Cleland Theatre is soon to play host to one of the greatest guitarists of all time.
On Oct. 8, Penticton’s newly reopened Cleland Theatre will host Johnny Winter, who at 67 years old, is still touring and pumping out blues rock as he’s done since his career started in the 1960s.
Winter is probably best-known for his high-energy albums and live performances in the late ’60s and early ‘70s, but as a producer, he’s also produced three Grammy Award-winning albums for legendary bluesman Muddy Waters and recorded several Grammy-nominated albums of his own. He was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1988 and received another huge honour in 2003 when, at 59 years old, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked him 74th in their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.
After signing to Columbia records in 1969 in what was called the largest solo artist deal of it’s time, Winter immediately laid out a blueprint for his fresh take on classic blues, quickly drawing in legions of fans just discovering the blues via the likes of Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton. Constantly shifting between simple country blues in the vein of Robert Johnson, to all-out electric slide guitar blues-rock, Winters has always been one of the most respected singers and guitar players in rock and the clear link between British blues-rock and American Southern rock (à la the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd.) Throughout the ’70s and ’80s, Johnny was the unofficial torch-bearer for the blues, championing and aiding the careers of his idols like Waters and John Lee Hooker.
Today Winter is enjoying a resurgence performing to sold out shows worldwide even after a long life full of honours and accomplishments such as a triumphant appearance at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival with Derek Trucks, Buddy Guy and Clapton that has been immortalized on an Emmy-award-winning DVD. A Live through the 70s DVD is a hit along with his Live Bootleg Series CDs that have all entered the Top 10 Billboard Blues charts. His recent Grammy-nominated I’m A Bluesman CD has only added to his reputation.
In addition Winter has been headlining such prestigious events as the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Chicago Blues Festival, Swedish Rock Fest, Warren Haynes X-mas Jam and Europe’s Rockpalast viewed by millions, just to name a few. Warner Bros. has now released a 40th anniversary DVD of Woodstock: 3 Days of Love and Peace, the Director’s Cut featuring, for the first time, Johnny playing his smoking classic Meantown Blues.
Tickets for the Oct. 8 show are available at the Penticton Community Centre or by phone at 250-490-2426.