Blesok no. 32, May-June, 2003
Sound Reviews


Interview with Johnny Winter

Vasja Ivanovski


VI: Do you recall your musical beginnings and how did it all happen?
JW:
I started playing ukulele first for 2 years from age 9 to 11 and got my first guitar and got inspired by blues I heard on the radio that turned me on and I started learning myself. When I got old enough to go to night clubs to hear that music at the age of 15.

VI:
Was there any family music tradition in your house?
JW:
My dad played banjo, sax and sang. My mother played piano so we always had music around the house.

VI:
Beside Edgar, do you have any other brothers and sisters and if so, are Edgar and you the only ones involved in music?
JW:
No other brothers and sisters, just Edgar and I.

VI:
When did you become aware that music would be your future?
JW:
I always wanted to play music and have it be my career and knew this by the age of 12.

VI:
As far as I know your first recordings are more in rock vein than blues, correct?
JW:
Yes, that’s true.

VI:
You have managed to bring exposure of old blues masters to wide audiences by performing their usic, were you aware of that fact then?
JW:
That was my intention and was aware that it was happening.

VI:
Do you remember your first band and when was that?
JW:
1959 and it was called Johnny And The Jamers.

VI:
Who were your earliest influences in music?
JW:
There were a whole lot, I bought every blues record I could find, it wasn’t just one or two people. My vocal influences were Ray Charles and Bobby Blue Bland.

VI:
Who influenced your guitar style and why?
JW:
T-Bone Walker was one that stood out and got me off.

VI:
What’s your opinion on the current state of the blues and what can be expected in the future?
JW:
I think it will always be around it just takes one person to make people aware of the blues.

VI:
You have played all over the world, how do blues fans in various parts of  our planet react to your music?
JW:
Everyone seems to like it.

VI: You have worked with many well known blues people, could you point out some interesting experiences?
JW:
Working with Muddy Waters really wiped me out it was something I always wanted to do. It was a personal accomplishement I’m very proud of.

VI: What are your future plans, any new recordings soon?
JW:
I have a new record on Virgin coming out and plan to continue touring.

VI:
Your fans in Macedonia would like to see you perform here at our blues festival, would you like to come and play?
JW:
Yeah sure I hope to be there one day.

VI:
And finally, what would be your message to our blues fans?
JW:
Keep enjoying the blues, listen to my records and keep the blues alive!


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