The Johnny Winter Story

John Dawson Winter III

2016 03 5386 JWS John Dawson III
John Dawson Winter III

John Dawson Winter III

John Dawson Winter III represents a step forward for Johnny, with more emphasis on his exceptional blues-rock guitar work. The record features five new Johnny Winter compositions as well as songs written especially for Johnny by such notables as John Lennon and Rick Derringer. The LP the first by Johnny for the Blue Sky Records (a Columbia Records Custom Label), also server as an introduction for Shelly Yakus as Johnny's producer. This album reaches #78 in the Billboard charts on 7 December 1974.

 

Inside sleeve of John Dawson Winter III

John Dawson Winter III

LP: CBS PZ33292 (1974)

Producer: Shelly Yakus

Recorded at: The Record Plant East, NYC Recorded at: The Master Cutting Room

  • Vocal, Guitar: Johnny Winter
  • Bass: Randy Jo Hobbs
  • Drums: Richard Hughes
  • Percussion: Richard Hughes, Randy Jo Hobbs, Rick Derringer, Paul Prestopino
  • Handclaps: The Group
  • Piano, Solina Strings, Harpsichord, Organ, Horn Arrangement: Edgar Winter
  • Background Vocals: Johnny Winter, Tasha Thomas, Rick Derringer Carl Hall, Monica Burruss, Jackdaw, Dennis Ferrante
  • Piano: Kenny Ascher
  • Additional Guitar: Randy Jo Hobbs
  • Pedal Steel: Rick Derringer
  • Banjo, Dobro, Lap Steel: Paul Prestopino
  • Buried Highpart: Dennis Ferrante
  • Trumpet: Randy Brecker, Bob Millikan, Lou Soloff
  • Tenor Saxophone: Mick Brecker
  • Trombone: Dave Taylor
  • Baritone Saxphone: Lew Del Gatto
  • Producer: Shelly Yakus
  • Engineer: Eg Sprigg, Dennis Ferrante
  • Assistant Enginner: David Thoener

The album John Dawson Winter III, has also been released as a Quadraphonic LP

John Dawson Winter III

JOHNNY WINTER "John Dawson Winter III" (CBS - Blue Sky Import).

Once again, the king of riffs turns up his amp and lets rip with volumes of violent, speedy guitar phrases, fronted by blues vocals.akin to scraping a hairbrush across your tonsils. The pace is frenetic, the sound weighs tons and there's a small gap on the 492nd groove where you can actually stop to breathe. Comparing the many Winter albums is pointless each is a further demonstration of fiery finger ability, rather than an attempt to create rock 'n' roll classics. He IS a rock 'n' roll classic. Included here is the usual popular clan, featuring Edgar Winter, Randy Hobbs, Richard Hughes and, of course, organic adviser (and manager) Steve Paul. Songs are by. Winter, Lennon, Toussaint and Barry Mann. Extremely white lightning. ***LG.


Lack of dynamics

JOHNNY WINTER: "John Dawson Winter III"(Blue Sky, Import)

AT LEAST it's better than "Saints And Sinners" Come to that, 35 minutes of belching and farting would have been better than "Saints And Sinners," but the replacement of Rick Derringer by Shelly Yakus as Controlmeister has wrought some significant, if minor, improvements. Most noticeable to these is the ditching of the cluttered, overproduced fell of the last opus in favour of a simpler and more open feel, though the dull, undynamic sound isn't overly appealing. Since most of you are dead anxious to hear about the album's new Lennon song,

"Rock'n Roll People," and since Winter and Yakus have stuck it right up front where we can all get at it, let us do so. Actually, it's dreadful, and it's quite obvious why Lennon was not particularly anxious to sing it himself. Lines like "my father was a mother/my mother was the sun" aren't too staggering, and Winter doesn't seem particularly thrilled with it himself. Things have come to a sorry pass when John Lennon gives his best songs to Ringo Starr.

The magic invocation of "Rock And Roll" zooms in again on the very next track, "The Golden Olden Days Of Rock. And Roll", which is another of those take -me -back -to -when -m en-were -men -and -rock-wuz -a-gigfit-for-heroes type efforts. It'd be okay on a juke box, but it's deffo short on the of lustre. Winter's guitar playing is pretty sluggish throughout, actually. On "Self-Destructive Blues" (great slide, though) he runs through one of those patented medium 12-bar shuffles he's been knocking out ever since they first allowed him into a studio, but that blazing edge seems to have dulled and he just sounds like any other fast-fingered white blues guitarist.

Only four tracks have anything real to commend them. "Stranger" is a rather nondescript ballad, but Winter uses a very fetching soft rippling rhythm guitar against a Leslie speaker lead guitar sound, similar to the treatment of "No Time To Live" on the "Johnny Winter And" album. "Love Song To Me" is a bouncy piece of country hoke with mildly amusing lyrics about how anybody who spends money ou Winterproducts can be a friend of his, and there's agreat Derringer rocker called "Roll With Me." .

