Thursday, March 16, 2017

Johnny Winter - 1969 - Johnny Winter

Johnny Winter 
Johnny Winter

01. I'm Yours And I'm Hers 4:27
02. Be Careful With A Fool 5:15
03. Dallas 2:45
04. Mean Mistreater 3:53
05. Leland Mississippi Blues 3:19
06. Good Morning Little School Girl 2:45
07. When You Got A Good Friend 3:30
08. I'll Drown In My Tears 4:44
09. Back Door Friend 2:57

Johnny Winter – lead guitar, slide guitar, harmonica, vocals
Uncle John Turner – percussion
Tommy Shannon – bass

Edgar Winter – keyboards on "I'll Drown in My Tears", alto saxophone on "Good Morning Little School Girl"
Elsie Senter – backing vocals on "I'll Drown in My Tears"
Carrie Hossel – backing vocals on "I'll Drown in My Tears"
Peggy Bowers – backing vocals on "I'll Drown in My Tears"
Stephen Ralph Sefsik – alto saxophone on "I'll Drown in My Tears"
Norman Ray – baritone saxophone on "I'll Drown in My Tears"
Walter "Shakey" Horton – harmonica on "Mean Mistreater"
Willie Dixon – acoustic bass on "Mean Mistreater"
Karl Garin – trumpet on "Good Morning Little School Girl"
A. Wynn Butler – tenor saxophone on "Good Morning Little School Girl"

Johnny Winter is Johnny Winter's second studio album, released in 1969. UK CBS issued this with nine tracks in late 1969 in both stereo and mono (S63619/M63619). This album may have been intended as a Quadraphonic album as a four-channel reel was prepared but to this day remains unreleased.

Blessed with a precocious passion for the Blues, after having had the chance of jamming with iconic figures such as B.B.King and of hanging around for over ½ a decade with his arguably mentor Michael Bloomfield, who had famously organized an impromptu audition by inviting him up on stage so that he could exhibit  his skills in front of a group of recording industry’s executives as documented  on [Albumx]“Live at the Fillmore – the lost tapes”, the young Johnny Winter was finally and deservedly given the opportunity to record under his own name.

Johnny took care of the production himself with assistance from the iconic Eddie Kramer; he gathered a nuclear trio, christened Winter for the occasion, with future SRV side man Tommy Shannon on bass and seasoned drummer “Uncle” John Turner , whereas Johnny himself spread his talent on the electric guitars, the slide guitar, the Blues harp and of course the voice; additional assistance was used on some tracks but it was this power trio, the ultimate expression of electric Blues passion,  which set the basic foundation for the album.

This was one of those LPs which established the emergence of a new guitar wizard: Johnny alternates between all too natural boosts of exuberance, technically challenging playing, machine-gun riffs fired like blinding lightning flashes and expressions of heartfelt emotional statements, so genuine he seemingly  inadvertently finds himself dialoguing with his guitar licks, with spontaneous vocal interjections; a couple of acoustic cuts attest how he needs no electricity to express his true devotion to the genre, namely on the impassioned version with overdubbed resonator guitar of Robert Johnson’s “When You Got a Good Friend”; couple that with his real Blues shouter attitude, albeit one occasionally feels he still has a couple of rough edges to smooth out – although this genuineness makes the whole thing even more appealing-, plus the ability to pen his own numbers, be it greasy, organic Texan Blues such as “Leland Mississippi Blues”, powerful, hard-hitters wrapped in a web of pyrotechnical licks and riffs such as the opener “I’m Yours and I’m Hers” or the total solo- no overdubs – resonator driven “Dallas”.

Tracks with Willie Dixon on acoustic bass and Walter “Shakey” Horton on Blues Harp (“Mean Mistreater”), the majestic take on “I’ll Drown in My own Tears” in true Al Kooper tradition and decidedly a competitor to Joe Cocker’s version, the band enlarged with backup vocal harmonies, brother Edgar Winter on piano  and a four-men horn section, or the fiery “Good Morning Little School Girl” with Edgar switching to alto, plus A.Wynn Butler on tenor and Karl Garin on trumpet, are telling evidences that an all-around Blues stylist, one who feared no challenges was born.

1 comment: