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Johnny Winter - The Johnny Winter Anthology

The Johnny Winter

Johnny Winter

Shout Factory - 826663 11328

Available from Shout Factory.

A review written for the Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb

Harvey Brooks calls Johnny Winter the most iconic pop blues player around. This two disc set is a true anthology and gives brief glimpses into all phases Winter's career; from his very early work as a blues trio in 1967 with Tommy Shannon (think Stevie Ray Vaughn's Double Trouble) on bass and Red Turner on drums right thru to 2004's I'm A Bluesman. It covers the early recording of the music Winter loves, the Blues, into his run with Steve Paul as spiritual/organic advisor, and his shifting directions with Rick Derringer of The McCoys in the control booth and with his band backing him into straight ahead rock, and, gradually after kicking his heroin addiction, back to his initial love the Blues. This is a very comprehensive two disc set that includes 35 songs from 18 albums. As with any anthology it touches only the perceived highlights as seen by those that compiled this disc. It seems to concentrate on his flash and not enough attention is paid to the more quiet side of this complex bluesman, who is still playing and still able to hold his own with some of the best axe-men around.

There is plenty of vintage playing here, including a number of collaborations he did with his brother, Edgar Winter, on Saxes, piano, organ, harpsichord and vocals. For a brief overview it is filled with some fine examples of his guitar and slide guitar work, which can range from touching to snarling and savage. His growling, sometimes scowling vocals emphasize the music that he played. He presented one hell of a figure when he was on stage as a tall and emaciated looking albino with long hair and very little stage patter, his shows were song after ferocious song played in a truculent and untamed manner, and this is not a criticism, but rather praise. One of the most complete showcases of what he was capable of doing to a song, containing both vocal and guitar savagery is Be Careful With The Fool from the album Johnny Winter.

Track List:

Disc 1Disc 2
  • Rollin' And Tumblin'
  • Be Careful With A Fool
  • Country Girl
  • I'm Yours And I'm Hers
  • Highway 61 Revisited
  • Hustled Down In Texas
  • Memory Pain
  • Slippin' And Slidin'
  • Black Cat Bone (Live)
  • Look Up
  • Prodigal Son
  • Rock And Roll, Hoochie Koo
  • Good Morning Little School Girl (Live)
  • Jumpin' Jack Flash (Live)
  • Mean Town Blues (Live)
  • Johnny B. Goode (Live)
  • All Tore Down
  • Still Alive And Well
  • Silver Train
  • Rock Me Baby
  • Bony Moronie
  • Rolling Cross The Country
  • Stone County
  • Thirty Days
  • Rock & Roll People
  • Self-Destructive Blues
  • It's All Over Now (Live)
  • Rock & Roll Medley (Live)
  • Sweet Love And Evil Women
  • Messin' With The Kid
  • Like A Rolling Stone
  • It's My Life, Baby
  • Johnny Guitar
  • Hideaway (Live)
  • Lone Wolf

Edited by: David N. Pyles


Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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