My own personal fave is "Sweet Papa John", a kind of country blues thing with multiple overdub lead guitar againsta solitary bass drum. Pete Erskine sez he likes "Get Next To My Mojo." I can't- get too enthusiastic about "John Dawson Winter III." There's nothing actively wrong with it, but then it doesn't cause mach of a jump on thetcstatometer either. Basically, Winter hasn't made a genuinely excellent album since "Stilt Alive And Well," and I'm beginning to worry about the boy. This album is recommended to Winter completisls only except for those folks who absolutely have to own every song that John Lennon ever wrote. Charles Shaar Murray


John Dawson Winter III Johnny Winter Blue Sky PZ 33292

by Charley Walters

Johnny Winter, his brother Edgar and Rick Derringer form an American rock triumvirate that knows little competition.. John Dawson Winter III further refines the oldest's progression from an overanxious white bluesman with a strained voice into a tasteful and raunchy rocker. Winter the guitarist is a constant powerhouse who leaves few spaces in his frequent solos. Delivering cluster after cluster of rapidly picked notes or soaring chords, he has developed a discernible, if not virtuoso, style to replace the awkward pastiches of Chuck Berry and B.B. King that flawed his early work.

Interestingly, Winter opts for less use of distortion than do most guitarists of this like. He composes smartly. Knowing that even the simplest change can revitalize an otherwise staid 12-bar blues, Winter inserts a time-tested ascending chord sequence into the ninth and tenth bars of "Pick Up on My Mojo." Yet he can also succeed with a humorous country/western aside, and the haunting, gently sung "Stranger, a pop piece reminiscent of Edgar. But it's never a one-man show. Randy Hobbs's bass combines treble tones with the mandatory bottom sound, and muscular drum rolls from Richard Hughes ;propel the meatier tracks which dominate the album. Wisely, Winter continues to borrow from other writers: Derringer, John Lennon and Allen Tousraim are all well represented

John Dawson Winter III is not without flaws his vocal on "Sweet,Papa John," a blues patterned after the earliest Muddy Waters sides, returns to the thin huskiness he has mostly mastered, and the horns on two cuts would have been best omitted. Still, Winter displays an unmistakenly maturity that few rock artists reach.


Johnny Winter in an interview with Allan Jones: So what about the new album, which you've recently completed and which includes a new John Lennon song: "Rock and Roll people"?

I was really glad to get that song, because John's been one of my favourite people for a long time. And I've been hustling for a song from him for three or four albums. When I did the "Still Alive and well" album we called him up and asked if he had any extra rock 'n' roll songs. And he said that if he did have any, he was keeping them for himself because he was just as short of material. Then he was recording at the same studio as us and my producer talked to him and mentioned that I was recording there, and asked again if he had any songs we could use.

"Rock 'n' roll people" he'd written for himself, and had done it. But it hadn't come together right, and he didn't like it for himself, so he gave me the tape and it was just perfect for me.


Some background information provided by Jan.

It took 4 months to complete this LP. There were tons of tapes, acetate demo recordings and sheet music left from this assignment. Van Morrison submitted 15 songs. Everyone wanted to send Johnny their music. Not everyone receives such a response getting material. Fortunately for us Johnny wrote more songs on this album than he had on any previous records. The five song included 3 blues songs, a ballad, and a country western song (a C&W sound that was a completely new sound from him), a country song with a touch of self mockery.

John Lennon wrote the song that appears on this album. He wrote it for himself but didn't like the way he did it that much. Johnny's producer, Shelly Yakus, was working on the sessions for John's Walls and Bridges LP and told John Johnny was doing a record downstairs and asked if he had anything to contribute. He said, "Year , I do," and gave them a demo of the song. Johnny liked it so it was included. John has always been one of Johnny's favorite people and he was very glad to do the song - "Rock and Roll People," sort of a fast shuffle. Johnny recognized that the song had crazy lyrics.

At the time of John's murder much sadness was felt worldwide, after the initial shock my thoughts turned to this song and I wondered how the news hit Johnny. I am sure he is very honored and proud to have one of John's songs on his album.

Johnny gives us a good example of his past experiences in this album. Songs range from basic three piece tunes to the orchestration pieces. This LP showed the old Johnny Winter we know so well to the Johnny Winter we were unfamiliar with. It is way beyond categorization. It seems he goes in every direction he was capable of. He will always keep doing what he has done in the past but keeps himself free to experiment and broaden. All he has ever wanted musically is to broaden what he has been doing and have people accept the things he does well. Seems a most humble request. I try to keep this in mind.

JMHO I have always felt Johnny's greatest demon has been that struggle of the blues playing the blues he lives for and the rock and roll that is inside him too. For his whole career he has been struggling to please his fans and at the same time satisfy himself. It feels the result we witness today may be because of this internal struggle. We are fortunate he has the strength and courage to keep fighting and winning no matter what physical and mental challenges he has to endure each day, no matter what it takes to do what he was born to do - sing and play guitar - in a way that will never be repeated again, and with this comes that crossroad few are either fortunate or prepared to find.

