The Johnny Winter Story

Johnny Winter's Nothing But The Blues

Johnny Winter - Nothing But The Blues
Johnny Winter - Nothing But The Blues

Johnny Winter's Nothing But The Blues

This album "Nothing But The Blues", which marks Johnny Winter's return to his musical roots: THE BLUES, scores #146 on the USA Billboard Charts

  • Johnny Winter - Guitar, Vocals
  • Muddy Waters - vocals
  • James Cotton - harp
  • "Pine" Top Perkins -piano
  • Bob Margolin - electric guitar
  • Willie "Big Eyes" Smith - drums
  • Charles Calmese - bass

LP: Blue Sky Sky 82141 (1977)

Blue Sky

Produced By Johnny Winter
Sound by Dave Still
Organic advisor: Steve Paul
Recorded and Mixed at The Schoolhouse
Recording Assistance: Grant Barlow
Mastered at Strerling Sound, N.Y.C. by Greg Calbi
All songs by Johnny except Walking thru the park by Muddy




Producing the triumphant 'Hard Again' for Muddy Waters in 1977 must've stimulated Winter's own deep-seated feel for the blues; 'Nothin' but the Blues' is a gratifying return to early form.

After a long period making rock records, Winter fronts the Muddy Waters band (with Waters singing) on this Chicago blues workout. He sounds happier than ever before.

Circus Magazine 15 Sep 1977 Johnny Winter Storms Back

Stereo November 1977 (Germany)

JOHNNY WINTER, Nothin' but the Blues; Blue Sky/CBS SKY 82 141 Eine Platte, die einem Glaubens-bekenntnis für die Zeitlosigkeit des Blues gleichkommt: in der Form so traditionell wie nur denkbar, aber in Inhalt und Ge-fühl so urwüchsig, spontan uni erotisierend, wie das nur ein in' dieser Tradition verwurzeltes Unikum wie dieser Albino-Gitar-rist spielen kann. Seit dem "Progressive Blues Experiment" und seinem CBS-Debüt hat Johnny Winter nicht mehr so hemmungslos Tweive-Bar-Blues musiziert, und wenn man die in den fünfziger und frühen sechziger Jahren aufgenommenen Spät-Klassiker des Genres damit vergleicht, schneidet Nothin' But The Blues" nicht nur nicht schlecht ab, zusammen mit dem ebenso von Winter produzierten Gegenstück "Hard Again" von Muddy Waters, das parallel entstand, ist die LP eines der schlakkenlosen Blues-Meisterwerke diese Jahizehnts. (Und die Frage stellt sich zwangsläufig: Muß man Albino sein, um den Blues so hinreißend spielen zu kön-nen?) Die Begleitmusiker sind Legenden: Muddy Waters (singt hier nur), 'James Cotton an der Harmonika und "Pine Top" Perkins.."a rn Piano. Was Keith Richard an den alten Chess-Auf-nahmen so bewunderte, ist hier wieder realisiert: Nicht allein das individuelle Können und die so-listische Virtuosität zählt, son-dern der "Sound" und das En-semble-Gefühl, das kollektive Verständnis. Die Platte könnte genausogut den Titel des be-rühmten Stones-Bootiegs tra-gen: LIVER THAN YOU'LL EVER BE! Genauso wurde sie auch aufgenommen. Eine wahre Erholung angesichts all der auf Effektsound getrimmten Bestseller, bei denen die Verpackung und nur sie den Inhalt verkaufen soll, der schlecht genug ist

Johnny Winter - Nothing But The Blues 

This album came out in 1977, the same year as Muddy Waters' excellent comeback-album "Hard Again", which Johnny Winter produced and played on. And here on "Nothin' But The Blues", Winter fronts the mighty Muddy Waters band, leading them through a very well-arranged set of his own compositions, and a powerful rendition of Muddy's "Walkin' Thru The Park".

Johnny Winter handles the lead vocals himself (except on "Walkin' Thru The Park"), and his throaty vocals suit these purposely traditional blues compositions pretty well. Winter plays guitar as well, of course, and a little bit of bass and drums, too, and his acoustic steel guitar playing in particular is pure bluesy pleasure.

Highlights include...well, almost every song, actually. The acoustic slide guitar workout "TV Mama" (not the Big Joe Turner song) is sublime, as is the swaggering, harp-driven "Tired Of Tryin'", the thumping, groovy "Bladie May", and the fine "Sweet Love And Evil Women", a showcase for "Steady Rollin'" Bob Margolin, whose shimmering lead guitar lines wind their way all around Winter's gruff vocals.

Johnny Winter fans seem to be somewhat divided...some prefer his bluesier albums, while others go for his (*cough*genericandpredictable*cough*) rock n' roll records. This is definitely one for the blues crowd, a really fine collection of original songs, and one of Johnny Winter's best albums. Highly recommended.

Johnny quotes on back on album: "I'd like to dedicate this album to all the people who enjoy my kind of blues and especially to Muddy Waters for giving me the inspiration to do it and for giving the world a lifetime of great blues."

Promotional Ad for Johnny Wintr's Nothin' But The Blues

Johnny Winter - Nothing But The Blues

  1. TIRED OF TRYIN' - 3:40
  2. TV MAMA - 3:11
  5. DRINKIN' BLUES - 5:03
  6. MAD BLUES - 4:17
  7. IT WAS RAININ' - 5:53
  8. BLADIE MAE - 3:30
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Last Modified: 24-Mar-2018 11:32