Edgar Winter working on tribute album to his brother Johnny featuring Joe Walsh, Billy Gibbons and more
November 14, 2019 8:00 AM
During his life, blues-guitar great Johnny Winter served as a musical mentor and inspiration to many, including his younger brother Edgar, who went on to forge a successful music career of his own. Now Edgar Winter tells Billboard that he's putting together a star-studded tribute album to Johnny, who died in 2014 at the age of 70.
The as-yet-untitled album is due out in 2020, and will feature contributions from Joe Walsh, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Joe Bonamassa, Robben Ford, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and blues legends Buddy Guy and Bobby Rush.
"It's really turned out to be a wonderful blessing in my life, doing this," Edgar tells the magazine. "Johnny's my all-time musical hero. If it weren't for him I wouldn't be where I am now. I just feel like I need to acknowledge that and put out a record he would love."
According to Edgar, the album will feature 16 tracks, including original Johnny Winter tunes mixed with some of the well-known cover tunes he often played live, among them Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode," The Rolling Stones' "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited."
The record also will feature a rendition of Rick Derringer's "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo," which Johnny first recorded when Derringer was a member of his band in 1970, three years before Rick scored a solo hit with the tune.
Edgar tells Billboard that while Johnny rightfully was respected for his blue-guitar prowess, he feels his brother's vocal talents have been overlooked.
"[I]n the early years when we were playing together he would sing beautiful ballads like 'Cryin'' by Roy Orbison in a completely clear, beautiful voice," Edgar notes. "So I'm going to do some of those songs that are my personal favorites, too."
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