Brother Johnny is a tribute to legendary Texas guitarist Johnny Winter. Masterminded by famed sibling Edgar Winter, the album is an entertaining odyssey into Johnny’s musical life, with help from talented guests; Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Derek Trucks, Robben Ford, Joe Bonamassa, and Warren Haynes headline a bevy of gifted guitarists across 17 tracks.
David Grissom brings the fire on “Johnny B. Goode” while Steve Lukather burns on “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo,” as does Phil X on “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” with Waddy Wachtel. Joe Bonamassa appears on two ripping tracks, while Billy Gibbons and Derek Trucks make beautiful music on “I’m Yours and I’m Hers.”
Brother Johnny isn’t all Texas-jalapeño licks; Keb’ Mo’ makes an appearance on the acoustic “Lone Star Blues,” Doobie Brother John McFee plays mean slide on “Highway 61 Revisited,” and Doyle Bramhall, II plays bottleneck on “When You Got a Good Friend.” Michael McDonald vocalizes on “Stranger” with Joe Walsh on guitar and Ringo Starr on drums.
The playing here is inspiring, and the choice of songs illustrates the range and depth of one of America’s finest purveyors of the blues. In all, Brother Johnny is a well-executed tribute to a guitar icon.
This article originally appeared in VG’s May 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.