The Johnny Winter Story

Johnny Winter Tours, Concerts and Performances during 2004

Johnny Winter in 2004

This page covers Johnny Winter performances, concerts and tours during the year 2004 , quickly jump to the year: 2000 , 2001 , 2002 , 2003 , 2004 , 2005 , 2006 , 2007 , 2008 , 2009 , 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Johnny Winter's band members in 2004 are:

  1. Scott Spray - Bass
  2. Wayne June - Drums
  3. James Montgomery - Harp
  4. Paul Nelson - Guitar on the CD "I'm a Bluesman".


Monday, 19 January 2004 Aqua Nightclub, Citrus Heights, CA

Wednesday, 21 January 2004 House Of Blues, Hollywood, CA

Saturday, 24 January 2004 The Bottom Line Club closes

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Bottom Line, the legendary New York music club where for nearly 30 years stars like Bruce Springsteen and Miles Davis took the stage, has hit the finish line over a rent dispute.

The eclectic Greenwich Village club, whose acts also included singer Stevie Wonder and blind country-folk guitarist Doc Watson, owed landlord New York University nearly $200,000 (139,000 pounds) in back rent and could not agree on a new long-term lease. It closed for good on Thursday.

Co-owners Allan Pepper and Stanley Snadowsky, childhood friends who opened the club in 1974, posted a farewell note on the club's Web site that said, "The Bottom Line has always been about the music, and we find fulfilment in knowing that we have stayed the course and remained true to our vision."

The venue's final shuttering came six weeks after a judge's deadline for the owners to pay back rent or face eviction. The university had proposed a new lease that would have raised the $11,000 monthly rent. The owners vacated the property and were not evicted, according to the New York Times.

Pepper had said that the Bottom Line's business dropped off after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Centre.

The closure came three weeks before the 400-seat club was to celebrate its anniversary with Kris Kristofferson, David Johansen, David Bromberg, Doc Watson and Loudon Wainwright III among those lined up to perform.

The 12 February 1974, opening night at the Bottom Line featured singer Dr. John, who was joined on stage by Stevie Wonder and Edgar Winter. Mick Jagger, Carly Simon, Bette Midler and Charles Mingus were among the celebrities in the audience.

Thursday 12 Feb 2004: Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto

Johnny played the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto to a full house, estimated by an employee to be "near a thousand".

The concert, though pretty much to recent form, exceeded all those expectations.

The proceedings got off well. Two Canadian bands got the crowd pumped. The lead-in band, David Gogo, was very good, though I appreciated him most for the references and tributes to Johnny that he made between almost every song. My only disappointment is that he did not play "Dallas", a song that he covered on an album a few years ago.

Another tribute came when it was time for the show - the introduction was made by the lead guitarist from the Conan O'Brian show band, Jimmy Vivano, who is in town to tape some shows. Then came the first surprise - Johnny walked straight to his chair, no cane, no flashlight, no help at all. He still walks with a slight lean forward at the waist and a noticeable favouring of one side, but he walked strongly and unassisted.

Hideaway kicked things off - a little tentatively throughout. One could tell that he was a bit rusty. The second song, Sugar Coated Love, provided the next surprise. As soon as Johnny started to sing my friend and I looked at each other and said "wow". His vocals are much, much stronger than even 14 months ago. This is not the same powerful voice as before, but rather a more soulful, mellow voice, much stronger than in recent years. Throughout the night Johnny sang very, very well. For me, the vocal highlights included Blackjack and Sick and Tired - these were done with much more authority than in 2002.

His playing seemed to improve with each and every song. Sick & Tired (the 7th song) was played with confidence, accuracy and gusto. The only blip that I heard, after Hideaway, was during Messin' with the Kid, from which he recovered quickly. However,all night long you could feel the confidence and authority improve. Johnny was kicking ass. The guitar highlight for everyone, I think, was the encore - Mojo Boogie. His slide playing was simply ferocious.

At the end, he stood up, picked up the cane that had been lying there all night long, and pointed it at the crowd with a huge smile as he walked off stage.

