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Johnny Winter

Texas guitar great Johnny Winter returns to Billings on Aug. 3 for a show on the Stillwater Stage downtown.

^pJohnny Winter is playing the Stillwater Stage on Aug. 3 with opening act Downtime.

Gates open at 6 p.m. and Downtime goes on at 6:30. Winter hits the stage at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at Hansen Music, 1819 Grand Ave. The show is being presented by Magic City Blues and Mojo 92.5 FM.

Winter was voted one of the top 100 guitarists of all time in Rolling Stone Magazine. Signing with Columbia Records in 1969, he immediately laid out the blueprint for his fresh take on classic blues with a powerful combination of authentic Texas funk and his own high-energy interpretation for the legions of fans just discovering the blues via the likes of Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton.

Constantly shifting between primal country blues in the vein of Robert Johnson and scorching electric slide guitar, Winter has always been one of the most respected singers and influential guitar players in rock and the clear link between British blues rock and American Southern rock ala the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Throughout the 1970s and ‘80s, Winter was the unofficial torch bearer for the blues, championing and aiding the careers of idols like Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker.

Born in the rough and tumble oil town Beaumont, Texas, he grew up listening to and then playing blues and rock at a very early age. His inclusion in a story about Texas music in Rolling Stone in 1968 ignited a bidding war among record labels for his phenomenal talent. Since his 1969 self-titled debut, Winter has recorded nearly 40 albums and was one of the top arena rock acts in the mid-’70s.

In the late ’70s he produced and played on a series of Grammy-winning albums with Muddy Waters, who affectionately referred to Winter as his “son.” The recordings served as a “comeback” for Waters.

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Entertainment Reporter

Jaci Webb covers entertainment for The Billings Gazette.