Friday, March 17, 2017

Johnny Winter - 1976 - Captured Live

Johnny Winter
Captured Live

01. Bony Moronie 6:50
02. Roll With Me 4:46
03. Rock & Roll People 5:39
04. It's All Over Now 6:15
05. Highway 61 Revisited 10:38
06. Sweet Papa John 12:37

Johnny Winter - guitar, slide guitar and vocals
Randy Jo Hobbs - bass, background vocals
Richard Hughes - Drums
Floyd Radford - Guitar

There is no doubt in my mind that this show would have been absolutely spectacular to see live. Johnny could really tear it up on the guitar during the seventies and eighties. However, Captured Live does not transition as well to the record. This comes as no surprise as I was not overly impressed with Johnny Winter And... Live for the same reasons. I'll watch clips online of him playing some live set in either the seventies or the eighties and notice much more than I would have if I had just heard audio. Winter and company exert an enormous amount of energy when playing that the atmosphere must have been electric. Then I hear testimonies from those older than myself who have had the privilege of seeing him live back in his prime. Almost everyone agrees that Winter could put on a damn fine show. This just strengthens my opinion that Winter is best served live, in both audio and visual form. Captured Live is good, but not great. The album pulls largely from John Dawson Winter III (four of six tracks), a piece of work that I particularly enjoy. On both albums, Winter has some great guitar solos and does a fantastic job differentiating between solos so that they do not all come across as standard note-bending, blistering blues rock solos. On the other side, about half of the album comes 'as expected' with the group playing album favorites with little change from their studio versions.

Six tracks, no standouts. "Bony Moronie" is always entertaining to listen to and is good on Captured Live, but not great. There are three other tracks from John Dawson Winter III: "Roll With Me," "Rock & Roll People," and "Sweet Papa John." The first two of these three were not my favorites on JDW3 and the same applies here. "Sweet Papa John" and "It's All Over Now" are as close to standout tracks as this album is going to get. The former is a twelve plus minute track, deliciously bluesy and long - filled with great guitar solos and of course the wonderfully suggestive lyrics. Look to this track as the only track from this album that bests its studio cover. Winter's cover of "Highway 61 Revisited" is also filled with nice solos and has decent length as well, but again, not as spectacular as the original. Winter's vocals are a bit lazy during this track - substituting the original vocal melody for one a bit easier. If you enjoy mid-seventies Johnny Winter and company (especially John Dawson Winter III), you will most likely enjoy this as well. The tunes are good, but in my opinion, not his best.

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