For the record, here is the setlist: Hideaway; Sugar coated love; Boogie real low; Good time Charlie; Blackjack; Tore down; Sick & tired; Mona; Messin' with the kid; Sen-sa-shun-got my mojo working; Johnny guitar; (Encore) Mojo boogie

Gitarre & Bass February 2004 (Germany)

Gitarre & Bass Feb 2004 with extensive articles on Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, Vibra Kings,

Johnny Winter in Gitarre & Bass Feb 2004


Thursday, 12 February 2004: The Phoenix Theatre, Toronto, Ontario

It's a cold Thursday winter night and I'm off to the Phoenix Concert Theatre for, as it is advertised, "An Evening of Blues You'll Never Forget". Legendary Texas guitar slinger Johnny Winter is playin' a rare Toronto performance. I've seen a lot of Blue artists over many years, but Johnny is one that has slipped through my fingers. So hearing him live will be a first for me. The show will open with special guests, one of Canada's greatest guitarists from Nanaimo B.C., David Gogo and London Ontario sax man Chris Murphy and his band.

When I got to Phoenix there was only a handful of people in the large room, but it soon started to fill up. I could tell instantly that the makeup of those in attendances were of the older generation, mostly men, and fans that had grown up to the Johnny Winter sound. Scattered throughout were a few younger men that were future guitar wannabes. When the Chris Murphy Band got on stage there was a fairly large crowd gathering. Chris who's on a number of local recordings and has a new CD coming out soon really has a decent voice and can blow that horn with the best of 'em. He began his performance with a tribute to one of his favourite sax men, Motown recording artist Jr. Walker then honked his way into the New Orleans standard "Sick And Tired". Gary Kendall on bass, sang an early Eddie Jones A.K.A. Guitar Slim tune "Certainly All". Chris had the crowd stirring when he did a version of "Gonna Rock Tonight". After their rockin' set it was time for the band to retire and make way for David Gogo.

By the time David Gogo reached the platform with his four-piece band the theatre had reached standing room only status, although I'll have to say there wasn't a single chair to rest your butt on to be found on the main floor, only a handful in the upper balcony. It didn't take long for David to start ripping at his sunburst Gibson SG with "Going Down To Louisiana /Mojo Hand" with his vocals sounding extremely powerful due to the vintage Shure microphone he had near his lips. The tempo slowed down on "It's A Man's World" after changing guitars to a Les Paul Jr. he cut into "Do What You Wanna Do". Now grabbing his ever-popular Montreal Canadiens decaled Stratocaster he cut into "Do What You Wanna Do". It was time to boogie on the Magic Sam tune "I Feel So Good". Then with a slide on his finger he did "Hoochie Coochie Man", the Muddy Waters classic and at one point took a beer bottle slid up and down the neck of the guitar and ended the song with a long pickin' solo. David Gogo proved this night why he has gained the reputation as one of the finest guitarist this country has to offer. But it was time for the curtains to be closed once again to prepare for the main man of the show, Johnny Winter.

The drapes opened for the final time and Johnny was introduced to the waiting crowd and they began to cheer knowing he was the one they came to hear. The lone star from Texas walked across the stage with the aid of a cane and was looking very frail, but once he was settled in his chair and yelled out a "Ya" and struck the fist notes of Freddie King's instrumental "Hideaway" he took hold of the stage and the audience. Although this was not the Johnny Winter of old, I felt that we were gonna get some straight ahead Blues from this band and this was the right band to back Johnny. With James Montgomery on vocals and harmonica, Scott Spray on bass and Wayne June on vocals and drums, they added the old time rhythm for Johnny's vocals and guitar playin'. Johnny broke into two of my favourite tunes from the past and did great versions of both Lazy Lester's "Sugar Coated Love" and "Boogie Real Low" originally done by Frankie Lee Sims. Though out the set James Montgomery took his turn front and center wailin' away with some licks on the harp and singing James Cotton's "Good Time Charlie", Bo Diddley's "Mona" and "Got My Mojo Working" first recorded by Ann Cole and popularized by Muddy Waters. Drummer Wayne June threw in a number as well when he did the ageless song, Jimmy Wilson's "Tin Pan Alley". Johnny also did the Fats Domino hit of the 50's, "Sick And Tired" and the early 60's track, which Johnny has become known by; "Johnny Guitar" initially recorded by Johnny "Guitar" Watson. Of course with the roar of the crowd Johnny had to come back and do an encore. He strapped on his historical Gibson Firebird and grabbed a slide and thanked those in the house with his closing tune "Sure Had A Wonderful Time and so did everyone at the Phoenix.

