The Johnny Winter Story

Johnny Winter's Still Alive And Well

Johnny Winter's Still Alive and Well
Johnny Winter's Still Alive and Well

Johnny Winter's Still Alive and Well

After a rest period of two years, Johnny Winter returns with the album "Still Alive and Well", this album reaches #22 in the US Billboard Charts

LP: CBS 65484 (1973)

Producer: Rick Derringer

Trivial: Who is Susan?

 

 

 

Still Alive and Well Inside Cover 1
Johnny Winter's Still Alive and Well

Still Alive and Well Inside Cover 2
Johnny Winter's Still Alive and Well

    Tracklisting
  1. Rock me baby
  2. Can't you feel it (also released on 7" Single)
  3. Cheap tequila
  4. All tore down
  5. Rock & roll
  6. Silver train
  7. Ain't nothing to me
  8. Still alive and well
  9. Too much seconal
  10. Let it bleed
  11. Lucille (CD only)
  12. From a Buick Six (CD Only)

 

 

Press release of CBS Germany of "Still Alive and Well" Johnny Winter's Still Alive and Well

Transcript

JOHNNY WINTER
Er lebt noch . . . und wie!

Nach seiner Deutschland-Tournee im Frühjahr 1971 war es etwas still um den Albino-Gitarristen geworden. Zwei Jahre lang hatte er sich aus
persönlichen Gründen aus dem Show-Geschäft zurückgezogen. Diese Art innerer Emigration erwies sich als ausgesprochen fruchtbar: nunmehr
liegt seine neue Langspielplatte vor, ihr Titel konstatiert, was Johnny ist: still alive and well.

Winter, über den Kritiker schrieben, er sei "der einzig legitime Nachfolger von Jimi Hendrix", war 1962 auf der Chicagoer Musikszene aufgetaucht. Den aus Beaumont‚ Texas, stammenden klapperdürren Albino mit dem Silberblick zog' s ins Blues-Mekka. Nachdem er zunächst mit Bruder Edgar als "lt And Them" (später in "Johnny Winter And The Black Plague" umbenannt) aufgetreten war, gastierte er kurze Zeit
später in Mike Bloomfield' s Fickle Pickle. Im Dezember 1968 brachte ein Rolling Stone-Artikel alles ins Rollen. Tiny Tim-Entdecker Steve Paul holte ihn nach New York. An einem Morgen, um 2. 00 Uhr, lief im Fillmore East eine Supersession mit Hendrix‚ Stills, Bloomfield und Winter. Billboard schrieb danach: "Johnny ist das heißeste Rock-Phänomen seit Bob Dylan. Das bereitwillige Publikum wird förmlich
zur kompletten Kapitulation getrieben, wenn der weiße Blues-Satan seine betäubende, hinreissende Show abzieht.

Der weißblonde Magier sorgte nicht nur für Explosion auf der Bühne,' sein erstes Album "Johnny Winter" (eine Art Sammlung von Delta-Blues-Stücken) bewies das. Nach "Second Winter" (ein Doppelalbum, von dem kurioserweise eine Seite leer blieb) erschien "Johnny Winter And", eine Aufnahme, die Johnny mit den Ex-McCoys ("Hang On Sloopy" . . .) einspielte und seine Entwicklung vom Blues zum Rock beschleunigte.

Johnny Winter Live" war dann der einstweilige Schlußpunkt, dem jetzt sein jüngstes Plattenopus "Still Alive And Well" (Besetzung: neben Johnny
Randy Jo Hobbs‚ bass‚ Richard Hughes‚ drums) folgt.

