Skip to main content

10 great songs to remember legendary blues guitarist Johnny Winter, dead at 70

johnny winter best songs
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Legendary Texas blues guitarist, singer, and bandleader Johnny Winter was found dead last night in his hotel room in Zurich. Winter was 70 years old. According to the Chicago Tribune, Medical reports have not yet determined the cause of death, but early reports indicate it was likely a medical incident, with no third parties involved. Johnny was on tour in Europe at the time of his death.

“His wife, family and bandmates are all saddened by the loss of one of the world’s finest guitarists,” a representative for Winter said in a statement. “An official statement with more details shall be issued at the appropriate time.”

We will remember Johnny Winter for his incredible talent, his gracious respect for music and the guitar giants with which he stood shoulder to shoulder, and his indelible touch on the blues. In remembrance of the legend, here are 10 great tracks from Winter, playable for free on Spotify.

Born John Dawson Winter III in Beaumont, Texas, Johnny was the older brother of Edgar Winter, another renowned guitar player. Both of the brothers stood out early in the blues/rock music scene for their talented playing at a very young age, as well as their striking platinum hair and light skin due to albinism.

Johnny’s first major album release was the critically revered The Progressive Blues Experiment. He broke out from the Texas music scene in 1968 when a Rolling Stone magazine article brought him to national prominence, saying he played “some of the gutsiest, fluid blues guitar you ever heard.” The article brought a flood of record deals to the fledgling guitarist’s doorstep, leading to a deal with Columbia for a massive (at the time) $600,000.

Winter’s first major release for Columbia, simply titled Johnny Winter, was released in June of 1969. The album featured Edgar on keyboards, and rose to number 24 on the Top 200. That year, he played with idol BB King at the Newport Jazz Festival, and also made an appearance at Woodstock. In the 70’s he continued to tour and record, as well as producing albums for another legend in the blues genre, Muddy Waters.

Winter is best known for his distinct covers of songs like “Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo” by Rick Derringer, “Johnny B Goode” by Chuck Berry, and “Highway 61 Revisited” by Bob Dylan, as well as originals like “Still Alive and Well” and “I’m Yours and I’m Hers.”

He released almost 20 LPs over the length of his career, including the most recent 2011 album, Roots, which offered a host of classic blues tunes, and featured Warren Haynes and Edgar Winters, among others. He was reportedly working on a new album at the time of his death which featured superstars Eric Clapton, and Ben Harper, which is slated for release this September.

Ryan Waniata
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Ryan Waniata is a multi-year veteran of the digital media industry, a lover of all things tech, audio, and TV, and a…
How to download music from Spotify for offline listening
How to download music and podcasts from Spotify: The downloads folder.

If you're a Spotify Premium user paying that premium Spotify fee, chances are you've taken at least some time curating playlists, liking songs, and using the platform's easy-to-use (and recently revamped) user interface to discover new and old music.

But sometimes all that music or your favorite podcasts aren't available if you find yourself without an internet connection to stream them from — like on a long plane ride or weekend camping trip in the sticks. That's where Spotify's offline listening feature comes in handy, allowing you to download playlists, albums, and podcasts through its desktop and mobile apps so you can still rock out while you're off the grid.

Read more
How to switch from Spotify to Apple Music
Spotify and Apple Music transfer on a smartphone.

Spotify is the world's most popular music streaming service for a reason. It has a massive catalog of music and podcasts, is full of cool music discovery and sharing features, and is really easy to use.
However, with its recent price increase and the fact that it still hasn't joined most of its peers in offering a hi-res audio quality option, you may be considering jumping ship for its closest competitor, Apple Music, which counts lossless hi-res tracks, mind-bending spatial audio, Dolby Atmos Music tracks, and a catalog that rivals Spotify's among the many attractive reasons to switch.

But there's one problem: you’ve spent a lot of time creating playlists and marking songs and albums as your favorites in Spotify. Is it worth the switch? Will all that hard work be lost in translation?

Read more
The best laptops for music production, chosen by experts
best laptops for music production

The world has gone pretty far when it comes to the processing power that we carry around with us, and if you're big into music production, then you're the luckiest of all. Some of the best laptops on the market have high-end CPUs for relatively low prices, which means that if you want to do music production on a laptop, you have a huge number of choices. Of course, that does also mean that it can be hard to navigate and pick the best laptop for your budget and needs, which is why we've done the legwork for you. We've collected our favorite picks below in various categories so that you can pick them with ease. Plus, we've even thrown in a quick guide on what to look for so that if you don't find what you want here, you can check out these other laptop deals for alternatives.
The Best Laptops for Music Production

Best overall laptop for music production:
Best Windows device for music production:
Best portable laptop for music production:
Best large-screen laptop for music production:
Best for 2-in-1 laptop for music production:

Read more