You could tell by this night's performance by all the bands involved, the classic Blues is still being played and enjoyed by many in a world of so much 'now' music. Was it a night as advertised? I think so, three great Blues bands sticking to traditional songs and finally getting the chance to see and hear one of the legends of the Blues, Johnny Winter.

At the end of the night I noticed that there were plastic cups everywhere. The crowd must have consumed a large amount of beverages to quench their thirst for the Blues this evening, it was then I knew it was gonna be a hot Winter.
Sail on...
Eddy B

Friday 13 Feb 2004: The Honest Lawyer, London, Ontario

Winter blues to blast London

In the middle of our true winter of 2004, the great white bluesman cometh.

He is Johnny Winter, guitar god, prince of Texas blues and, in his own words, "the best white blues player around."

Winter turns 60 this month. That means it's been 45 years since a youthful band named Johnny and the Jammers ripped through Schoolday Blues, and 35 years since he initially shot from Texas clubs to rock stardom in the U.S.

"I've done a lot of things I wanted to do, like working with Muddy (Waters, a Chicago blues star)," Winter says from his Connecticut home.

"That is one of the high points of my career, working with Muddy," he says of producing Waters, one of his heroes, during Muddy's "comeback" in the 1970s.

Due to various ailments, Winter is seated on stage these days as he sings the blues and plays his fiery guitar. It is only one chapter in his thrilling blues life, which has seen Grammy honours, hit records and songs written for him by John Lennon and the Rolling Stones.

He is intent on adding to the legend in 2004. He is working with a writer on his autobiography. It is nearly complete. "We got a new record coming out in April or May," he says. It will be called I'm a Bluesman.

"I'm going to stay with the blues," Winter smiles about his own future.

Even if several of the songs on I'm a Bluesman seemingly demand it, Winter is not touring with a second guitarist. It may be Winter is still chilled at the memories of former bandmate, second guitarist and full-time exhibitionist Rick Derringer, jumping all over the place.

Winter gives a mixed review to The Blues, the recent Martin Scorsese-helmed tribute to the music's past and present glories. Scorsese and his allies somehow failed to do for the blues what Ken Burns' Jazz did for another great American gift to to the world, he says.

"It could have been better," Winters says. "There weren't enough blues piano players on it."

Winter knows his keyboard players, starting with his flashy, rock-minded brother Edgar.

He also knows his blues guitarists. His road manager is Paul Nelson, who co-wrote several tunes, including the title track, on I'm a Bluesman, and also plays on five of the new tracks.

Winter smiles. "He's a (terrific) guitar player."

It must warm a winter night on the road to hear that from a boss who knows what he is talking about.

Sat/Sun 21-22 February 2004: HOUSE OF BLUES RADIO HOUR


ARTISTS AND SONGS: JOHNNY WINTER: Rock & Roll Hootchie Koo, Rollin' & Tumblin', Mean Town Blues, Highway 61 Revisited, Hustled Down in Texas, Still Alive and Well. MUDDY WATERS: Mannish Boy SONNY TERRY: I Think I Got The Blues JOHN LEE HOOKER: Susie WAYNE BAKER BROOKS: It Don't Work Like That

Sunday, 16 May 2004 The Rythum Room Phoenix, AZ

Tuesday, 18 May 2004 Galaxy Concert Theater Sanata Ana, CA

Review of Johnny Winter at Galaxy Concert Theater Sanata Ana

Tuesday night at the Galaxy Theater in Santa Ana will be one night I will remember and cherish always. I hooked up with some good friends and together we had one helluva evening!

