Johnny Winter’s career started early. When he was ten, he and his brother Edgar Winter appeared on a Texas children’s program, singing Everly Brothers songs and playing ukulele. He hasn’t let up since (and neither has Edgar, whose mutant blues anthems like “Frankenstein” can be readily heard by flipping on any classic rock radio station).
At 69, the elder Winter is still recording and performing, having survived years of hard living befitting his bluesy style. Few artists of the rock era can lay as much claim to the preservation of the blues as Winter, whose collaborations with Muddy Waters (particularly 1977’s “Hard Again”) showcase an artist whose appreciation of the blues is foundational, and avoid the glitzy sheen that so often was applied to blues pioneers when younger, hipper artists tried to sell them to the kiddos.
We caught up with Winter from his tour bus and discussed his ties to independent record stores, and his most recent album, “Roots,” produced by guitarist and chief collaborator Paul Nelson, which features Vince Gill, Warren Haynes, John Popper (of Blues Traveler), Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi and more. We also got him to give us a taste of what blues rockers he roped in for a forthcoming sequel to the record.
Johnny Winter will be making a special appearance at Zia Chandler, 1940 W. Chandler Boulevard, Chandler, Arizona, on Sunday, July 28th at 5PM. Stop by to say hello to Johnny and get your copy of “Roots” signed. 
Zia Records: You have a special connection to record stores. Could you talk a little bit about how record stores influenced you career? 
Johnny Winter: Well, I got all kinds of blues [records] at record stores, and I still love ‘em.
Do you still make it a point to stop into record stores and pick stuff up while touring around the country?
Oh, not so much anymore. I’ve got all the blues records I need.
Your latest, “Roots,” finds you working with all sorts of modern bluesmen and blueswomen. I imagine people like Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Susan Tedeschi, view you as a blues legend. Did it feel like you were coming full circle with this one? You started off working with Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker and helped turn young people on to their music. Do you feel like younger people are getting turned on to yours thanks to projects like this?
Oh yeah.  And that’s a good feeling, too. It’s a real nice feeling. [“Roots”] was a lot of fun to make. I knew all the songs [I wanted to play] and it was really great to make.
Do you have a favorite song from “Roots?”
No, I don’t. [Laughs] I like all of them.
Do you feel like there are any people making the blues now helping to keep blues alive?
There are people [doing it]. The blues will always be alive. It’s been alive since the 1900s.
Are you working on a sequel to the “Roots” album?
Oh yeah, we’re finished. We’re through with it. We’re going to send it out in the next few months. It’s got Billy Gibbons [of ZZ Top], Brian Setzer [of the Stray Cats/solo], Mark Knopfler [of Dire Straits], Dr. John, a whole bunch of people on it. It was fun to do. I like it better than the first one, and I liked the first one just fine. This one’s even better I think.
You’ve had a long career. If you had to nail down your favorite project, what would it be?
That’s easy. The Muddy Waters stuff. I loved his music, I loved him as a person, and it was so much fun to make those records together.
Johnny Winter will be making a special appearance at Zia Chandler, 1940 W. Chandler Boulevard, Chandler, Arizona, on Sunday, July 28th at 5PM. Stop by to say hello to Johnny and get your copy of “Roots” signed.
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· #Johnny Winter
#Edgar Winter
#blues
#roots
#muddy waters
#rock
#classic rock
#Zia Records
#zia
#Ziarecords
#Mark Knopfler
#ZZ Top
#Derek Trucks
#Susan Tedeschi

Johnny Winter’s career started early. When he was ten, he and his brother Edgar Winter appeared on a Texas children’s program, singing Everly Brothers songs and playing ukulele. He hasn’t let up since (and neither has Edgar, whose mutant blues anthems like “Frankenstein” can be readily heard by flipping on any classic rock radio station).

At 69, the elder Winter is still recording and performing, having survived years of hard living befitting his bluesy style. Few artists of the rock era can lay as much claim to the preservation of the blues as Winter, whose collaborations with Muddy Waters (particularly 1977’s “Hard Again”) showcase an artist whose appreciation of the blues is foundational, and avoid the glitzy sheen that so often was applied to blues pioneers when younger, hipper artists tried to sell them to the kiddos.

We caught up with Winter from his tour bus and discussed his ties to independent record stores, and his most recent album, “Roots,” produced by guitarist and chief collaborator Paul Nelson, which features Vince Gill, Warren Haynes, John Popper (of Blues Traveler), Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi and more. We also got him to give us a taste of what blues rockers he roped in for a forthcoming sequel to the record.

Johnny Winter will be making a special appearance at Zia Chandler, 1940 W. Chandler Boulevard, Chandler, Arizona, on Sunday, July 28th at 5PM. Stop by to say hello to Johnny and get your copy of “Roots” signed.

Zia Records: You have a special connection to record stores. Could you talk a little bit about how record stores influenced you career?

Johnny Winter: Well, I got all kinds of blues [records] at record stores, and I still love ‘em.

Do you still make it a point to stop into record stores and pick stuff up while touring around the country?

Oh, not so much anymore. I’ve got all the blues records I need.

Your latest, “Roots,” finds you working with all sorts of modern bluesmen and blueswomen. I imagine people like Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Susan Tedeschi, view you as a blues legend. Did it feel like you were coming full circle with this one? You started off working with Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker and helped turn young people on to their music. Do you feel like younger people are getting turned on to yours thanks to projects like this?

Oh yeah.  And that’s a good feeling, too. It’s a real nice feeling. [“Roots”] was a lot of fun to make. I knew all the songs [I wanted to play] and it was really great to make.

Do you have a favorite song from “Roots?”

No, I don’t. [Laughs] I like all of them.

Do you feel like there are any people making the blues now helping to keep blues alive?

There are people [doing it]. The blues will always be alive. It’s been alive since the 1900s.

Are you working on a sequel to the “Roots” album?

Oh yeah, we’re finished. We’re through with it. We’re going to send it out in the next few months. It’s got Billy Gibbons [of ZZ Top], Brian Setzer [of the Stray Cats/solo], Mark Knopfler [of Dire Straits], Dr. John, a whole bunch of people on it. It was fun to do. I like it better than the first one, and I liked the first one just fine. This one’s even better I think.

You’ve had a long career. If you had to nail down your favorite project, what would it be?

That’s easy. The Muddy Waters stuff. I loved his music, I loved him as a person, and it was so much fun to make those records together.

Johnny Winter will be making a special appearance at Zia Chandler, 1940 W. Chandler Boulevard, Chandler, Arizona, on Sunday, July 28th at 5PM. Stop by to say hello to Johnny and get your copy of “Roots” signed.

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