High Five

Johnny Winter reflects on his long career

Legendary blues guitarist, singer, and producer Johnny Winter has been recording and performing music for roughly a half-century. As he heads into another new year, Winter shows no signs of stopping.

We were lucky enough to catch up with him via e-mail to talk about where he’s going and reflect on where he’s been. Winter shared a list of five of his career highlights, foggy memories, and possible future plans:

1. “One of my favorite road stories was when I was a young guitar player in Texas. I went to see B.B. King and he allowed me to play onstage with him. The funny part of the story is that I was the only white kid in an all-black club and when he saw me, because of this, he assumed I was with the IRS. He let me play his Lucille guitar and I got a standing ovation; it was a great night.”


2. “Here’s another road story. I played a rotating stage and was so drunk and dizzy from playing on that stage, that we couldn’t find the exit door after we were done playing, so we had to go back on stage and play again. Thank God I don’t drink like that anymore.”

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3. “One of my favorite collaborations was with Muddy Waters on his four Grammy-winning albums. The highlight of my career was being able to record with and become friends with [him].”

4. “My recent releases, “Roots” and my upcoming new release, “Step Back,” [have] given me the opportunity to collaborate with numerous artists that I admire, including Eric Clapton, Billy Gibbons, and Mark Knopfler, among others.”

5. “I’d love to go to Russia, Jamaica, maybe India and that’s about it. I’ve been everywhere else.”

Johnny Winter plays at the Narrows Center for the Arts, 16 Anawan St., Fall River, on Saturday, 8 p.m. Tickets: $45 advance, $50 day of show. 508-324-1926,

Steph Hiltz can be reached at