Festival headliner dies in Europe
Rockland — Texas blues icon Johnny Winter, whose band was to be featured in the Rock ‘n’ Blues Fest scheduled as the big Saturday night show at this year’s Maine Lobster Festival, died July 16 on tour in Zurich, Switzerland, at age 70.
Winter rose to fame in the late 1960s and '70s with his energetic performances and recordings that included producing his childhood hero Muddy Waters. Over the course of four decades, Winter released 20 albums, toured relentlessly and was named by Rolling Stone the 63rd best guitarist of all time. Winter played at Woodstock but said in interviews he considered himself a bluesman. In 2003, he was inducted into the Blues Foundation's Blues Hall of Fame, currently under construction in Memphis.
Winter’s brother, rock musician Edgar Winter Jr., also performs in the Rock ‘n’ Blues Fest, which also features Vanilla Fudge, Pete Rivera of Rare Earth and Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown, and he has made the call that the show will go on.
“The Maine Lobster Festival is deeply sorry to hear of Johnny Winter’s passing and sends best wishes to his family and band mates. Johnny Winter was one of the world’s greatest guitarists, and we were looking forward to having him along with the rest of the Rock ‘N’ Blues Fest … The good news is that the Rock N’ Blues Fest show will go on Aug. 2 as scheduled as a Tribute to Johnny Winter — and it is certain to be an amazing show,” said Board President Chuck Kruger on July 17.
Kruger added that an announcement might be made about a star guitarist possibly being added to the show.