Johnny Winter III Interview

JOHNNY WINTER was in a very good mood. He'd been rehearsing with his new band for the European trip, the new album was about to be mastered and, aside from the fact that he wasn't yet sure what he would wear onstage in England, everything was going smoothly.

Everything, that is, except this interview. One day the reporter was ill, another day the snarling New York traffic prevented our date with destiny finally after several attempts, Johnny Winter and your reporter managed to converse.

Anyway he was pretty excited about the trip to London "I was trying to figure out last night when was the last the I was there ... seems like it was 1971; it's been quite a while. People always told me that I would think it was strange over there because the audiences were quieter and more subdued, but I didn't find a that way at all. They were exactly the same as American audiences if you do a good job and played rock and roll music, people would rock and roll, and " if you played quiet music they would sit there and listen.

They don't toss as many fire-crackers.

No, that would be nicer he laughed. "You know, that never really happened at all until last year or so. It seems as though every concert that I've done, or every concert I've gone to . . . and it's not all the kids, it's just some of them who come to the concert to raise hell, and don't care. But all that fire cracker and bottle throwing stuff in the past year or two has really gotten worse and worse It's weird that you brought that up because I was talking to Teddy - my road manager - about that the other night, and I said to him if anything ever happens to me with that stuff, and I get really hurt or something - - - I don't know.

I'll have to put chicken wire around me onstage. Because its really scary, you could really get hurt bad. We had a bottle thrown at the drums once and it put a dent in the drum set - you can imagine what would happen if that hit someone in the head. And when the spotlights are on you you can't see anybody. I don't think they really want to butt you, they just want to throw things. Maybe they ought to have some kind of search thing and not let kids into concerts with firecrackers ... bottles, things like that. It's really only the high energy music that does it though.

It's like me in the early 195O's when they wanted to ban rock and roll because it incited riots and people would go crazy- "Like, we just want people to have a good time. Like a party we don't want to do anything destructive. I don't know what it is about good time music that makes people go crazy and want to tear up things. I just consider it good time music.

AS FAR as the new album is concerned, it's finished except for the mastering- Johnny's written more songs for this record than be has on any previous album. Five of them Three are pretty blues based, he says, some of them are blues/rock and some of them are blues the way he used to do it a long time ago. This album is really strange because it's got some of the really older Johnny Winter stuff that I haven't done in a long time and its got some very different things that people are not gonna believe are me . Two of the songs I wrote- one of them is a country and western tune about myself called "Love Song To Me" - just about how much I love myself.. and I wrote another really pretty ballad.

And some of the tunes have really large, lush productions with strings, synthesizers, keyboards ... vocal groups, the whole bit And then there are some real basic three piece tunes. It's the whole extreme from the old Johnny Winter to well, I don't know if you would call it the new Johnny Winter but it's sure different. "But I'm trying to get to the point of being beyond categorization, you know. People are always saying, well, what are you, what are you. ... Are you a rock and roll player or a blues player? And what do you really want to do?

What direction do you want to go in? I want to go in every direction that I'm capable of. I don't want to quit doing what I've been doing, I like that too but I don't want to feel confined. Where if I do a slow song, or a ballad, or a country song, or use a hundred piece orchestra or even just do a blues people would say 'Well, Johnny shouldn't be doing that, that's not his style.' I don't want to go off into another direction, I just want to broaden what I've been doing and have people accept the things that I do well."

THE ACTUAL recording part didn't take too long but Johnny said he'd been working on the record for about four months, writing the songs first, doing some recording ... then doing some more songs and coming back into the Record Plant and recording them. "Usually our albums take us about two weeks to do," Johnny laughed, because I hadn't been writing that many songs, I'd been doing older things on my other albums like old rock and roll standards. It took me more time to try and be more creative this time." The title will be "John Dawson Winter III" his real name.

I'm using that because it kind of fits the picture on the album cover ... I kind of look like a John Dawson Winter the Third ... I love making records, Winter continued, "because if you do a good concert you give people a good time and maybe get a good review and then it's over. But with a record you can listen to it fifty years from now and see what you were doing then and you feel like you really created something. It's a lot of fun, but I don't fed quite as comfortable in the studio as I do in front of an audience. I work a lot off the audience, you can tell what they like right then. and you know when they're turned on, and that turns me on.

It's harder in the studio, it doesn't build as much. "I like to listen to the albums again and again ...but not my old ones; I might not listen to some of them for years and years . It's not like I go home and listen to my albums all the time. . What he does listen to, he says, is a lot of old stuff; even from the thirties and the forties. .. even the fifties and sixties. "The last few years have been kind of barren musically as far as I'm concerned,"he said. "I don't buy that many records and don't listen to the radio much." One of the songs on "John Dawson Winter III" will be a John Lennon contribution.

"John Lennon wrote a song, really for himself," Johnny said, "and he just didn't like the way he did it that much. And well - John's always been one of my favourite people and he was working at the Record Plant too, and Shelly - my producer - told him that I was doing a record downstairs and asked if he had anything that I might be able to use. And he said, `yeah ... I do' . and gave us a demo of the song and I liked it so we did it. It's called 'Rock & Roll People' and it's kind of a fast shuffle." "Rick Derringer also wrote a tune for it, called "Roll With Me", the last couple of days that we were in the studio.

