2 CD's of early 60's stuff and material from
Isaac Payton Sweat. If you have been waiting to get Louie Louie
done by Johnny this is your chance! Actually, looks like much of the same old
material that has been booted many times before.
Transcript of the liner notes:
Blues you can use
Few people have brought the blues idiom to as many folks as Johnny Winter. He has been recording for almost 40 years now, and shows no signs of slowing down. What could have inspired this person to pursue a vocation that previously had been relegated to the dispossessed, hard-living, black men of the South? After all, Johnny (born 1944) wasn't exactly hurting when he came up in Beaumont, Texas. His parents were pillars of the community that lived in the upscale section of this medium sized East Texas oil and shipping town. Friends have said that Johnny, even as a boy, coveted 18 rpm discs of obscure blues artists. Some parents might have discouraged the boys. but instead they had their own music room up in the attic where they would play for hours a day trying to emulate their heroes. Johnny always knew that blues guitar was his calling while Edgar gravitated towards jazz-oriented keyboards and sax. Johnny says."When I was younger I was afraid my blues would change. My brother Edgar, would always try to get me to learn more chords. I was afraid that if I played the jazzy stuff he liked I wouldn't be able to play mine. At this point I don't think it mazes much amerence. if you don't want to use it, you don't have to. But when I was thirteen or fourteen I wasn't real sure of that" In high school, the brothers formed a band.
Each recording, however, bears the indelible mark of his fast and furious guitar style. Having been managed from 1959 to 1969 by fellow Beaumont native, Roy Ames, who recalled how difficult it was to get the majors interested in Johnny. One day Ames placed a follow-up call with a high level New York record executive asking what he thought of his artist's demo. The big shot replied that Johnny just played too many notes for a mainstream audience. Perhaps Mozart's manager got the same response at first. Undiscouraged, the two persevered until the inevitable happened. In Rolling Stone magazine's chief music writer and fellow "Texan (het Hippo, wrote an article about this kid down in Texas that was going to turn the rock world on it's ear. Soon thereafter Johnny was headlining at New York's Scene Club and the Fillmore East. A bidding war ensued among the majors until Columbia Records paid the highest advance ever for a recording artist. Johnny's new manager, Scene owner, Steve Paul, put him on the road with Rick Derringer and other ex-members of the McCoy's plus brother Edgar handling the keyboard and sax duties. The resulting album was Second Winter. In 1971
Derringer produced an album on Johnny's new band, White Trash entitled 'Johnny Winter And' Several concert albums followed on it's heels, enjoying high marks on the international charts. Disc Three represents Johnny Winter and band just prior to the historic break-through, performing at the Texas International Pop Festival in Dallas. Johnny is accompanied by Unde John Turner on drums and Tommy Shannon on bass. Ironically, this is the very night that Shannon quit Johnny's band to team up with a fourteen-year-old Stevie Ray Vaughan. Within a very short time Johnny had gone from being a relatively obscure cult figure on the Texas scene to being one of the biggest rock stars in the world. Sibling rivalry being what it is, Edgar signed with Epic Records and had a #1 hit with Frankenstein. Since the early 70s Johnny has lived on New York's Upper East Side in order to be closer to the business side of things. Never one to forget his blues roots, he cut a much acclaimed album with Muddy Waters entitled Hard Again. In 1916 Johnny and Edgar joined forces again to record Together, an album consisting mostly of classic rock, blues and soul favorites. It's lackluster chart performance seemed to indicate that the Winter brothers days of wine and roses were over. Johnny has remained active in music, weathering the fickle tastes of the record buying public the only way he knows how, by playing the blues. He says, "Now, I still have no interest to change my style all around. I just want to get better at what I do. I like it. It's mysterious, but whatever it is, it still works the same way on me. I don't feel good if I'm not playing, not hearing it, there's a hole in my life. For me, blues is a necessity." Just listen to "Kind Hearted Woman" or "Don't Drink Whiskey" and I think you'll agree that the blues tradition has never been in more capable hands. —Bo Svensson 1998