After some 33 years since I first heard Johnny playing "Good Morning Little School Girl" on a Woolworth Monoaural Phonograph on the "And Live" album in a little one-car garage in San Francisco, and about 26 years since I last saw him live on stage, I finally got to meet the Grand Master of Blues! The Guru of Swing! The Ruler of all Guitar Slayers! I was indeed in the presence of Greatness.

The Show was tremendous! Johnny was tremendous! Johnny walked on stage unassisted. Sat down, smiled, and said hello to everybody in the audience, and asked how we were. Then he went into his ever famous tune-up chop on his white Laser. As usual, he started his set with Hideaway. His set included some tunes from his upcoming new CD, I'm A Bluesmen. Johnny was having a great time, and sounded awesome.

His tone. HIS TONE! What phat tones he had Tuesday night. And as always, it was magical! It was captivating. He, James Montgomery, and the rest of the band did a nice long killer version of Hoochie Koochie Man. James was really animated when he sang Hoochie Koochie Man! The entire show was a show to die for! Johnny sounded as soulful as ever - perhaps even more so. When he started playing 'Black Jack' it'd just sent chills down my spine! About two- thirds' way into his show, many of the audience had already filtered down into the pit to shuffle their feet and dance. By the end of the show, the pit was just filled with shoe shufflers and beep-boppers having a grand ol' time, both YOUNG and old! I was getting Goosebumps throughout the night. At the close of the show, Johnny came out for an encore performance with his Firebird, his slide, and done up a version of Mojo Boogie that was right as rain. It was a night to remember.

I've waited some 26 years, and traveled literally a thousand miles to see Johnny live on stage. And I'll tell you that it was well worth it! And it was GRAND to say the least. I hope you all make it to one of Johnny's upcoming shows. It will be a blast!

Wednesday, 19 May 2004 Belly Up Tavern Solana Beach, CA

I saw Johnny Winter at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, CA 19 May 2004. I had seen Johnny Winter previously in the early 80's and of course it was amazing - unbelievable - and I have quite a collection of Johnny Winter shows which I've traded for through the years. I wanted to go see him when he came around 5 or 6 years ago but at the time I was studying for a CPA exam which was to happen the day after his show in my area. I was very torn about whether or not to go because of studies, but Steve Foster encouraged me to be happy with the memories I had from seeing Johnny Winter in the 80's and warned me that Johnny's playing was not quite what it used to be. I took his advice and passed the opportunity to see the show at that time. Well last May I found out the Johnny Winter would be playing the Belly Up so I had to go. My friend/bandmate-guitar player Jimmy Head came with me -Jimmy had never seen Johnny Winter live but in the early years of Jimmy's learning of guitar, Johnny Winter was one of his biggest influences. Throughout high school (in the 70's) we played in bands together and Bony Moronie, It's All Over Now, and several other of Johnny Winter's tunes were staples in our set. We were really excited to see Johnny Winter but I warned Jimmy of what I had heard from Steve several years before about Johnny Winter not quite playing like he used to. Setlist-Belly Up in Solana Beach, CA 5/19/04: HIDEAWAY, BOOGIE REAL LOW, GOOD TIME CHARLIE, SICK AND TIRED, LETS START ALL OVER AGAIN, BLACKJACK, I'M TORE DOWN, HOOCHIE KOOCHIE MAN, MESSIN' WITH THE KID, SEN-SA-SHUN -GOT MY MOJO WORKING, JOHNNY GUITAR, MOJO BOOGIE. It was great to see Johnny Winter of course, and although he doesn't quite play like he used to, his trademark style stills shines through. The highlight for me was when he came out with the firebird for the encore and played the slide on Mojo Boogie. Don't get me wrong, Johnny Winter is still amazing! Most impressive is the love the fans showed for Johnny Winter music. The crowd was loud and appreciative and gave Johnny Winter standing ovations. The back up band was really good too, especially the bass player who not only tore it up, but really kept the pace of the songs for Johnny. It is only because I was an avid follower of Johnny Winter's earlier career when his playing was at it's peak, that now it is a little saddening to see that Johnny Winter is not as fluent of a player as he was. However Johnny Winter's playing is undeniably magic and even now his music is miles above most!
Paul Jensen