And Allen Toussaint wrote "Mind Over Matter". We approached a lot of people for songs, and there were over 200 that my management people listened to before we made all the selections." I asked him if there was anything that he hadn't done musically that he harboured a secret fantasy about. "Well, there are two things that I'd like to do and one of them is to put out a stone country album sometime and then when I'm in the mood for it I'd like to go back and do an album of nothing but blues. I wouldn't like to do either of them right now, but some-time in the future I'd like to do those two things."

With Johnny on his European tour will be Randy Jo Hobbs on bass, Richard Hughes on drums, and Floyd Radford on rhythm guitar. (Floyd previously played with Tin House and White Trash ... it's all sort of in the Blue Sky/Steve Paul/Winter family). Winter himself is very enthusiastic about the way the new guitar player in particular is working out. It's really strange, because we hadn't been together about a week, and I wouldn't have taken him on if it hadn't been right. I hadn't seen him since when Steve Paul was managing Tin House, but we got together and practiced a little bit, and it just really worked out.

Plus Floyd is turning into a pretty good writer, which I really need. I never considered myself much of a songwriter - although lately I have been doing more ..." . For guitar aficionados, Johnny takes two instruments with him when he travels, and they're both the same kind - Gibson Firebirds. "I take one that I play all the time, and the other in case anything happens. If it gets stolen, or a string breaks during the show I can just change it without wasting time. Once I get used to one guitar it's really hard for me to play another one.

I've been with this one for four years - probably won't ever change." Do his fans get close to him at all? Lately he's been out a lot in New York City at a variety of clubs and concerts. "It depends on where you go. Most clubs aren't too bad, people are older, and they I'll come over and say 'Hi, I like your music,' and stuff like that. I just don't go to places like teenage hangouts where the kids are fifteen and sixteen :. forget it. Or go to a concert and sit in the audience. You really can't talk to anybody because you get pencils shoved in your face or kids saying 'can I have some hair? How about a finger? or 'Is this the hand you-play guitar with?

I'll take that.' So I just don't do that anymore. I try and stay away from places like that because you can't really get close to the fans in that kind of a situation, or be friends with them. "It's too bad, I used to really try - you know, people would ask me 'Do you think being big is going to change your head?' and I was determined that I wouldn't change, and I would go out and be the same as I was. But it's just impossible. You can't do that, and it's too bad. ' But things aren't the same. Things that were fun -just aren't anymore.

If you go to a concert and try to listen - you know, somebody you really want to hear - there's people shoving pencils and papers at you from the time you come in until the time that you leave. Well, you don't get to hear the band, so what's the use of going? You really have to change your lifestyle and just not do some of the things that you used to like. That really bothered me at first, and I finally had to accept it."

AS FAR as his image is concerned the blues/freak-/superstar discovered by Steve Paul in Texas and then all that bit with Kicking the Heroin Habit - Johnny would rather that, when he returns to England, people talk to him about Now. "I'm so tired of talking about all of that. I guess people over there will ask me about some of it, but I never tried to hide anything that was happening to me, any of the things I was going through. So I'm pretty sure that everyone over there knows what was going on. I guess I'd talk about it some, but I'd really rather talk about what's going on now than things that are past.

It's hard to talk about something with any feeling after you've said it a thousand times."


Rolling Stone Magazines review: 'Johnny Winter plays his guitar in a virtuoso style that few if any have mastered'


Charley Walters:

John Dawson Winter III further refines the oldest's progression from an overanxious white bluesman with a strained voice into a raunchy rocker.

Winter the guitarist is a constant powerhouse who leaves fews spaces in his frequent solos. Delivering cluster after cluster of rapidly picked notes or soaring chords, he has developed a discernible, if not virtuoso style to replace the awkward pastices of Chuck Berry and BB King that flawed his early work. Interestingly Winter opts for less use of distortion than do most guitarists of this ilk.

Johnny Winter, his brother Edgar and Rick Derringer form an American rock triumvirate that knows little competition. John Dawson Winter III further refines the oldest's progression from an overanxious white bluesman with a restrained voice into a tasteful and raunch rocker.

Winter the guitarist is a constant powerhouse who leaves few spaces in his frequent solos. Delivering cluster after cluster of rapidly picked notes or soaring chords, he has developed a discernible, if not virtuoso, style to replace the awkward pastiches of Chuck Berry and B.B. King that flawed his early work. Interestingly, Winter opts for less use of distortion than do most guitarists of this ilk.

He composes smartly. Knowing that even the simplest change can revitalize an otherwise staid 12-bar blues, Winter inserts a time-tested ascending chord sequence into the ninth and tenth bars of "Pick Up on My Mojo." Yet he can also succeed with a haunting, gently sung "Stranger," a pop piece reminiscent of Edgar.