Daß Johnny Winter seinen Anspruch auf Superstar-Popularität aufgeben würde, war ohnehin nicht anzunehmen. Der platinblonde Gitarren-König hat sich die Krone wieder aufgesetzt. Sie gebührt ihm sowieso

Aktuelle LP: CBS 65 484 "Still Alive And Well" 7303

 

 

 

Still Alive and Well has also been released as Quadraphonic LP Johnny Winter's Still Alive and Well

 

5 April 1973 New York Times reviews "Still Alive and Well"

Winter's Lean Rock

Johnny Winter has survived much in the world of rock 'n' roll, not the least his arrival from Texas some years ago as the new Rock Messiah, genius guitarist and blues singer. Much money was paid to him for his recording contract, much publicity was made out of the fact that he was a long haired albino, also cross-eyed. His recording debut was delayed but the interest was sustained. Naturally the expectations "hype" (hyperbole) is the industy word — far exceeded what ordinary mortals could provide and Mr. Winter spent the next few years trying to present a more reasonable picture of himself to the public. His new album, "Still Alive and Well (Columbia KC 32188, $5.98), may be it.

Mr. Winter, who plays stripped-down rock, with a strong facing of the blues, is accompanied mainly by a guitar and drums. The album is characterized by a nervous drive as in, for example, the veteran blues song "Rock Me Mama," which is overladen with so much energy, or perhaps tension, that any relaxation is lost. Mr. Winter may also be the first on the block with a traditional sounding blues about seconal, downers "Too Much Seconal." The high whining, sliding guitar style (Mr. Winter still has his roots fixed in the Texas environment) urgent vocals and simplicity of operation take the listener back to one of rock's better periods, the late nineteen-sixties. He has moved neither back-ward nor forward. He may have resolved things for himself with his music and provided us with an instant Nostalgia album. IAN DOVE

Cash Box 31 Mar 1973:

Johnny's first LP in two years is basically a trio effort as he's assisted by Randy Jo Hobbs on bass and the drums of Richard Hughes. Rick Derringer, who also produced, guests on three tracks (slide, pedal steel and electric); cameos also from Todd Rundgren's mellotron and Jeremy Steig's flute. The affinity that the Texas-born guitar/vocalist has for Jagger and Richard material start and ends side two with "Silver Train" and a strong rendering of "Let it bleed" respectively. The countrified "Ain't nothing to me" is also impressive. He's still in the forefront of bluesrock - and for good reason.

Still Alive and Well Johnny Winter

BY TONY GLOVER

Yes, he-is. In this long-awaited return album, Johnny Winter takes up where he left off. His fingers are fleet and sure as ever, his vocals have bite and growl, and the flash and power of yore are hanging right in there.

Winter wrote two of the ten tracks, most are more rock than heavily blues oriented, and all feature , bassman Randy Jo Hobbs and drummer Richard Hughes. Producer and former guitar partner Rick Derringer is heard on a few tracks, as are various keyboards here and there - but the basic sound is power trio. Technical advice on the LP is credited to Bill Szymczyk, who also produced B.B. King's Alive And Well album, as well as the J. Geils Band and the James Gang.

The bluesiest cuts are the. standard "Rock Me Baby," done here with a sinuous riff and plenty of punch, and the acoustic "Too Much Seconal," a Winter original. Johnny plays National Steel and man­dolin on this track, which also features the frenetic flute of Jeremy Steig-it's a burnt-out woman blues in the old tradition, but modernized a bit by choice of pharmaceuticals.

"Can't You Feel It" was written by Dan Hartman, from Brother Edgar's group - predictably it's a straight ahead rocker; "Outside your window baby, trying to get in,/ My love for you goes deeper than sin." It matches up nicely with Johnny's other original, "Rock & Roll" ("You can't keep me, gotta use me while you can"), which features some electrifying slide work.

The two sidestep numbers on the album are "Cheap Tequila," a modish ballad by Derringer. Production includes Todd Rundgren on mellotren, but overall feel is nice-it's good to hear a less raspy vocal tone. "Ain't Nothing to Me" is a fine, double-tough C&W bar song. Johnny shows off another side of his Texas roots with a good vocal, and Derringer adds nice work on pedal steel.

We get a double taste of the Stones with two numbers. One is the new "Silver Train," reportedly written for Johnny. With swirling guitars, rippling piano and buried vocals, it has a definite Exile sound, and Johnny sounds more like Jagger in phrasing and pronunciation than himself. A good, rocking track, with "Paint It Black"-styled Eastern over-tones. Some find it touched with smack references; to me it sounds like a hit single.

