by Jeff Niesel
(Originally posted 6/11/2014)
Blues guitarist Johnny Winter, who’ll be in town to play the Beachland Ballroom on Friday night, will meet and greet fans that afternoon before the concert at the Exchange in Willoughby. He’ll be at the store, which is located at 35101 Euclid Ave., from 5 to 6 p.m. Winter released his last studio album, Roots, which consists of 11 blues standards, in 2011. Guests on the album include Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, John Popper, Vince Gill and Johnny's brother Edgar Winter. Earlier this year, Legacy Record released the box set True To The Blues: The Johnny Winter Story as a way of celebrating his 70th birthday. Winter is currently working on a new album that will feature guests such as Eric Clapton, Joe Walsh, Leslie West, Mark Knopfler, Jason Richey, Brian Setzer, Ben Harper, Dr. John, Joe Bonamassa, Joe Perry, David Grisman, Billy Gibbons and the Blues Brothers Horns. Whew!
The set list for the Beachland show will feature about 13 songs."We play songs from his whole lineage plus some from the forthcoming studio album Step Back,” says Paul Nelson, who produced the album and plays in Winter’s band. “The set will be 75 percent blues and 25 percent rock. It includes slide songs like ‘Highway 61’ and older classics. The band features the new line-up from the last studio album Roots and Step Back. The label liked it so much that it signed him up for two more. The next one will have Santana and Buddy Guy on it. He’s doing really good. He’s playing everywhere and it keeps him healthy. These blues guys can’t sit around.” Nelson also says Winter loves making in-store appearances so expect him to be cordial if you stop by the Exchange before the show.