But it's never a one-man show. Randy Jo Hobbs's bass combines treble tones with the mandatory bottom sound, and muscular drum rolls from Richard Hughes propel the meatier tracks which dominate the album. Wisely, Winter continues to borrow from other writers: Derringer, John Lennon and Allen Toussaint are all well represented. Shelly Yackus's crisp production shows the proper measure of control.

John Dawson Winter III is not without flaws -- his vocal on "Sweet Papa John," a blues patterned after the earliest Muddy Waters sides, returns to the thin huskiness he has mostly mastered, and the horns on two cuts would have been best omitted. Still, Winter displays an unmistakable maturity that few rock artists achieve.


Unknown:

Once again the king of riffs turns up his amp and lets rip with volumes of violent, speedy guitar phrases, fronted by blues vocals. The pace is frenetic, the sound weighs tons and there's a small gap on the 492nd groove where you can actually stop to breathe. Extremely white lightning.


Charles Shaar Murray:
My own personal fave is "Sweet Papa John", a kind of country blues thing with multiple overdub lead guitar against a solitary bass drum.


JOHN DAWSON WINTER 11 (Blue Sky Sky 80586). Well the man's back again with another album - the only time we really get to hear him apart from the old gig and his annual appearance on OGWT. You should know the format by now - hits it straight at you does our Johnny, no back door subtlety here. The second track, Golden Days of Rock and Roll sums up Johnny's attitude ex actly, and sums up the album come to that John ny couldn't woo a bulldog with that grinding voice of his, but perhaps he isn't trying to, just to get it excited would be enough. M. T.


See also: Time line - 1974, and books Oct 1974.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 12 November 1974 review of John Dawson Winter III

John Dawson Winter III

Johnny Winter ist zurück, und darüber darf man sich freuen. Der jetzt dreißigjährige Texaner erregte zuerst 1969 weltweites Aufsehen. und zwar zu-nächst nicht mit seiner Musik, sondern mit dem Vertrag, den eine Plattenfirma dem vom Fachmagazin "Rolling Stone" gelobten Newcomer anbot: 300 000 Dollar für einen unbekannten - solche Hypotheken auf eine völlig unsichere Zukunft hatte es bis dahin noch nicht gegeben.

Ganz abgesehen einmal davon, wie er nun sang und spielte, ließ sich im sensationslüsternen Pop-Business mit Johnny Winter allerdings schon einiges anfangen: Ein spindeldürrer Albino mit wehendem Strähnenhaar war bis-her noch nicht über die Rock-Bühnen getanzt - schon gar nicht mit so staksigen, verrückten Bewegungen. Daß er privat ein schüchterner, lieber Junge ohne alle Starallüren ist, sprach sich nicht herum. Seine Erfolge mit Platten und Auftritten bei Konzerten und Festivals (unter anderem Woodstock) wurdenunterbrochen, als er drogensüchtig wurde.

Die fast zwangsläufig sich einstellende Entfremdung auf der (von Managern verfügten) Jagd nach Publicity sieht Winter heute als Grund dafür an (sich konnte mit niemandem mehr befreundet sein"). Zwei Jahre 'verbrachte er in Entziehungsanstalten; 1973 nahm er wieder eine Platte auf; in der Bundesrepublik stellte er sich jetzt zum erstenmal nach seiner Gesundung wieder in zwei (ausverkauften) Konzerten vor. Johnny Winter kommt nun aber nicht mit dem Tragik-Image eines James Taylor, der Feuer und Regen" gesehen hat, sondern als lustvoller, über-schäumend vitaler Rock- und Bluesmusiker auf der Höhe seiner.

Kunst. Rockmusik macht Winter mit aanstekkender Fröhlichkeit und besonders guter Entfaltung der als Register eingesetzten Aufrauhung seiner Stimme. die Schreie musikalisieren kann, wie nur die besten schwarzen Sangen. In langsamen Bluesstücken ist sein Gesang nicht ganz so überzeugend: die Stimme wird beim Aushalten der Töne manch-mal etwas bruchig. Trotzdem ist der Bluts seine eigentliche Stärke - und zwar die des Gitarristen Johnny Winter. Wie er seine Improvisationen über dem unverwüstlichen Kadenzschema aufbaut, die Technik, die ihm dabei zu Gebote steht - das ist einmalig. Jeder einzelne Durchlauf der zwölftaktigen Harmonie-folge (Chorus) ist ein kleines in sich abgeschlossenes Kunstwerk, in dem schnellere Bewegungen als raffiniertes Steigerungsmittel eingesetzt werden.

Auch die Improvisation im Verlauf des ganzen Stücks ist durch gewisse Strukturentwicklungen noch als große Steigerung angelegt. Dazu kommt, daß er in Floyd Radford einen zweiten Gitarristen in der Gruppe hat, der im in nichts nachsteht. Wenn die beiden am Ende eines Stücks nach langen Soli in Duos mit gleichberechtigten Stimmen zusammen spielen und die vorher aufrechterhaltene Aufteilung in Melodie-und Akkordgitarre aufgeben, dann kommt eine mitreißende kreative Spontaneität ins Spiel, über der man alle Biues-Jam-Sessions etwa von Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper und Eric Clapton vergessen kann.

