Johnny Winter – Down & Dirty

Read about the new film about Johnny Winter ‘Down & Dirty’

johnny winter down & dirty


I was at an interview with Johnny Winter at the New Orleans’ Jazz and Heritage Festival a few years back.  Despite many questions from the interviewer, Johnny didn’t have a lot to say, his responses brief to the point of pulling teeth.  In exasperation, the host turned to a member of Winter’s touring party who was set back on the stage and asked what Johnny was like on the tour bus.  The response: “Just like this!”.

Now we have an opportunity to find out quite a bit more of the late blues great Johnny Winter.

Johnny Winter:  Down & Dirty is a feature-length documentary by acclaimed Lemmy co-director and producer Greg Olliver and is now available worldwide on DVD and iTunes.  The package will feature never-before-seen photos and bonus footage, including extended interviews and his final studio performance, a solo resonator version of the Son House classic ‘Death Letter.’

Produced independently through Secret Weapon Films in New York City, Olliver was welcomed into the Winter family during the final two years of Johnny’s life, where he captured the making of his Grammy-winning album Step Back (Best Blues Album, 2015).

The press release states that the film is an intimate portrait of Johnny and the blues (“guitar is the only thing I was ever really great at”); his childhood (“I got in a lot of fights…Just ‘cause you’re a different color, they don’t like it?  You don’t like black people because they’re black?  They didn’t like me because I was too white?”); friendship and loss (Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker); relationships (Janis Joplin and his current wife of over 20 years) and his addiction to heroin and methadone.  Winter continued to perform over 200 sold out shows a year until his death on tour in Switzerland in 2014.

 “I grew up in Houston listening to the blues, so making a film with Johnny is a dream come true for me,” says Olliver, who premiered the film at SXSW to critical acclaim.  “At the SXSW screening, Johnny was having so much fun.  He was sitting behind me with a big tub of popcorn laughing at his own jokes and was really psyched to see himself on the big screen.  At the time, there weren’t many blues icons left out there, I feel very honored to have worked with him.  His is a story that needs to be told!”

Down & Dirty features Clive Davis, Edgar Winter, James Cotton, Billy Gibbons, Warren Haynes, Luther Nallie, Joe Perry, Tommy Shannon, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks and more.

“I always like stories about people that drink and have drug problems and women problems,” Johnny says in the film Down & Dirty.  “It’s just interesting.”

Watch a trailer of the doco here:


Read about the new film about Johnny Winter ‘Down & Dirty’

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Author: Rob Dickens

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