'Winter' Comes Early to Morristown

Blues guitar legend Johnny Winter to perform at 'Rock N Blues Fest' Thursday at Mayo Performing Arts Center.

When you have been performing for over 50 years, you get the right to be a man of few words.

For blues guitarist Johnny Winter, the music does the talking. Winter, along with a who's who of rock and roll greats, will be on hand Thursday at the for the formerly called .

Winter, with his Johnny Winter Band, will be performing songs from the guitarist's extensive catalog including songs from Roots, his 2011 tribute to some of the classic blues music that has influenced the 70-year-old from Texas.

"Everyone gets a little something," he said. "They are songs I listened to since I listened to music, I've been influenced by them all. What can I say they’re just good songs.

"I hope everybody just comes out and has a good time. That’s what it’s all about," Winter said.

Guitarist and Roots producer Paul Nelson has been working with Winter for about a decade. "As a guitar player it’s an honor," he said.

Nelson said his job has been "not to step on" Winter's performance. Rather, his work is there to complement the star of the show. "Less is more," Nelson said. "We have really good communication musically. And it’s something we’re really proud of."

He praised the entire "Rock N Blues" lineup, which includes Winter's younger brother, Edgar, and his Edgar Winter Group. "We’re all friends, we all know each other, it’s cool," Nelson said.

The producer/guitarist said the Roots album has been doing so well–buoyed by an appearance earlier this year on The Late Show with David Letterman–they are planning on recording a second album. "There are so many guests and songs to choose from, it could be a running series for him," Nelson said.

Invoking the name of guitar royalty, Nelson called Winter "our living Hendrix."

"A lot of people aren’t going to want to miss the boat," he said.

When asked what he thought he might be doing besides playing music, Winter was silent for a moment.

"Uhh, gosh, I can’t even imagine," he said. "I never thought about doing anything else."

Johnny Winter will be part of the "Rock N Blues Fest" on Thursday, Aug. 16, at . .


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