Johnny Winter, dessen Gitarrenkunst man als Substrat aus dem "feeling" von B. B King und der elektro-intensiven Technik von Jimi Hendrix bezeichnen kann (mit beiden hat er gespielt), ist zum Blues nicht durch intellektuelle Reflektion gekommen, sondern durch eine Jugend, in der es nicht gerade sonnig zuging. Auch wenn er keine Existenzsorgen hatte - sein Vater ist Baumwollplantagenbesitzer - war er doch mit seinem Augenfehler und seinem Außenseiter-Aussehen stets die Zielscheibe von Spott und Hänseleien.

Er konnte keinen Sport treiben, wurde mit weiblichen Kosenamen an-geredet und mußte in der Schule isoliert in kurzem Abstand vor der Wand-tafel sitzen, um seine Fastblindheit (häufige Nebenerscheinung des Albinismus) auszugleichen. Musik als Kompensation - Johnny Winter weiß selbst, dass diese Psychologie-Schablone auf ihn paßt. Die Identifizierung mit den gesellschaftlich unterprivilegierten schwarzen Schoepfern des Blues konnte ihm nicht schwerfallen.

Ein Kritiker drückte es so aus: "Vielleicht hat es die Entfremdung, die sich 'daraus er-gab, doppelt weiß gehoren zu sein, bewirkt, daß er schwarz aufwuchs". ULRICH OLSHAUSEN

John Dawson Winter III

Johnny Winter
JOHN DAWSON WINTER III
CBS 80 586
Von Jogi


Es ist vierzig Grad unter Null, der Schnee liegt bis in Höhe des fensterkreuzes. In der Ferne heult schaurig ein Wolf, die Schlittenhunde bellen angstlich und zerren an ihren Leinen. Grossmütterchen sitzt vor dem groben Kachelofen und paßt auf, daß die Bratäpfel nicht anbrennen. — Winter also, aber irgendetwas fehlt.

Doch da klingelt's, halberfroren lehnt unser alter Briefträger in der Tür und überreicht mir mit zitternden Fingern ein Plattenpäckchen. — Juhu, Winter! John Dawson Winter, genauer gesagt. Der Dritte, wohlgemerkt. Und als ob das noch nicht genügen würde. hat er sich zur Feier des Plattencovers in einen Smoking gestürzt und schielt über einer Samtschleife keck in die Gegend. Mensch, Johnny, wie haste Dir verändert.


Doch legt man dann die Platte auf, ist er trotz aller Mimikry immer noch das alte Rock'n'Roll/ Blues-Urviech, das so schön gequält schreien und so ohrenbetäubend die Gitarre malträtieren kann. Diesmal scheint er's besonders stark mit dem Rock'n'Roll zu haben: Die LP beginnt mit John Lennons „Rock'n'Roll People”. Johnny, resp. John Dawson III, kräht heiser sein „Sweet, sweet Rock'n'Roll”, läßt ein Marathon-Solo vom Stapel und schon sind wir plötzlich hei den „Golden Olden Days Of Rock'n'Roll”. Ei-ne saubere Nummer, die man schön laut spielen muß, damit die Chormäuse und die Bläser (u.a. die Gebrüder Brecker) auch voll zur Geltung kommen.

Zum nun folgenden „Seif-Destructive Blues” fällt mir nicht viel ein, und wenn ich sage „Blues a la Winter”, dann weiß meines Erachtens nach jeder. wie's sich anhört. „Raised On Rock” ist da schon interessanter. Zu einem alten Deep Purple-Riff dröhnt Johnny davon, wie schön es ist, mit Rock'« Roll groß zu werden. Na ja, er verdient ja schließlich auch seine Kohlen mit der Musik und nicht schlecht. (Neidisch Jogi, Alter? )
Bei „Stranger” hat Old Johnny wieder den Blues. Aber der hier klingt interessanter, denn er spielt seine Gitarre wohl über einen Leslie. Das sirrt und schwirrt ganz schön und kriegt durch Streicheruntermalung den letzten Schliff.

So und nun schnell zur Seite zwei. Auftakt macht „Mind Over Matter”, eine funky' Nummer von Allen Toussaint. Danach ist mit „Roll With Me” Winter-Sidekick Rick Derringer dran. Ein simples Rock-stückchen, aber mit Pep. Mein Favorit ist Johnnys nun folgender „Love Song To Me”. So frech hat das noch keiner gebracht. Zu einer flotten Country-Weise (Rick Derringer, Pedal Steel) singt Johnny unverfroren: Keep on rockin' and a rollin' don't you never settle down keep my records playin' all the time spend your money on my concerts everytime I come to town and baby you can be a friend of minne. Tja Baby, so einfach ist das, und so link, und so wahr, und so ehrlich, und so verlogen.. . Kommen wir zum Schluß: „Pick Up On My Mojo”, ein Blues a la Winter. Siehe oben. Dann, „Lay Down Your Sorrows”, eine Ballade mit Bruder Edgar an der Orgel, Bläsersätzen und den obligatorischen Chormäusen. Den Abschluß macht „Sweet Papa John”, ein Exkurs in Slidegitarren-Technik.

