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Thank you, Johnny Winter
Last Post 07/19/2014 02:03 AM by 79 pmooney. 0 Replies.
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79pmooney

Posts:1113

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07/19/2014 02:03 AM
I owe him for one of the biggies in my life. My love of the blues, especially Chicago blues and especially as presented by Muddy Waters and the many who went through his many bands.

I was onto Winter's first album, Progressive Blues Experiment. Because of it, I went out and bought a harmonica (he played one on one of the two acoustic songs) and the bible on how to play blues harmonica. That year I saw him live. Between songs, he said in effect ":If we want to hear the real blues; we had to see Muddy Waters." The next year, at 16, I watched Waters and his band play for 5 hours 'till closing at a club. I saw a young white harmonica player getting sounds through the mic cupped in his hands run through a guitar amp and the same $3 harmonica I played getting sounds I could not imagine! That night changed my life. I knew I had to learn to play that music and get that sound. Nothing in my life except the bicycle has had that power over me. It still does.

A few years ago I saw Johnny Winter play here in Portland at a small venue he came to every year. Saw his old flash on guitar, his deep love for that music. Got in line for autographs, but instead of handing him anything, I thanked him for turning me onto Muddy Waters. The old, nearly blind man in front of me who could not see me at all lit up!

So, again, thank you for the gift of the music that stirs my soul,

Ben
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