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Winter, Johnny: The Woodstock Experience

Progressive blues? If there ever was such a thing, then Johnny Winter certainly would be listed as the poster child of the genre. This incredible blues-rock guitarist, often cited as the greatest 'white blues guitarist' that ever lived, has been wowing fans and audiences with his guitar skills for five decades now, and this set, from his almost never talked about appearance at the famous Woodstock Festival in 1969, is the first time this show has been officially released in its entiretly. SONY Legacy has recently released the full sets from not only Winter, but Santana, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, and Sly & the Family Stone, along with remastered editions of the albums that each act was supporting at that time, in deluxe 2CD sets.

The live set here is a pretty rocking affair, and no doubt due to the fact that there was no film footage in the Woodstock movie of Winter's set the real reason that little has been discussed of his performance at the festival over the years. The first few songs feature the band as a trio, with Johnny on guitar & vocals, Tommy Shannon on bass (later to be a mainstay with Stevie Ray Vaughan), and drummer Uncle John Turner, as they rip through hard rocking bluesy tunes such as "Mama, Talk To Your Daughter", the blistering "Leland Mississippi Blues", a rollicking, shuffling "Mean Town Blues", and "You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now" before brother Edgar comes out to play with the band on a few standout cuts like an epic "Tobacco Road" (where Edgar lends some great vocals,sax & organ), the smoking guitar/organ vehicle "Tell the Truth", and the upbeat "Johnny B. Goode". Johnny is in fine form throughout, his blazing solos and his gritty Texas vocal snarls working hard to impress the huge audience, and the band is very tight as they work the rock end of the spectrum. This performance went a long way into making Johnny Winter a star, and you can now hear it all for yourself.

The studio album is presented here in remastered format, and is a nice inclusion in this package. From white-hot blues rock excursions like "I'm Yours And I'm Hers", to more slower, grinding numbers such as "Be Careful With A Fool", the technique of Winter is on full display, a guitar player who could rip it up with the best of them. Whether is be his straight up playing, or his amazing slide work, Johnny Winter in 1969 was a force to be reckoned with, and he would go on to great stardom throughout the 1970's, and still is a regular on the touring circuit today.

Track Listing
Disc 1 -Johnny Winter
1. I'm Yours And I'm Hers
2. Be Careful With A Fool
3. Dallas
4. Mean Mistreater
5. Leland Mississippi Blues
6. Good Morning Little School Girl
7. When You Got A Good Friend
8. I'll Drown In My Own Tears
9. Back Door Friend

Disc 2-Live at Woodstock
1. Mama, Talk To Your Daughter
2. Leland Mississippi Blues
3. Mean Town Blues
4. You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now
5. I Can't Stand It
6. Tobacco Road
7. Tell The Truth
8. Johnny B. Goode

Added: July 12th 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
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Language: english

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