Quarto Valley Records proudly announces the April 15, 2022, release of Brother Johnny, a tribute to the legendary blues guitarist created by his brother Edgar Winter. The album is a powerful sonic journey, traveling the course of Johnny’s musical life, impeccably directed, as only his brother Edgar could.
Joining Edgar on the inclusive project is an impressive array of renowned musicians who knew, or were inspired by Johnny, including Joe Bonamassa, Doyle Bramhall II, John McFee, Robben Ford, Billy Gibbons, David Grissom, Taylor Hawkins, Warren Haynes, Steve Lukather, Michael McDonald, Keb Mo, Doug Rappoport, Bobby Rush, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Ringo Starr, Derek Trucks, Waddy Wachtel, Joe Walsh, Phil X and Gregg Bissonette.
The guitar-driven album celebrates the expansive styles Johnny was known for – the 17 tracks were carefully curated by Edgar and producer Ross Hogarth to represent Johnny’s evolution as an artist, honouring his great legacy while also incorporating a personal tribute from brother to brother, and for which Edgar penned two new songs.
The project has been years in the making, Edgar was first approached about it just after his brother passed away on July 16, 2014. Johnny had just played the Cahors Blues Festival in France, which was destined to become his last show. He had travelled to Switzerland where his next show was scheduled, but he passed away in his sleep at the hotel in Zurich before he ever got the chance.
Edgar reflects, “Many people immediately started trying to convince me to do a Johnny Winter tribute album. But I was totally devastated, and the timing just didn’t feel right to me. It wasn’t until after I completed the Rock ‘N’ Blues Fest, a tour we were meant to do together with our respective bands, that the idea of a tribute record started to take form.”
Edgar explains, “I had naturally expected the whole thing to be cancelled. But much to my surprise, the promoters begged me to go on with the tour as planned, asking me to headline. The first night, after playing “Frankenstein”, I closed the show with “Johnny B. Goode”, “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo”, and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, dedicating the end of the set to Johnny.
“I had anticipated the tour to be very emotional, perhaps sad, and possibly difficult, but playing those songs turned out to be a great source of strength and comfort to me. Everyone on the tour was so kind and supportive, getting up to jam, and it became a kind of tradition. There was such an overwhelming outpouring of love and respect for Johnny, I began to realise it was not just business people sensing an opportunity here; it was Johnny’s true, loyal, and devoted fans and our fellow musicians, many of whom are on this record, who wanted to see this happen as well.
“After the tour, and over the following years as talk of a tribute album continued, my wife Monique, whose intuition I trust more than my own, said, “I think you have to make this album, both for Johnny, for yourself, and for the world. You owe that acknowledgement to your older brother. If it weren’t for him, you wouldn’t be where you are today. There’s no need to worry about it. If it’s meant to happen, it will.”