Video of Johnny Winter’s final session finds him in legendary form

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In a performance that has since taken on incredible emotional weight, Johnny Winter gives an energetic new reading to Son House’s darkly resonant “Death Letter” — completing what would be his last studio recording.

This newly released video offers fans a concluding glimpse of a legend at work, performing a solo resonator version on February 4, 2013, that’s dominated by Winter’s sense of hard-won experience. His opening comment — a simple “Ready?” — says all you need to say about the deep well of knowledge that Winter brought to this cover.

“Death Letter” would become one of the few solo-only moments of Winter’s brand-new, guest-packed album Step Back, released in September. That followed a career-spanning box, appropriately called True to the Blues, and a 2011 comeback album Roots. All of it pointed to a career resurgence that, sadly, never came for Winter — who died suddenly this summer at 70, while on tour.

The video also offers intimate glimpses into Winter’s life through those final dates, as he signs autographs, blows out the candles on a cake and, of course, performs throughout the world. The image of the Eiffel Tower proves to be particularly touching, as Winter passed just two days after performing at a French blues festival.

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