In Deep with Andy Aledort: Examining the Blues-Rock Virtuosity of the Late Johnny Winter, Part 2

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Last month I devoted this space to the guitar-playing wizardry of the late Johnny Winter, who passed away this past July 16, 2014, at the age of 70.

Previously, we examined Winter’s brilliant fingerstyle country-blues work, along the lines of his playing on the track, “Forever Lonely,” from Muddy Waters’ King Bee album. This month, I’d like to show you how Johnny directed these ideas into a more aggressive and inventive style of blues-rock rhythm guitar.

Winter’s 1977 release, Nothin’ But the Blues, served as a turning point in his career, as he dedicated himself from this point forward to blues music. His follow-up album, White, Hot and Blue, released in 1978, was equally powerful, featuring such standout blues covers as “Walking by Myself,” “Messin’ With the Kid,” “Diving Duck” and “EZ Rider,” as well as the original composition, “One Step at a Time,” a rocking shuffle in the key of A.

The examples in this month’s column reflect the style and approaches Johnny used on this particular track.

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Andy Aledort

Guitar World Associate Editor Andy Aledort is recognized worldwide for his vast contributions to guitar instruction, via his many best-selling instructional DVDs, transcription books and online lessons. Andy is a regular contributor to Guitar World and Truefire, and has toured with Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers, as well as participating in several Jimi Hendrix Tribute Tours.