Quarto Valley Records releases ‘Lone Star Blues‘ today, the third single off the upcoming new album ‘Brother Johnny‘, an all-star tribute to Johnny Winter organized by his brother Edgar Winter. Listen to the single here.
The album ‘Brother Johnny‘ is now available for Pre-order.
‘Lone Star Blues‘ features Edgar Winter and Keb’ Mo’, a perfect pairing for this personal and biographical song Edgar penned especially for this tribute. Edgar’s gritty singing and Keb’s impeccable guitar works to transport the listener to a small smoky backroom club and the lonesome dirt road that leads there.
“Well, I was born in Beaumont left when I was in my teens…
I was playing music, searching for just what life means…”
“I don’t think this album would be complete without at least one, heartfelt, personal tribute from me to my brother–in the form of a song,” Edgar wrote in the album’s liner notes. “So I wrote this about something I know Johnny felt deep in his heart…The idea of being a star yet feeling all alone…
and then the perfect title, ‘Lone Star Blues’ came to me” which as a native Texan carries a double meaning.
“When it came to a special guest artist for this one, there was one and only one person I wanted to do it, and that is Keb’ Mo’. Keb’ Mo’ is a real blues man who feels it heart and soul. He has his own unique style that is absolutely perfect for this song.”
‘Brother Johnny‘ is a powerful sonic journey, traveling the course of Johnny’s musical life, impeccably directed, as only his brother Edgar could. The guitar-driven album celebrates the expansive styles Johnny was known for – the 17 tracks were carefully curated by Edgar and producer Ross Hogarth to represent Johnny’s evolution as an artist, honouring his great legacy while also incorporating a personal tribute from brother to brother, and for which Edgar penned two new songs.
oining Edgar on the inclusive project is an impressive array of renowned musicians who knew, or were inspired by Johnny, including Joe Bonamassa, Doyle Bramhall II, John McFee, Robben Ford, Billy Gibbons, David Grissom, Taylor Hawkins, Warren Haynes, Steve Lukather, Michael McDonald, Keb Mo, Doug Rappoport, Bobby Rush, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Ringo Starr, Derek Trucks, Waddy Wachtel, Joe Walsh, Phil X and Gregg Bissonette.There were also invaluable musical contributions from Kenny Aronoff, Tim Pierce, Billy Payne, Doc Kupka, and David Campbell.
‘Brother Johnny‘ will be available on CD and digitally across all platforms on April 15, 2022. Double 180-gram vinyl will be available in mid-June 2022. The album is now available to pre-order from https://lnk.to/BrotherJohnny.
The album’s first single, ‘Johnny B. Goode‘, was released on January 7, 2022, and features Edgar, Joe Walsh, David Grissom, Bob Glaub ,Gregg Bissonette and Phil X. Listen to it here
The second single, ‘Mean Town Blues‘, was released February 18, 2022, just before February 23, what would have been Johnny’s 78th birthday. It features Edgar Winter (vocals), Joe Bonamassa (slide guitar), Sean Hurley (bass) & Gregg Bissonette (drums). Listen to it here
‘Mean Town Blues‘, from Edgar Winter’s liner notes for ‘Brother Johnny‘:
“Now when I think about Johnny, his authenticity as a blues man (reflected in his early writing), and particularly his style of slide guitar—if there’s one song that best epitomizes and brings all those elements together to represent the many aspects of who Johnny was in the early days, that song would have to be ‘Mean Town Blues‘. Every time I hear it, I think, now that’s Real Johnny Winter. It just captures the essence of everything he was.
To me, all this made it one of the most important tracks on the album, and probably the most difficult to replicate the original feel on. Although my intention was Never to make a Johnny sound alike or copy album, I wanted this one song to be as authentic as possible.
I wanted only guitar, bass, and drums, exactly like Johnny’s original blues trio. But I didn’t know of anyone out there who naturally played slide anything like the way Johnny did. I thought Joe Bonamassa did such a great job with Johnny’s regular guitar style, I wonder if he could do the same thing with the slide? So, I called Joe saying I didn’t know where else to turn, and that he was our last and best hope. Joe said it would be a real challenge, but one he was up for. Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered. I think he viewed it as an adventure that would add a new dimension to his playing.
We scheduled the recording for a few weeks later to give Joe a chance to study. When the session rolled around he said he was ready, and man, was he! As soon as he started playing, I knew we were home free. Joe rose to the challenge and beyond. I swear I’ve never heard anyone (other than myself) able to get inside Johnny’s playing the way Joe does. He nailed it—dead center Johnny Winter! When I put on our version, it takes me back to the first time I heard Johnny play it. I get that same old feeling, and I hope you all will too. Joe, I don’t have the words to thank you. What you brought to this album goes beyond words. When I listen to the songs you did, it’s as though I can hear and feel Johnny’s spirit and presence in the music. Call it mystical, magical, some kind of bizarre channeling, or just great heart and soul musicianship. Whatever it is, you got it, and I thank you for giving to the world on this album.”
When it came to a special guest artist for this one, there was one and only one person I wanted to do it, and that is Keb’ Mo’. I didn’t know him at all, but Ross did the TajMo album that won the Grammy. So he knew and worked closely with both Taj and Kevin. I asked Ross to ask him, and Ross set up a get acquainted phone call. I explained all about why I was doing the album, how much it meant to me, and about the specific song and the idea behind it. He was very nice, straight from the heart, and real. He seemed open to the possibility and said he would like to hear the song.
All we had to send was a simulated slide guitar I played on keyboard in a typical Johnny style, a vocal, and drums. In this case, less was more. What we were hoping was for Kevin to make it into a Keb’ Mo’ song, and that’s exactly what happened.
I was totally over the moon when he agreed to do it. He broke the whole thing down and started over from scratch, putting all the instruments on himself—all the guitars, bass, and some great vocal lines. Keb’ Mo’ is a real blues man who feels it heart and soul. He has his own unique style that is absolutely perfect far this song.
I had done a typical Johnny kind of vocal (very intense and gravelly), but everybody thought it was just too much and over the top. After hearing the lines that Keb’ Mo’ sang I got it. His voice was so cool and laid back, every time he sang a line the song just seemed to come to life. My lines sounded edgy, stressed, and almost angry. So I redid my entire vocal in a more natural storytelling style. I sent it to Ross, who sent it on to Keb’ Mo’. What he said, I took as a real compliment.
“Does Edgar like Mose Allison? It kind of sounds a little like Mose.” Keb’ Mo’ had a completely different feel and approach that absolutely transformed the song. Kevin, thank you from my heart. I Love you for being Keb’ Mo’ and doing what you did.”
About Quarto Valley Records
Founded by tech entrepreneur Bruce Quarto, the California-based independent label Quarto Valley Records represents Rock, Blues, Jazz and Americana genres with an impressive artist roster featuring legacy musicians Paul Rodgers, Savoy Brown, and Edgar Winter – in addition to the legendary talent that comprises The Immediate Family, GRAMMY® award-winning producer, and percussionist Narada Michael Walden, blues-rock artist Sean Chambers and British blues sensation Bonham-Bullick, Wings member Denny Seiwell, the renowned and soulful Richard T. Bear, and emerging Americana artist Dominic Quarto. https://quartovalleyrecords.com