Blues Musician Jonny Winter Dies At 70
Famous bluesman Johnny Winter has died, reports Classic Rock magazine.
Sources close to the veteran blues musician have confirmed his passing to American Blues Scene. He was due to release his 19th studio album Step Back in September. It features Eric Clapton and Ben Harper.
Winter – elder brother of Edgar – was born in the Mississippi delta and started out playing alongside Muddy Waters, B.B. King and others in his teens. Following the launch of 1968 debut album The Progressive Blues Experiment he signed to Columbia for the largest advance ever paid.
He fought drug addiction during the 1970s before collaborating with Waters on 1977 Grammy-winning album Hard Again, and went on to produce several of his colleague's later releases.
Jenda Derringer, wife of Winter's former colleague Rick, reported last night: "We were just told by a reliable source that Johnny has passed early this morning in Zurich, Switzerland. He was not in good health, and very frail and weak."
Among those paying tribute via Twitter were former Guns n'Roses drummer Matt Sorum, who said: "I've just become close with Edgar and I'm so sad for him and his family. They had plans to tour."
The Blues Magazine editor Ed Mitchell said this morning: "It's no secret that Johnny has battled with ill health for many years – but he seemed to transcend that struggle when he played live. No one's slide tone was as sweet, searing, stinging or fiery. Johnny Winter blazing away on a Gibson Firebird is an iconic blues image.