The Johnny Winter Experience - A celebration of the music of Johnny Winter
Iconic British Blues guitarist Del Bromham has put together a blistering Texas Blues special, highlighting the amazing career of Johnny Winter. Del formed his first band Stray in the late 60s, signed his first record deal in 1969, and Stray released their first album back in 1970. Over the years Del has recorded eleven studio albums and three live albums with Stray, and has been on countless tours and one night stands rubbing shoulders with too many artistes to list! Stray has virtually been his life's work - until now...
Johnny Winter's rise to fame really began following his performance at the legendary Woodstock Festival back in August 1969. He was known for his high energy blues-rock performances and was performing continually up until his untimely death in Switzerland in July 2014. The Johnny Winter Experience celebrates the music of the man 'Johnny Winter'.
Well known as the guitarist/singer/songwriter for the UK band Stray. Del Bromham, has often been compared to Johnny Winter, not only due to the similarity in looks, but also in the guitar style. Coincidentally, Del also plays the Gibson Firebird guitar synonymous with Johnny Winter.
Back in the early 1970s one of the large music papers of the time published an article reporting "Johnny Winter UK tour" and ironically a photograph of Del was published instead of Johnny!
Del takes up the story. "I have lost count how many times I have arrived at gigs over the years and people have said something like "Hey it's Johnny Winter!" I saw Johnny perform live about a year or so before he passed away and although he was clearly not in the best of health, he was playing songs that he'd always played and loved... no compromise. For example, he was still playing that old blues standard 'Dust My Broom' even though it had been played a thousand times before! However he was going to play it, Johnny Winter style and that was that!"
The idea to play a 'celebration' of the music of Johnny Winter, came from a chance conversation which Del had with Peter Barton, head of Rock Artists Management.
Del takes up the story again. "We were talking about some shows for Stray, when out of the blue Peter asked if I had ever played any Johnny Winter songs in my set, because he said it had not gone unnoticed the similarity between Johnny and myself! I replied that I'd never actually played any Johnny Winter music as such, because my career had been based around my own solo and Stray projects. That said, I realised that much of the music Johnny played, being covers from other artists, were songs that I had played in my early years and occasionally in my solo blues set".
About a year or so after the initial conversation with Peter and Del, the topic came up again. This time circumstances had changed, partly due to the death of Johnny. It became almost instinctive for Del to want to play some of those tunes and Peter and Del both thought that it would be a huge mark of respect to pay tribute to 'The Man'.
Del was a little unsure to take the project on the road, but Peter was certain the Johnny Winter fans would love Del's interpretation of the music.
Del said "I was aware that I did not want this to affect or tarnish the image of Stray and all the members past and present and all the good work which had been done. It was purely my choice to do this and I sincerely hope that as a fan myself, I am endeavouring to keep the memory of the music of Johnny Winter alive".
The main body of Johnny's live work was played as a three piece, i.e. guitar, bass guitar and drums. The choice of rhythm section was easy. Karl Randall on drums and Stuart Uren on bass guitar, both from the current Stray line up and fans of the music of Johnny Winter. Johnny Winter recorded and performed live a huge body of work. Del and the boys hope they have picked the songs that the fans would most like to hear.
Johnny laid out the blueprint for his fresh take on classic blues, a prime combination for the legions of fans just discovering the blues via the likes of Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton. Constantly shifting between simple country blues in the vein of Robert Johnson, to all-out electric slide guitar blues-rock, Johnny was one of the most respected singers and guitar players in rock, and the clear link between British blues-rock and American Southern rock (a la the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd.)