Voted one of the top 100 guitarists of all time in Rolling Stone Magazine Johnny Winter is a guitar hero without equal. 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 to scorching electric slide guitar, Johnny 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 70s and 80s he was the unofficial torch bearer for the blues, championing and aiding the careers of his idols like Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker.
The Johnny Winter story is the stuff of legend. Born in Beaumont, Texas, in a rough and tumble oil town he grew up listening to and then playing Blues and Rock 'n' Roll 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 1969 and his self-titled debut, Johnny has recorded almost 40 albums of classic rock and blues and was one of the top arena rock acts in the mid-70s. In the late 70s he produced and played on a stunning series of Grammy award winning albums with Muddy Waters, who affectionately referred to Johnny as his "son." The recordings served as a "comeback" for his idol while also refreshing his own deep and unwavering love of the blues.
Today Johnny Winter is enjoying an unparalleled resurgence performing to sold out shows worldwide even after a long life full of honors and accomplishments such as a triumphant appearance at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Festival with Derek Trucks, Buddy Guy and Clapton that has been immortalized on the Emmy award winning DVD. In a ceremony with Slash presenting in Nashville, Gibson Guitars released the signature Johnny Winter Firebird guitar that has been his beloved trademark for years. His Live through the 70s, 80's, Rockpalast and Live in Japan concert DVDs are a hit as are his Live Bootleg Series CDs which all entered the Top 10 on the Billboard Blues charts. Two unique instructional DVDs and I-Pad App. have been produced by Cherry Lane/Hal Leonard to the gratitude of players around the world.??Always one for special appearances he recently performed with the Allman Brothers at the Beacon Theater in Manhattan on the 40th anniversary of their debut. In addition Winter has been headlining such prestigious events as the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Chicago Blues Festival, Swedish Rock Fest, Warren Haynes X-mas jam and Europe's Rockpalast viewed by millions just to name a few. Warner Bros. has now released a 40th anniversary DVD of Woodstock: 3 Days of Love and Peace the Director's cut featuring, for the first time, Johnny playing his smoking classic "Meantown Blues." His latest highly acclaimed release “Roots” (Megaforce/Sony) and recent performance on The David Letterman Show has only added to his Texas-sized reputation. Joining him on this CD is his scorching road-tested touring band consisting of guitarist Paul Nelson, bassist Scott Spray, and drummer Tommy Curiale. Performing now with a renewed vigor and fire to say that he is "back" would be an understatement. In fact, he never left. He is just better than ever.
Local guitarist Eric Reardon and Henley Douglas Jr. have put together a special band for this event and will be opening the night with a range of musical styles all anchored by the blues.
Eric Reardon is a local guitar prodigy…playing with professionals from the age of 14. He has played at many great regional venues, some high profile festivals, and even a small tour in Italy. "…he certainly is way beyond I was at his age…" says Montgomery about Eric’s guitar prowess. "…What impresses me and my other band members about him is that he is a very inventive player, way beyond his years in terms of being able to just jam and go with it. His solos are seamless. He’s got really great ears, not only for someone his age, but for anyone."
A renowned sax player, Henley Douglas Jr. has been performing professionally for over thirty years. He’s formed and led countless bands. His music appears on over a dozen albums including a CD of original music as a soloist. He’s shared the stage with everyone from the Neville Brothers to the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Laverne Baker.
The band consists of Eric Reardon, Henley Douglas Jr. and his rhythm section, John Iltis on drums and Dave Walker on bass.
Less than 24 miles from Boston, the fully restored Larcom Theatre is conveniently situated in downtown Beverly, MA -- 3 miles from Route 128 at 13 Wallis Street, with plenty of free parking (see map).
This gracious showplace -- featuring spectacular acoustics -- was built in 1912 (the same year as Fenway Park) by Harris and Glover Ware, two brothers and former vaudeville musicians from Marblehead, MA.
For their new theatre, which offered both stage and screen entertainment, they chose the birth site of one of America's most widely read nineteenth century poetesses, Lucy Larcom.
The Larcom Theatre's grand opening advertised that its interior was lit completely by electricity.
After seven years of wowing audiences with his turn-of-the-last-century-style stage magic production at the 1920 Cabot Street Cinema Theatre (just 4 blocks away), Cesareo Pelaez, the founder of the Le Grand David stage magic ensemble, led the purchase of the Larcom in 1984 and immediately set to work restoring its pristine beauty.
The Beverly Historical Society recognized Cesareo with an award for the integrity and authenticity of his restoration. When Cesareo finished his work there, the Larcom's elegant horseshoe balcony, hand-painted antique pressed tin ceilings and original silk wall coverings once again took you back in time to an age when American life moved more slowly and more deliberately.
Beginning with gimmeLIVE's sold-out 2013 Mardi Gras concert, the Larcom Theatre was filled with music for the first time since the days of Vaudeville.
Today, with a state-of-the-art sound system, Peter & Vickie Van Ness of gimmeLIVE continue to showcase top local talent on stage with national recording stars at the Larcom Theatre.
There is plenty of free parking at the municipal parking lot on Bow Street, about 150 feet away and at the City Hall parking lot about half a block away. You do not have to feed the meters after 5pm or on Sundays.Click here for detailed directions to the historic Larcom Theatre.