WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Fans from around the region gathered at the Westchester County Center in White Plains to watch Blues legend Johnny Winter and other musicians perform at the Rock n’ Blues Festival.
A sea of black-tee shirt-wearing fans filled the theater when the doors opened at 6:30 p.m. Many fans Sunday night were baby-boomers and some came with kids, teenagers and even adult children to view the concert.
“I used to listen to Johnny back when I was 18 or 19 on an 8-track in my car,” said Tom Till of White Plains. “So I brought my daughter, who’s 22, to see him play.”
Samantha Till sat next to her father, smiling and getting ready for the show.
“I’m very excited," she said. "I’ve never heard them before.”
The County Center sold 1,460 pre-sale tickets for the concert and more people lined up at the door to purchase tickets on site. Johnny Winter played at Woodstock and with musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Stevie Ray Vaughan. The Grammy-nominated musician also produced and played on Muddy Waters’ albums “Hard Again,” “I’m Ready,” “Muddy Mississippi Waters Live,” and “King Bee.” He was inducted to the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1988 and had a Gibson guitar named after him.
Although excited to see Winter, fans were also eager to hear Rick Derringer, Mountain's Leslie West and Savoy Brown's Kim Simmonds, as well as Johnny’s brother, Edgar Winter.
“I’m a huge Johnny and Edgar fan,” said Donny Fox, of Rockland County, who brought his 11-year-old son, Chris, to see the show. “But Edgar, he could play any instrument on stage. He’s a tremendous musician. They are all great musicians.”
Rose and Bruce Pollack of Rockland County drove back from a 10-day festival in eastern Pennsylvania just to make it to the Rock n’ Blues Festival at the County Center.
“These are old bands that we like,” Bruce Pollack said. “We left the other festival a day early just to get here for this.”
His sister Ronnie Geist and her husband, Harry, drove down with them from Rockland for the show.
“We haven’t seen him in a few years,” Ronnie Geist said. “This was so close and we wanted to see him again.”