Yesterday I had the privilege of meeting the man I consider the greatest blues guitarist who ever walked the planet, Johnny Winter. He was just as I expected: soft-spoken, gracious, and very frail ... the very antithesis of the almost superhuman musical energy he has displayed in his live and studio performances for more than 40 years.
|Winter with Jimi Hendrix (playing Tommy Shannon's bass upside down!)|
and Buddy Miles at The Scene, New York, February 1969
|Winter with James Cotton and Muddy Waters|
|My copy of Winter's most recent album, |
signed by Johnny yesterday (photo by author)
Today happens to be Johnny Winter's 70th birthday. As a grateful fan, I would like to say, "Happy Birthday, Johnny. May you have many more to come." I leave you with three live performances which display perfectly Winter's eminent musicianship: (1) his incendiary performance of B. B. King's smoldering slow blues "It's My Own Fault" at Royal Albert Hall, London in April 1970; (2) his staggering performance of Hendrix's classic shuffle "Red House" from 1991; and (3) his definitive live performance of Berry's immortal "Johnny B. Goode" from 1984. Enjoy!