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Winter at BB Kings New York 2013

Paul Nelson,  Johnny Winter’s guitarist, friend and manager has confirmed that the blues legend has died. In a statement issued a moment ago, Nelson said:
I lost my friend and mentor yesterday
Legendary Johnny Winter Dies at 70

Texas blues icon Johnny Winter has passed away on July 16, 2014 in his hotel room in Zurich, Switzerland.
His wife, family and bandmates are all saddened by the loss of their loved one and one of the world’s finest guitarists.
An official statement with more details shall be issued at the appropriate time.

Reports began coming through on social media around 4pm Eastern Australian Time that legendary blues guitarist Johnny Winter had died in Switzerland. However, the news came via sketchy and unconfirmed reports. Word spread quickly as fans worldwide expressed their sorrow in tributes on Facebook and Twitter. Some media picked up on a Facebook conversation between Rick Derringer’s (Former guitarist with Johnny and Edgar Winter) wife and a confidante of Johnny’s current drummer Tommy Curiale in which they were trying to acquire information three hours after the initial news.

Johnny Winter was an American guitar legend who released a swag of celebrated high energy blues albums in the 70s and 80s and he also produced three Grammy winning albums for Muddy Waters. Johnny and his brother Edgar, who were both born with albinism, also played together in highly regarded bands. Johnny counted icons such as Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix as personal friends.

A documentary on on the guitarist, Johnny Winter: Down and Dirty” finally premiered at this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas. The film by Greg Oliver followed Winter around the world, on stage, back stage and beyond.

I was fortunate to see Johnny play at BB King’s in New York in 2013. I was to meet him for an interview afterwards but for whatever reason, he wasn’t available. I did however catch up with him on the phone a couple of months later. We discussed ‘Step Back’ the album he was working on, which currently has a September 2 release date, and his work with Muddy Waters. I’ll always remember one of the last things he said to me; “I like mono records. I never really liked stereo … still don’t.”

You can read the interview here

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