"Still Alive and Well" is a shock-of-recognition move. The song was first heard on White Trash's Roadwork album, and speculation was rife that Derringer had done it with Johnny strongly in mind. Here Johnny makes it a vital and personal statement with as much power and self-assertive cool as Muddy Waters had in " Hoochie-Coochie Man. "

The album closes with an appropriately leering rendition of the Stones' "Let It Bleed," once again featuring the crystal-glass-chandelier-like light­ning slide guitar work and a strutting vocal. At the end of the take Johnny asks, "God­damnit, did that get it, or what? "

It did. Welcome back man, nice to see a survivor.

Circus Jun 1973: Johnny Winter - Still Alive and Well - Columbia Records

Johnny Winter has the kind of voice and guitar sound you either hate or love . . . I happen to hate it. The gravelly vocal tones bear such a resemblance to genuine suffering that I often worry if he is actually in pain. The guitar-work, though both fast and competent, seems without inspiration. But again, this is all a matter of opinion; and after all the fans Winters' built up over the years. I'm sure it's my ears that are pasted on backwards.

Side one opens with another ver­sion of "Rock Me Baby," but the first, last and only version I ever liked was the Jeff Beck Group version ... only because it cooked instead of trundled along with bulldozer heaviness.

The album is produced by ex-Mc-Coy, ex-White Trasher Rick Derringer. Derringer's "Cheap Tequila" is probably the most interesting track on the record. Quieter and more melodious than usual, Winter's voice isn't nearly as grating.

Most annoying to me is the lack of imagination. It's all been done before, the same old rock and roll riffs, from the Allman's to Ten Years After, John Mayall and Savoy Brown. Doesn't it ever change? Music is supposed to be growing up a little . . . but this album just seems stagnant.

The second most annoying thing is the lack of original material. Winter has the reputation for being the great American rock and roll innovator. Why, then, is he rehashing material that's been done a hundred times before?

With all the truly original stuff around, this sounds like one great step backwards for American rock and roll. Sorry, Johnny Winter fans ... if you love him, you'll go out and buy it anyway . . . right?

ROLLING STONE ALBUM GUIDE: ***1/2
Winter bounced back from a bout with hard drugs on the snarlingly sober 'Still Alive and Well' - the title track and "Too Much Seconal" apply a stinging cold slap in the face.


To those of us who, for all of these years, or even for just weeks, have
wondered about the identity of the songwriter who penned, "All Tore Down," which is on the Still Alive and Well record, You will now become informed as to who J. Crane was: The late Joe Crane was in a fabulous band from Berkeley, CA. The band's name was, The Hoodoo Rhythm Devils. They were an exciting and important element of the San Francisco Bay Area scene in the very early 1970s. I have no clue as to whether or not our main man, Johnny, knew Joe Crane, or the band. Perhaps Uncle John Turner could enlighten us in that regard. Joe left the planet in the mid 1970s. He died from a neurological disease...maybe multiple sclerosis, or similar.

I have heard from friends who were in on that scene, that Joe was not only a prolific songwriter, but also was a masterful guitarist, as well as a swell fella. I love Johnny's rendition of that song, but to truly appreciate the piece, one must also hear the original. I do not have any of their records, but the famous KSAN radio station played the Hoodoo Rhythm Devils as often as they played Little Feat, whose approach to the swampland was similar, and that exposure made an indelible impression on my soul. Another very groovy reference to The Hoodoo Rhythm Devils, is evident on Thin Lizzy's record, "Johnny The Fox." On the song, "Johnny the Fox Meets Jimmy the Weed," The late, great Phil Lyncott sings about "...groovin' to the Hoodoo Rhythm Devils..." and also dedicates some interest in "...the voodoo music..."

If you have that record, you should give it a listen. A connection between Johnny, Phil, and Joe exists, albeit metaphysical. I believe that the title to one record by the Devils, is "Too Hot to Handle (Boogie Too Much)" Check it out! I thank Johnny for covering, "All Tore Down". I think that he is the artist who could do it the most justice, so to say. Whirled peas and hominy, Jumpin' Jimmy


Chart Peak: #22

Weeks Charted: 24

Yes, he is. In this long-awaited return album, Johnny Winter takes up where he left off. His fingers are fleet and sure as ever, his vocals have bite and growl, and the flash and power of yore are hanging right in there.

