On this day, in 1944, blues guitar phenom Johnny Winter was born in Beaumont, Texas.
Famed the world over for his fiery, virtuosic technique and soulful, strident tone (often courtesy of a Gibson Firebird) he kicked off his decades-long recording career at just 15 years of age.
Honoring his late brother’s musical genius, Edgar Winter will be releasing a tribute album titled Brother Johnny on April 15 via Quarto Valley Records.
Curated by Edgar Winter and producer Ross Hogarth, Brother Johnny retraces the guitarist’s career and evolution as one of the greatest blues artists the world has ever known.
Boasting a stellar line-up of musicians including Joe Bonamassa, Robben Ford, Billy Gibbons, Keb’ Mo’, Steve Lukather, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Derek Trucks, Joe Walsh and Phil X, the album has already attracted much excitement from reviewers. (Word is, it rocks!)
Known for his love of the Rolling Stones, Johnny Winter’s catalog includes covers of “Jumpin' Jack Flash" (from 1971’s Live Johnny Winter And); “Silver Train" and "Let It Bleed" (from 1973’s Still Alive and Well); and “Stray Cat Blues” (from 1974’s Saints & Sinners.)
And in this classic clip from the BBC live music television show The Old Grey Whistle Test, Johnny Winter is on fire as he blazes through a high-octane performance of the Stones’ “Jumpin' Jack Flash" alongside Tin House guitarist Floyd Radford.
Listening to the recording, it’s interesting to be able to clearly hear the differences in sound and compare notes between Johnny Winter’s Gibson Firebird V pickups and the standard/full-size humbuckers of Radford’s Gibson ES-355.
Both are great examples of benchmark blues rock guitar tone.
Pre-order Brother Johnny by Edgar Winter here.
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Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar World, Guitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.