Mit Sweet Papa John meint Johnny sich selbst und wenn er singt: „They call me sweet papa cause my candy is so strong. Eat it!”, dann wissen wohl alle Damen, sollten sie Johnny mal treffen, woran sie sind, oder? Ansonsten frohes Uberwintern mit Winter!

John Dawson Winter III

JOHNNY WINTER «John Dawson Winter III» (CBS 80 586) Blues-Gitarrist Johnny Winter und seine Begleiter Randy Jo Hobbs (Bass) und Richard Hughes (Schlagzeug) steilen elf neue LP-Tracks vor - darunter fünf Winter-Kompositio- nen, John Lennons «Rock & Roll People» und «Roll With Me» von Ex-Winter-Bandmitglied Rick Derringer.

Neben Rick war auch Johnnys Bruder Edgar bei den Plattenaufnahmen mit von der Studio-Partie. Dabei entstand wieder ein weisser Winter-Blues im Kraftfeld zwischen Rock-Rhythmus und gefühlsbetonten Texten. Johnny Winter entwickelt einen mitreissenden Blues-Rock - ganz ohne grossangelegte Arrangements oder komplizierte technische Effekte.

Elf Stücke mit dynamischem Zusammen-spiel von Gitarre, Gesang und Bass in meist zügigem Rhythmus. Gegen Ende der ersten LP-Seite kommt Johnnys Leidenschaft gleich bei drei aufeinanderfolgenden Stücken zum Ausdruck: Lange, schwungvolle Gitarrenfiguren von starker Intensität.

John Dawson Winter III

Rrrrock'n'R000ll!! Johnny-Boy, der unverwüstliche Gitarren-Albino, hat mal wieder gar nicht schlecht zugeschlagen mit diesem Album. Wenn man mal von der Gänsehaut absieht, die sei-ne Gitarren-Solis noch immer hervorzaubert, ist es vor allem Johnny's tierische Stimme, die für den Winter-Sound massgeblich verantwortlich ist.

Ansonsten gibt's auf dieser LP beinahe nichts weiter als guten alten Rock. Guter... - wohlgemerkt! Dass John Lennon den Titel "Rock'n'Roll People" geschrieben hat, berichteten wir bereits in der vorigen ME-Ausgabe. Und wenn Mr. Winter meint, dass dies sein bisher gelungenstes Album sei, dann kann ich ihm da auch eigentlich nicht wider-sprechen.

Verstehen kann ich nur nicht, warum auf so eine: Platte ausgerechnet noch 'ne Country & Western-Nummer ("Love Song To Me") drauf sein muss. Für Amerika ist das ja vielleicht noch ein Gag... aber für Europa - ich weiss nicht. (***) (lutz)

John Dawson Winter III

Amerikanischer Sänger und Gitarrist. Singt im Blues-Rock-Stil. Geboren am 23. 2. 1944 in Beaumont (Texas). Wurde entdeckt durch einen Artikel in der amerikanischen Rockzeitschrift "Rolling Stone" 1968. Der New Yorker Clubbesitzer Steve Paul nahm ihn unter Vertrag und brachte ihn zu einer Plattenfirma. 1969 erschien seine erste LP "Johnny Winter". Er trat beim Woodstock-Festival auf, spielte mit Jimi Hendrix und Janis Joplin und wurde so innerhalb eines Jahres Amerikas meistgelobter weißer Blues-Gitarrist.

1971 engagierte er für seine Gruppe die ehemalige Teenbeat- Band McCoys mit Sänger und Gitarrist Rick Derringer, Bassist Randy Hobbs und Schlagzeuger Randy Z. Bis 1974 war Rick Derringer der wichtigste Mann für Johnny. Er komponierte die meisten Songs und produzierte sämtliche Platten. 1974 übernahm er diesen Job als festes Gruppenmitglied bei Johnnys jüngerem Bruder Edgar.

Seitdem spielt Johnny Winters Gruppe in dieser Besetzung: Bassist Randy Hobby (geb. 22. 3. 1948 in Winchester), Schlagzeuger Richard Hughes (geb. 31. 3. 1950 in Trenton) und Gitarrist Floyd Radford (geb. 1. B. 1951 in Atlanta). Neueste LP: ,.John Dawson Winter 1l1'. Autogrammadresse: Office of Press and Public Information, 51 West 52nd Street, New York 10 019, USA

Review of the album "Saint and Sinners"

JOHNNY. WINTER: JOHN DAWSON WINTER III (Blue Sky Sky 80586). Well the man's back again with another album — the only time we really get to hear him apart from the old gig and his annual appearance on OGWT. You should know the format by now — hits it straight at you does our Johnny, no back door subtlety here. The second track, "Golden Days of Rock and Roll" sums up Johnny' attitude exactly, and sums up the album come to that. Johnny couldn't woo a bulldog with that grinding voice of his, but perhaps he isn't trying to, just to get it excited would be enough. M. T.

