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
LP: Blue Sky Sky 82141 (1977)
Produced By Johnny Winter
ROLLING STONE ALBUM GUIDE: ***1/2
ALL MUSIC GUIDE: ****
Stereo November 1977 (Germany)
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