Friday, 21 May 2004 Konocti Harbor Resort Showroom Kalanyville, CA

Saturday, 22 May 2004 Harrah's South Shore Room Lake Tahoe, CA

Sunday, 23 May 2004 The Independent San Francisco, CA

Tuesday, 25 May 2004 The State Theatre Modesto, CA

Wednesday, 26 May 2004 The Roadhouse Sacramento, CA

The Johnny Winter Band in June 2004

The Johnny Winter Band in 2004
From left to Right: James Montgomery (Harp),
Johnny Winter (Guitar, Vocals), Paul Nelson (Guitar), Wayne June (Drums, Scott Spray (Bass)
Click on the picture, to see the full size photograph

Thursday, 27 May 2004 House of Blues Los Angeles, CA

In June 2004 can not travel outside the USA due health issues and treatment by two USA physicians

June 2004

Johnny Winter's planned tour in Brazil is cancelled because of health problems, which limits his travel within North America


Thursday, 10 June 2004 Cabooze in Minneapolis.

Tuesday, 15 June 2004 The CD: I'm a Bluesman released

15 June 2004 Is the release date of Johnny Winter's latest studio album: "I'm a Bluesman"


June 19 - Claro Hall (Rio de Janeiro) Brazil (cancelled)


Friday, 2 July 2004 Downtown Farmingdale, LI

Saturday, 3 July 2004 Enfield Town Green Enfield, CT

Thursday, 8 July 2004 Magic Bag Detroit, MI

Friday, 9 July 2004 House of Blues Chicago, IL

Johnny came on after a pretty raucous set by the warm up act, Eric Sardinas who was way too loud and in spite of the fact that he is a really good guitar player his sound was so overbearing that it was not too enjoyable. Eric played a National Steel through some kind of delay/chorus/flange effects pedal and a full Marshall stack so it didn't much have that National Sound. His drummers kick drum about ran us out of the room everytime he kicked it and the bass player was so loud it reminded me of some of the cars that pull up behind you at a red light with their systems blaring nothing but bass. Other than that and Eric saying that Johnny Winters will be out soon, they were pretty good. I guess.

When the curtain opened again there was Johnny sitting center stage in a comfortable looking wing back chair (much classier and more comfortable than the metal folding chair I saw him sitting on in Nashville a few years back).

The fans immediately erupted into applause hoots, hollers, and whistles. No question who everyone was here to see and I was certainly no exception. I just love the way that Johnny fans love Johnny. Johnny said his "Hey how's everybody doing and they launched right into Hideaway. Ahhh yes, here I was in my comfort zone again, finally. Its been two years since I've seen Johnny and pretty much everything I've heard (from those who actually know) about Johnny appears to be true. He is playing quite a bit better than last time I saw him and he definitely gets around better. He probably won't be beating Armstrong in the Tour De France this year but I was very glad to see him walk around without a cane and he appeared to be very alert and in no pain.

Hideaway lasted about 8 minutes and they moved pretty smoothly though the next few numbers, Sugar Coated Love, Tore Down (sang by Wayne) and much to my suprise and delight they did a great version of Junior Wells' Messin With the Kid which is a song I've always loved hearing Johnny play and sing. They did Johnny Guitar and Black Jack, Boogie Real Low and then James Montgomery told a little story about being in Texas not too long ago where they met a man that said that he's known Johnny since he was 13 years old. James said the guy told them that when Johnny was 13, Johnny told him that someday he would jam with the Great Muddy Waters. James went onto say that not only did Johnny jam with Muddy many many times but Johnny produced several great albums for Muddy and whats more that Muddy was so enamoured with Johnny that he called Johnny Winter his SON!!! With that they broke into Hoochie Coochie Man which just made me (and many others) very happy as I have never seen Johnny do this song live. It was really a magical moment.

