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Taylor Hawkins’ First Posthumous Recording Is a Johnny Winter Cover

Edgar Winter has released a cover of his brother Johnny’s “Guess I’ll Go Away” with Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins featured on lead vocals, marking the drummer’s first posthumous release since his death on March 25.

The track appears on Brother Johnny, Edgar’s tribute album to his brother, out Friday. Originally off 1970’s Johnny Winter And, the new rendition features Hawkins kicking things off alongside a blistering guitar riff by Doug Rappoport, as Edgar accompanies on organ.

In a tribute posted on his website following Hawkins’ death, Winter wrote that the track is a precursor to heavy metal. For this reason, he wanted someone younger and more energetic to sing it. His producer, engineer and mixer Ross Hogarth suggested his friend Hawkins.

Winter and Hawkins had never met, but they hit it off. The late drummer wouldn’t even accept compensation for his work on the track. “He said, ‘I just wanna get out there and rock, and rock he did… I listened to it last night, and couldn’t help but cry. It’s a song about the lure of sex, the danger of drugs, and the love of rock & 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,” he continued. “The name of the song is ‘Guess I’ll Go Away.’ Now, both Johnny and Taylor have gone away no one can know, but which we all one day must travel. Although I know Johnny has departed this world, I still think of and speak to him every day, and will now see Taylor’s face along side his.” 

In addition to Hawkins, Brother Johnny features contributions by Ringo Starr, Michael McDonald, Joe Walsh, Steve Lukather, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Waddy Wachtel, Joe Bonamassa, Gregg Bissonette, and more artists.

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