Edgar Winter says making ‘Brother Johnny’ tribute album was a “joyous experience”; talks Ringo collaboration

Edgar Winter says making ‘Brother Johnny’ tribute album was a “joyous experience”; talks Ringo collaboration
Quarto Valley Records

Edgar Winter‘s new album, Brother Johnny: An All-Star Tribute to Johnny Winter, hit stores Friday. As its title suggests, the 17-track collection features Edgar teaming up with a variety of well-known musicians to pay homage to the music of his late brother, blues-rock guitar legend Johnny Winter.

Among the many stars who contributed to the project are Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh, ZZ Top‘s Billy Gibbons, Michael McDonald, ex-Allman Brothers Band members Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks, Toto‘s Steve Lukather, and late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins.

“I thought this was gonna be a hard album to make, but this turned out to be just a joyous, inspiring, uplifting experience for me,” Edgar tells ABC Audio. “It was just so amazingly beautiful to do this with a lot of my longtime friends, and then a lot of people that I had never met.”

Edgar says one standout track is a version of Johnny’s soulful 1974 ballad “Stranger,” which features Starr, Walsh and McDonald.

Edgar explains that he initially envisioned Walsh playing guitar on a version of Chuck Berry‘s “Johnny B. Goode” that’s included on Brother Johnny, but notes that after Joe heard “Stranger,” he “flipped out,” and insisted on contributing guitar to that track.

After Walsh signed on, Edgar says he felt comfortable enough to ask Ringo, Joe’s brother-in-law, to play drums on “Stranger.” Winter admits that he “was blown away” when Starr agreed.

Edgar tells ABC Audio that it was his wife, Monique, who suggested getting McDonald to sing “Stranger,” which he immediately realized was a great idea.

“I just knew that it would be something special,” he notes. “And I really do feel like it’s a magical vocal, and one of the highlights on the album.”

Here’s Brother Johnny‘s full track list:

“Mean Town Blues” — featuring Joe Bonamassa
“Alive and Well” — featuring Kenny Wayne Shepherd
“Lone Star Blues” — featuring Keb’ Mo’
“I’m Yours and I’m Hers” — featuring Billy Gibbons & Derek Trucks
“Johnny B. Goode” — featuring Joe Walsh & David Grissom
“Stranger” — featuring Michael McDonald, Joe Walsh & Ringo Starr
“Highway 61 Revisited” — featuring Kenny Wayne Shepherd & John McFee
“Rock ‘n’ Roll Hoochie Koo” — featuring Steve Lukather
“When You Got a Good Friend” — featuring Doyle Bramhall II
“Jumpin’ Jack Flash” — featuring Phil X
“Guess I’ll Go Away” — featuring Taylor Hawkins & Doug Rappoport
“Drown in My Own Tears”
“Self Destructive Blues” — featuring Joe Bonamassa
“Memory Pain” — featuring Warren Haynes
“Stormy Monday Blues” — featuring Robben Ford
“Got My Mojo Workin'” — featuring Bobby Rush
“End of the Line” — featuring David Campbell Strings

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