Winter wrote two of the ten tracks, most are more rock than heavily blues oriented, and all feature bassman Randy Jo Hobbs and drummer Richard Hughes. Producer and former guitar partner Rick Derringer is heard on a few tracks, as are various keyboards here and there -- but the basic sound is power trio. Technical advice on the LP is credited to Bill Szymczyk, who also produced B.B. King's Alive And Well album, as well as the J. Geils Band and the James Gang.

The bluesiest cuts are the standard "Rock Me Baby," done here with a sinuous riff and plenty of punch, and the acoustic "Too Much Seconal," a Winter original. Johnny plays National Steel and mandolin on this track, which also features the frantic flute of Jeremy Steig -- it's a burnt-out-woman blues in the old tradition, but modernized a bit by choice of pharmaceuticals.

"Can't You Feel It" was written by Dan Hartman, from Brother Edgar's group -- predictably it's a straight ahead rocker; "Outside your window baby, tryin to get in,/My love for you goes deeper than sin." It matches up nicely with Johnny's other original, "Rock & Roll" ("You can't keep me, gotta use me while you can"), which features some electrifying slide work.

The two sidestep numbers on the album are "Cheap Tequila," a modish ballad by Derringer. Production includes Todd Rundgren on mellotron, but overall feel is nice -- it's good to hear a less raspy vocal tone. "Ain't Nothing to Me" is a fine, double-tough C&W bar song. Johnny shows off another side of his Texas roots with a good vocal, and Derringer adds nice work on pedal steel.

We get a double taste of the Stones with two numbers. One is the new "Silver Train," reportedly written for Johnny. With swirling guitars, rippling piano and buried vocals, it has a definite Exile sound, and Johnny sounds more like Jagger in phrasing and pronunciation than himself. A good, rocking track, with "Paint It Black"-styled Eastern overtones. Some find it touched with smack references; to me it sounds like a hit single.

"Still Alive and Well" is a shock-of-recognition move. The song was first heard on White Trash's Roadwork album, and speculation was rife that Derringer had done it with Johnny strongly in mind. Here Johnny makes it a vital and personal statement with as much power and self-assertive cool as Muddy Waters had in "Hoochie-Coochie Man."

The album closes with an appropriately leering rendition of the Stones' "Let It Bleed," once again featuring the crystal-glass-chandelier-like lightning slide guitar work and a strutting vocal. At the end of the take Johnny asks, "Goddamnit, did that get it, or what?"

It did. Welcome back man, nice to see a survivor

- Tony Glover, Rolling Stone, 5/10/73


A great album by an extreemly well rounded player. Johnny has many influences and you can hear it on this CD. As others have pointed out this CD is a little more weighted on the rock side of the blues-rock equation that Winters' music is most often described as. Short and sweet...this would have to make the top 20 of best rock&roll albums of all time. If your a guitar player--or just someone who loves guitar--then this is a MUST HAVE!!


This is the best studio cd that johnny winter put out.More rock than most of his cd`s,this has the classic song still alive and well along with rock me baby.If your looking for Johnny playing the blues you might want to try winter of 88.They have added an extra track that wasn`t on the tape,from the buicksix which is also a great song.This is a good cd for those looking for a good rockin johnny cd.


After taking a year off to cure a heroin addiction, Johnny Winter came back with his best album ever. STILL ALIVE AND WELL mixes white-hot Texas boogie with cautionary lyrics that tell of survival and could warn people off the trail of any addiction (drugs, alcohol, tobacco, food, etc.). Mentioning highlights is pointless, as STILL ALIVE AND WELL sholud be listened to as acomplete album.

