Blues legend Johnny Winter, who was scheduled to headline Maine Lobster Fest, dies in Switzerland

Legendary blues guitarist Johnny Winter performs at the Valencia Jazz Festival in 2008.
HEINO KALIS | REUTERS
Legendary blues guitarist Johnny Winter performs at the Valencia Jazz Festival in 2008.
Posted July 17, 2014, at 1:52 p.m.

Blues singer, guitarist and music producer Johnny Winter died Wednesday at age 70, a representative for the performer confirmed Thursday.

Winter and his band — the aptly named Johnny Winter Band — were set to headline the Maine Lobster Festival on Aug. 2.

“The Maine Lobster Festival is deeply sorry to hear of Johnny Winter’s passing and sends best wishes to his family and bandmates. Johnny Winter was one of the world’s greatest guitarists,” said Chuck Kruger, who handles media relations for the Maine Lobster Festival.

Winter was known for his unique blend of British blues-rock and American Southern rock. He received a Grammy nomination for his album “I’m a Bluesman” in 2004. His band had headlined the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Chicago Blues Festival and the Swedish Rock Festival. Winter also played alongside the famed Muddy Waters in the 1970s.

Johnny Winters Band was to headline the Rock ‘N’ Blues Fest at the Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland, which will be held July 30 to Aug. 3, with his brother’s band, Edgar Winter Band, Vanilla Fudge and others.

Kruger says the show will go on with the other performers, which also include Peter River (formerly known as Rare Earth) and Savoy Brown’s Kim Simmonds performing a Johnny Winter tribute.

“It is certain to be an amazing show,” said Kruger.

Kruger said festival attendees should keep an eye on the lobster fest’s social media accounts for an announcement regarding the addition of another star guitarist.

The news of Winter’s death saddened many in the music community.

“His wife, family and bandmates are all saddened by the loss of one of the world’s finest guitarists,” said Carla Parisi, Winter’s publicist.

Winter’s newest studio album, “Step Back,” is set to be released Sept. 2. His last performance was Saturday at the Lovely Days Festival in Austria.

The cause of Winter’s death has not been released.

 

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