Sad About Johnny Winter

Johnny WinterI just heard the news that Johnny Winter died last night. That wasn’t supposed to happen. He was supposed to beat the odds and live to be at least as old as William Burroughs. But he was 70, which is probably longer than I’ll last, so that isn’t too bad.

I learned so much about playing the blues guitar from him. Not the solos—he was too good, too creative, and too fast for me. But his great blues rhythm guitar work was just so clear, and beautiful, and profound. Listening to him as like taking a master class.

We celebrated his last birthday here, Johnny Winter’s Mississippi Blues. Here he is doing “Sound the Bell” and making it all look so easy and sound so impossible:

I’ll miss knowing he is still out there doing what he was clearly born to do.

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