Contrary to urban legend, Johnny Winter did not perform with Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison on the infamous 1968 Hendrix bootleg album Woke up this Morning and Found Myself Dead from New York City's the Scene club. According to Winter, "I never even met Jim Morrison! There's a whole album of Jimi and Jim and I'm supposedly on the album but I don't think I am 'cause I never met Jim Morrison in my life! I'm sure I never, never played with Jim Morrison at all! I don't know how that rumor got started."
    Winter's first Columbia album, Johnny Winter, was recorded and released in 1969.
    More Details Hide Details It featured the same backing musicians with whom he had recorded The Progressive Blues Experiment, bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Uncle John Turner, plus Edgar Winter on keyboards and saxophone, and (for his "Mean Mistreater") Willie Dixon on upright bass and Big Walter Horton on harmonica. The album featured a few selections that became Winter signature songs, including his composition "Dallas" (an acoustic blues, on which Winter played a steel-bodied, resonator guitar), John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson's "Good Morning Little School Girl", and B.B. King's "Be Careful with a Fool".
  • 1968
    Age 24
    Winter caught his biggest break in December 1968, when Mike Bloomfield, whom he met and jammed with in Chicago, invited him to sing and play a song during a Bloomfield and Al Kooper concert at the Fillmore East in New York City.
    More Details Hide Details As it happened, representatives of Columbia Records (which had released the Top Ten Bloomfield/Kooper/Stills Super Session album) were at the concert. Winter played and sang B.B. King's "It's My Own Fault" to loud applause and, within a few days, was signed to what was reportedly the largest advance in the history of the recording industry at that time—$600,000.
    In 1968, he released his first album The Progressive Blues Experiment, on Austin's Sonobeat Records.
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  • 1967
    Age 23
    In the early days, Winter would sometimes sit in with Roy Head and the Traits when they performed in the Beaumont area, and in 1967, Winter recorded a single with the Traits: "Tramp" backed with "Parchman Farm" (Universal Records 30496).
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  • 1944
    Age 0
    Johnny Winter was born in Beaumont, Texas, on February 23, 1944.
    More Details Hide Details Winter, with younger brother Edgar (born 1946), was nurtured at an early age by their parents in musical pursuits. Johnny and his brother, both of whom were born with albinism, began performing at an early age. When he was ten years old, the brothers appeared on a local children's show with Johnny playing ukulele. His recording career began at the age of fifteen, when his band Johnny and the Jammers released "School Day Blues" on a Houston record label. During this same period, he was able to see performances by classic blues artists such as Muddy Waters, B.B. King, and Bobby Bland.
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