Today sees the release of the new album by Edgar Winter, Brother Johnny. A tribute to his older brother, the late blues legend Johnny Winter, it features guest appearances from a host of famous names, including Joe Bonamassa, Billy Gibbons, Warren Haynes, Steve Lukather, Doyle Bramhall II, Robben Ford, Michael McDonald, Keb' Mo', Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Ringo Starr, Derek Trucks and Joe Walsh.
Brother Johnny also features the first posthumous release from Taylor Hawkins, who sings on a cover of Guess I’ll Go Away, the opening track of Johnny Winter's 1970 album Johnny Winter And.
Johnny Winter's death in July 2015 bares eerie similarities to Hawkins' unexpected demise last month: Winter was found dead in his hotel room two days after his last performance, at the Cahors Blues Festival in France.
“It’s such an odd happenstance,” Edgar tells ABC Audio (opens in new tab). “I mean, here’s a guy that’s singing a tribute song to my brother, Johnny, and he sings the song and then…passes away himself. And in similar circumstances, in a hotel room, on the road. It’s just bizarre, and very compelling.”
Writing about the meaning of Guess I'll Go Away on his website, Winter said (opens in new tab), "It’s a song about the lure of sex, the danger of drugs, and the Love of rock‘n’roll. Johnny wrote it around the time of his first rehab, and it expresses feelings almost everyone I know has been through in one way or another.
"I would guess (like most all musicians) Taylor couldn’t help but identify with it. All I know is he put his whole heart and soul into it, and I am so sad that I never found a way to thank him properly as he so deeply and profoundly deserved."
Brother Johnny is available on CD and across all digital platforms on now, with a double 180-gram vinyl edition available in mid-June.