James sang Start All Over Again which he co wrote with Johnny for the new record and then Johnny WALKED himself back to where stood his Gibson Firebird, strapped it on and just tore up Mojo Boogie. Of course I was hoping for Highway 61 too but I certainly wansn't dissapointed that he didn't play it. No one else appeared to be either as again the crowd was going wild. There were two couples sitting next to us who looked to be in their mid to late 20s and judging from their applause they were having just as much fun as this old fan was.

A few of the people I was there with went on the bus afterwards and I would have loved to have too, but, we had our children back at the hotel so we left immediately after the show. Sure hope that Johnny does do a national tour in support of I'm a Bluesman as the offical site suggests. If he does and he comes anywhere near here, I'll let you know how that show goes as well.

Bottom line is, you wanna know if Johnny is as good as he used to be? Right? Well, I'll put it like this, I used to see Johnny play live and it made me very happy. Seeing him play last Friday night made me very happy. What more could anyone ask of a performance?



Wednesday, 14 July 2004 BB Kings Club New York, NY

Friday, 16 July 2004 Pittsburgh Blues Festival, Lawrenceville

Johnny Winter I am a bluesman 2004

Festival includes two stages with performers including Johnny Winter, Bernard Allison, Blind Boys of Alabama.

Review of Johnny at the Pittsburgh Blues Festival

Pittsburgh Blues Festival
July 16, 2004

Sugar-Coated Love
She Likes to Boogie Real Low
Start All Over Again (James Montgomery on vocal) Black Jack (Not sure of the title of this song that Wayne June sang) Lone Wolf Hoochie Koochie Man (James Montgomery on vocal) Johnny Guitar
Encore: Mojo Boogie (with slide guitar)

Johnny Winter Pittsburgh Blues Festival, Lawrenceville, Photo Copyright Ron MacDonald

Johnny took the stage after a powerful opening set by Savoy Brown, featuring Kim Simmonds. (Simmonds put on a great, energetic show.) Johnny walked un-aided to his seat in the middle of the stage and warmly greeted the crowd of a few thousand.

From the opening riffs of Sen-Sa-Shun, I instantly heard that Johnny's tone is still well-intact. He worked the instrumental quite well, but certainly within his current range. Yeah, the lightning runs of yesteryear appear to be gone for good, but it's not about how many notes you play; it's about the quality of them.
And the quality is still there.

Johnny's singing was pretty much what I expected; a bit frail, but not disturbingly so. As evidenced by the set list, Johnny has yielded to other band members to take on some of the vocals.

I'm not suggesting that he needed to supplement himself; it appeared to be more of sharing the duties than anything. (Can anybody help with the title of the song sung by Wayne, the drummer? I couldn't quite decipher the lyrics, but I thought I heard him singing "Georgia" amongst the words.) I'd say that Johnny's singing was comparable to the title track of the new release. Nothing powerful, by any means, but competent.

Johnny's playing was, as stated previously, within his current abilities and, while speckled with some occasional slips, was very tasteful. Most performances were relatively clean and entertaining with the exception of Black Jack, which was painfully slow and seemed to last forever. It appeared to pick up tempo a bit about two-thirds into the song, though not by much. I would like to see Johnny drop this song from his set list in favor of another slow blues number. It's not a song that he sings very well. But he seems to enjoy it, so what the hell; it's his choice that matters.

Johnny Winter Pittsburgh Blues Festival, Lawrenceville, Photo Copyright Ron MacDonald
Johnny Winter Pittsburgh Blues Festival, Lawrenceville, Photo Copyright Ron MacDonald

Johnny started Lone Wolf in the wrong key, but quickly corrected himself and salvaged the performance.

