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Taylor Hawkins Appears Posthumously On New Edgar Winter LP

‘Brother Johnny’ is a 17-track tribute to Johnny Winter, who died in 2014
Edgar Winter, Taylor Hawkins

Less than a month after his sudden death at age 50 in Bogota, Colombia, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins appears posthumously on the new album from blues-rock veteran Edgar Winter, Brother Johnny, out today (April 15) on Quarto Valley Records. Hawkins handles vocals on “Guess I’ll Go Away,” which originally appeared as the opening song on the late Johnny Winter’s 1970 album, Johnny Winter And.

“It stands out in my mind as the highest energy and hardest rocking song on the entire album,” Edgar wrote on his Web site the day after Hawkins died. “I have always considered it stylistically the most uncharacteristically advanced song Johnny ever wrote — almost a precursor of heavy metal.”

For this reason, Brother Johnny producer Ross Hogarth suggested his longtime collaborator Hawkins as a vocalist for the recording in hopes of providing “a younger, more energetic, modern approach,” according to Edgar, who hadn’t released a studio album since 2008.

“I had only just met Taylor, and barely got to know him, but I was so impressed by his sincerity, positive energy and pure enthusiasm,” he continued. “He had a unique spontaneous style different from anyone I’ve ever worked with before. I can be very opinionated — but as soon as I heard what he was doing, I knew it was best to step back, stay out of the way and let him do his thing. That session was an experience I will never forget.”

What’s more, Hawkins refused to engage in conversations about how he’d be compensated. “He said, ‘I don’t want ANYTHING for doing this, I just want to get out there and rock. And rock HE DID! I don’t know if it was out of respect for Johnny, a desire to help me in what I was doing, compassion for the nature of the project, or his friendship with Ross. Most probably all these things — but whatever it was, he gave it His ALL!”

Brother Johnny is Edgar’s musical tribute to Johnny, who died in 2014 at age 70. The 17-track collection features a wealth of legendary guest musicians, including Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh, Michael McDonald, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Bobby Rush, Steve Lukather, and Warren Haynes.

Speaking further about “Guess I’ll Go Away,” Edgar said, “It’s a song about the lure of sex, the danger of drugs and the love of rock’n’roll. Johnny wrote it around the time of his first rehab, and it expresses feelings almost everyone I know has been through in one way or another. I would guess (like most all musicians) Taylor couldn’t help but identify with it. All I know is he put his whole heart and soul into it, and I am so sad that I never found a way to thank him properly as he so deeply and profoundly deserved.”