Sounds Magazine (Germany) Review

Johnny Winter's Still Alive and Well JOHNNY WINTER STILL ALIVE AND WELL CBS 65484
Seit Johnny Winters letzte Studio-produktion AND erschien, ist soviel Zeit vergangen, daß diese LP fast schon als historisch zu bezeichnen ist. Eine Menge ist seither passiert;

Johnny begab sich in ausgiebige ärztliche Behandlung, weil Drogen ihm Geist und Körper zu ruinieren drohten. Bruder Edgar machte fleißig Karriere und sorgte dafür, daß der Name Winter nicht aus dem Blickfeld verschwand. Nun aber ist Johnny wieder da, gut erholt. Er hat in der langen Pause zwar nichts dazu gelernt, aber zum Glück auch nichts vergessen. Sein kerniger Blues-Rock klingt noch ge- nauso unverbraucht wie früher. Johnny rockt gleich im ersten Titel, Big Bill Broonzys "Rock Me Baby", mächtig los und zieht sodann die gesamte LP mit gleichbleibender Energie durch. Es kocht höllisch, wenn er seine Gitarre sprechen läßt, aber es verbrennt nichts zu Abfall, sondern die Musik wird dadurch eher noch bekömmlicher. Das gilt nicht nur für die reinen Rock-Stücke, sondern auch für die vom Schema abweichenden Nummern, wie beispielsweise "CheapTequila" von Rick Derringer . Besonderen Spaß hat man an den beiden Jagger/Richard-Kompositionen "Silver Train" und "Let It Bleed", von denen auch bereits letztere von den Stones veröffentlich wurde. Winters Bearbeitungen beweisen einmal mehr, daß er auch Material anderer Komponisten zu s e i n e r Musik machen kann. Überhaupt hat er diesmal viel fremde Kompositionen verwendet und nur zwei Stücke selbst geschrieben, was vielleicht als letzter Hinweis auf seine überstandene Schwächeperiode verstanden sein will.

Johnny Winter Zu seinen Begleitmusikern ist diesmal nicht viel zu sagen. Bassist Randy Hobbs ist bereits seit AND dabei. Er scheint mir allerdings flüssiger zu spielen als früher. Drummer Richard Hughes ist zuverlässig, jedoch nicht besonders auffällig. Ansonsten helfen Rick Derringer, der das Album auch produzierte, Todd Rundgren, Mark Klingman und Jeremy Steig hier und da etwas aus. Bemerkanswertes bietet sie nicht, nur Steig hat ein schönes Flötensolo in "Too Much Secononal". Die bei weitem wichtigste Erkanntnis dieser LP: Johnny Winter is still alive and well.

Hans Jürgen Günther

9 June 1973 The Hartford Courant , by J. Greg Robertson

Still Alive and Well (Columbia KC 32188) by Johnny Winter is quite a jump from the saccarine McCartney theme, but it has its own problem. It's a problem — like that or the J. Geils Band and John Kay reviewed late — that is hard to put a finger on. They are each acceptable albums, but the extra spark we have hear learned to expect from these performers is missing this time. "Still Alive and Well" refers to Johnny Winter's late absence, reportedly due to a medical problem, When he burst on the national rock scene in the late 60s, Johnny was playing blazing blues guitar and singing let-it-all-hang-out vocals. He still is, but

There are three or four definite winners on this album, out of 10 cuts. "Rock me Baby" has the tight, punchy feel and nearly inimitable Winter flair: heavy, fast, repeated blues guitar flourishes, with some wailing, moaning solos. Except now it's more rock than blues. "Let It Bleed," which seems to be getting the most airplay, is a good example of the nastiness Johnny likes to imply. But "Silver Train," another Mick Jagger-Keith Richard composition, is nowhere near as successful. The title tune, "Still Alive and Well," is suitably frantic but lacks some cohesion, also, it's kind of disappointing that such an important testament wasn't even written by Winter.

"Too Much Seconal" was written by Johnny, and features him on mandolin and Jeremy Steig on flute, but it too is a little too loose. "All Tore Down" will be best remembered for a good guitar solo. "Cheap Tequila" and "Can't You Feel It" are adequate.

We know he's alive and well, but his fans can still hope Johnny Winter gets better.

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