Edgar Winter received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album after releasing Brother Johnny in 2022. Why is one nomination such an interesting story leading up to the award show on Sunday, Feb. 5?
It’s because Winter hasn’t been nominated in half of a century, and the album that got him back in the conversation is a heartfelt tribute to his late brother.
Johnny Winter passed away in 2014. Sometimes, raw emotion leads artists into recording music that pays tribute to family members and close friends. However, the emotion kept Edgar Winter away from the subject in the immediate aftermath.
“I had serious reservations about making the album in the beginning, I also knew it would be highly emotional, would come to dominate our lives, and would involve all our time for the near foreseeable future,” Winter said. “But Monique (Winter, Edgar’s wife) was always absolutely certain, emphatic, and definite about it all along and helped me see that I absolutely HAD to make this record. My heart just never would have allowed it otherwise.”
The first two Grammy Award nominations that Edgar Winter received came in 1973. His hit song “Frankenstein” found its way into the conversation for Best Instrumental Composition and Best Pop Instrumental Performance. The nominations came one year after Winter released “Free Ride,” his most recognizable hit.
The pride in Brother Johnny seems to outweigh the hits in his past.
“I know that technically it IS my album (I am the artist), but it feels more like Johnny’s, or something that somehow just came into existence in and of itself. Ross, Monique, and I tried to guide and shape it, but the music took on a life all its own through the great musicians who performed it,” he said.
He went on to speak about how proud he is about the recognition of classic rock as a subgenre of Rock & Roll and how it has persisted into the modern era.
Listen to Edgar Winter cover “Johnny B. Goode” on Brother Johnny.