Brief Intermission…

Just a quick break in the story to deliver some sad news….

Johnny Winter passed away yesterday while touring in Europe.

Johnny’s first album for Columbia Records in 1969 still sits in my car’s cd changer. Has been in my regular rotation one way or another for 45 years.

I spent much time in my youth trying to figure out how Johnny did what he did. ( Spoiler alert; thumbpick, no flatpick ) Those lightning- fast blues runs that weren’t all sloppy and disorganized, the way everyone else’s were. Clean and articulate, but with just enough drive and grit to …well…totally re-direct the evolvement of blues guitar.

That’s what he did. And sang like holy hell, too.

A few years back, I added a resonator guitar to my toybox, pushed everything else to one side, and for two years concentrated on learning to play slide. Spent about a year working on Johnny’s ” Dallas.” Got closer, learned a lot, but ultimately had to admit that even a well- meaning moderately talented guy like me can always look in the limo windows, tap on the glass and wave, but those doors ain’t ever going to open up. I just don’t have that…thing…that magical energy, the drive, the soul. I can feel it, coming from a guy like Johnny, and that gives some people the illusion that they could get there too.

Not in this lifetime, Sparky. Just accept it and move on. I can break down and analyze every note Johnny ever played, but that is actually a different subject altogether.

Johnny had that exemplary quality. Has it still. And most people don’t.

But they can listen, and feel it too, through a guy like Johnny Winter. That’s really what he was here for.

So,  in closing, I would just like to register a formal thank you.

To Johnny Winter, for living a hard life that also drew out that incredible depth of soul. And made American blues all the better for it.

And for all of us.

 Special thanks to Denise (aka Janice DiFranco) from Girlieontheedge for posting two excellent Johnny cuts in the comments below. Check them out, and you’ll be a fan, too.

Rest in Peace, John.

 

 

 

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I am literally crying right now.

  2. Yeah, me too. Can’t imagine a world without Johnny in it, and here we are standing in it. Dammit.
    Thanks for posting those tracks. Great choices.

  3. agreed and you have articulated one expression of the secret of the universe in that statement of ‘imagining the world…’

    btw, loved the line

    ” …the drive, the soul. I can feel it, coming from a guy like Johnny, and that gives some people the illusion that they could get there too.”

  4. Very nice blogpost.

  5. Thanks for checking in, guys.
    Even though the RR Hall of Fame is mostly a popularity contest, is still ticks me off that Johnny didn’t get there.


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