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I should have posted up at the time, but did not and now I'm playing catch-up.

We lost one of the finest guitarist to ever grace the planet on July 16. Johnny Winter died in his hotel room in Switzerland, where he was on tour at the age of 70.

During my years of seriously listening to music, there have been a hand full of guitarist that permanently altered the way I hear people play. Johnny Winter was one such player.

I was privileged to see him perform three times. I wouldn't trade attending those concerts for anything.

While he was primarily a blues player, his licks were so fast and accurate he rolled from blues to rock to R&B to bluegrass (with a little classical thrown in for good measure) effortlessly. There were no "hammer taps" in his playing like the Eddie Van Halens of the world. Oh yeah, he could do them, but his hands were fast enough that he didn't need 'em.

And, when it comes to playing from the heart, every lick counted.

He has a new album about to be released, on which he got a few of his guitarist buddies to stop in for a session, including Eric Clapton, Joe Bonnamossa and Leslie West. When a guitarist is not intimidated by names like that, rest assured he still had plenty to offer and was comfortable in his own abilities. And, for guitarist of that stature to agree to appear, there was respect for Winter that few will know.

By the by, if you've never heard his album entitled John Dawson Winter III, do yourselves a favor and buy a copy.

Music, for me, will never be the same without the occasional new release from Johnny Winter.
 
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