An Advertisement for Johnny Dawson Winter III published in Billboard Magazine

AD John Dawson Winter III Billboard
 

Tracklisting of JDWIII with full details

  1. Rock & roll people
     Writer: John Lennon (Lennon Music/ATV Music Corp./BMI/1974)
     Lead Vocal: Johnny Winter Guitars: Johnny Winter Bass: Randy Jo Hobbs Drums: Richard Hughes
     Percussion: Richard Hughes and Randy Jo Hobbs
     Handclaps: The Group
  2. Golden olden day's of rock and roll
     Writer: Vic Thomas (Pocketful of Tunes, Inc. & Papa Toad Music, Inc./BMI/1973)
     Lead Vocal: Johnny Winter
     Guitar: Johnny Winter
     Bass: Randy Jo Hobbs
     Drums: Richard Hughes
     Percussion: Randy Jo Hobbs and Richard Hughes
     Handclaps: The rlre p Piano: Kenny Ascher
     Backing Vocals: Johnny Winter, Tasha Thomas,
     Carl Hall, Monica Burruss
     Horn Arrangement: Edgar Winter
     Trumpet: Randy Brecker Trumpet: Bob Millikan Tenor Sax: Mike Brecker Trombone: Dave Taylor Baritone Sax: Lew Del Gatto
  3. Self-destructive blues
     Writer: Johnny Winter (Winter Blues Music, Inc./BMI/1974)
     Lead Vocal: Johnny Winter Guitar: Johnny Winter Bass: Randy Jo Hobbs Drums: Richard Hughes
  4. Raised on rock
     Writer: Mark James (Screen Gems-Columbia Music, Inc. & Sweet Glory Music, Inc./BMI/1973)
     Lead Vocal: Johnny Winter
     Guitars: Johnny Winter
     Bass: Randy Jo Hobbs
     Drums: Richard Hughes
     Percussion: Richard Hughes and Randy Jo Hobbs
     Harpsichord: Edgar Winter
     Lap Steel: Paul Prestopino
     Backing Vocals: Jackdaw and Dennis Ferrante
  5. Stranger
     Writer: Johnny Winter (Winter Blues Music, Inc./BMI/1974)
     Lead Vocal: Johnny Winter
     Guitars: Johnny Winter
     Bass: Randy Jo Hobbs
     Drums: Richard Hughes
     Piano and Solina Strings: Edgar Winter
  6. Mind over matter
     Writer: Allen Toussaint (Marsaint & Warner-Tamberlane Music, Inc./BMI/1974)
     Lead Vocal: Johnny Winter
     Guitars: Johnny Winter
     Bass: Randy Jo Hobbs
     Drums: Richard Hughes
     Percussion: Randy Jo Hobbs and Richard Hughes
     Backing Vocals: Johnny Winter
  7. Roll with me
     Writer: Rick Derringer (Derringer Music, Inc./BMI/1974)
     Lead Vocal: Johnny Winter
     Guitars: Johnny Winter
     Bass: Randy Jo Hobbs
     Drums: Richard Hughes
     Percussion: Rick Derringer and Paul Prestopino
     Backing Vocals: Johnny Winter and Rick Derringer
  8. Love song to me
     Writer: Johnny Winter (Winter Blues Music, lnc./BMI/1974)
     Lead Vocal: Johnny Winter
     Guitars: Johnny Winter
     Bass: Randy Jo Hobbs
     Drums: Richard Hughes
     Banjo and Dobro: Paul Prestopino
     Pedal Steel: Rick Derringer
     Backing Vocals: Johnny Winter
     Buried Highpart: Dennis Ferrante
  9. Pick up on my mojo
     Writer: Johnny Winter (Winter Blues Music, Inc./BMI/1974)
     Lead Vocal: Johnny Winter
     Lead and Rhythm Guitars: Johnny Winter
     Additional Guitar and Bass: Randy Jo Hobbs
     Drums: Richard Hughes
     Percussion: Richard Hughes and Randy Jo Hobbs
     Handclaps: The Group
  10. Lay down your sorrows
     Writers: Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann (Screen Gems-Columbia Music, Inc. & Summerhill Songs, Inc./BMI/1974)
     Lead Vocal: Johnny Winter
     Guitar: Johnny Winter
     Bass: Randy Jo Hobbs
     Drums: Richard Hughes
     Piano, Solina Strings, and
     Organ: Edgar Winter
     Backing Vocals: Tasha Thomas, Carl Hall, Monica Burruss
     Horn Arrangement: Edgar Winter Trumpet: Randy Brecker Trumpet: Lou Soloff Tenor Sax: Mike Brecker Trombone: Dave Taylor Baritone Sax: Lew Del Gatto
  11. Sweet papa John
     Writer: Johnny Winter (Winter Blues Music, Inc./BMI/1974)
     Lead Vocal: Johnny Winter
     Guitars: Johnny Winter
     Bass Drum: Richard Hughes

See also the Johnny Winter Story's single section for the singles based on this album

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Last Modified: 23-Apr-2016 14:51