The remainder of the performances were, once again, solid and entertaining. James Montgomery is very animated in his playing and adds a level of energy that would otherwise be lacking. (I'm not convinced that it's a good fit for Johnny, but it complements his playing without overshadowing it.) Wayne June and Scott Spray form a good backbeat that also doesn't take away from Johnny's playing. I think the band as a whole is okay. Not memorable, but not forgettable, either. Maybe I'm a bit spoiled from the heyday of the past. I hear they are a bunch of really nice guys, though.

One highlight of the show was "Hoochie Koochie Man," with it's lengthy (a bit too lengthy for my taste) intro by James. Just hearing Johnny laying that rhythm down behind the intro was a treat that I'll always remember. And he didn't let anyone down, while James belted out the vocal.

Another highlight was the encore, when Johnny broke out the Firebird and played Mojo Boogie. His slide work was wonderful and would be a welcome addition if he played more during the regular set. What a difference it makes! It's much more forgiving and really provided my only flashback to the old days. He also seemed to be personally energized by his slide work, as evidence by a significantly stronger vocal performance.

But the MAIN highlight of the evening was getting to meet the living legend himself. Thanks to the Messers Pearl and Foster for allowing me to drop their names with Paul Nelson (a really nice guy), who helped get me in. I was the last one to get in to shake The Man's hand and, while he clearly wanted to get the bus moving and enjoy some food, he was gracious enough to tolerate this adoring fan. I made sure to keep it brief, take a quick photo and thank him for being gracious enough to put up with me and for returning to Pittsburgh. I also took the opportunity to give him a copy of the May 1969 jam with him, Jimi Hendrix and Stephen Stills from the Record Plant. He seemed very excited to accept it, instantly asking what was on it. And the rest of the crew was looking forward to listening to it on the bus.

The last time Johnny played here was in `98 and he was in really bad shape and seemed lost during most of the set. This was a much-improved and very solid performance. After hearing all the reviews over that last couple years, I was pleased to see, first-hand, that Johnny has apparently turned the corner from his previous setbacks. I can't wait to see him again. Maybe I'll have to fly out to California next time with the hopes that one of the two Steves can get me in for a longer visit. One can dream, can't he?

Ron MacDonald
Wexford, PA


Saturday, 17 July 2004 13th Annual New York Rhythm & Blues Festival Clinton Square Park, Syracuse, NY ( New York State Budweiser Rhythm "in" Blues Festival)


Sunday, 18 July 2004 RamsHead Onstage Annapolis, MD

Johnny Winter RamsHead Onstage Annapolis


Tuesday, 20 July 2004: House of Blues, North Myrtle Beach

Friday, 23 July 2004 Starland Ballroom Sayerville, NJ

Friday, 23 July 2004: Bluesman' Winter still storms on guitar, Article in the Boston Herald

When harmonica ace James Montgomery began the New England Blues Society Medical Fund to help poor, underinsured blues musicians, a wealthy star like Johnny Winter was not who he had in mind.

Although Winter, 60, did not need financial help, he was a perfect candidate for a new doctor and a radically different healthregimen.

``We hooked Johnny up with our main doctor, who cut down drastically on all his prescribed medications. It was a dramatic change: His lifestyle habits changed, too. The difference is unbelievable,'' said Montgomery, who is a full-time member of Winter's band in addition to pursuing his own music. ``Johnny is in the best health he's been in for a long time.''

If you see Winter when the famed guitar-slinger comes to Arlington's Regent Theater tomorrow night, you will not see a man in robust health. After major hip surgery three years ago, Winter walks with difficulty using a cane, and sits for all performances.

``I can't stand up more than five minutes at a time. In airports I use a wheelchair. It was a successful operation: They mended my hip. But I just can't walk much,'' Winter said in a telephone interview last week.

Johnny Winter is a survivor. In the '70s, when Winter's blues-rock albums were in the Top 40, narcotics addiction was a significant problem. That troubled period is long gone.

``I used to joke that his best friends were Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, and he's doing a lot better than them,'' said Montgomery, who has known Winter for 30 years.

Despite his hip problems, Winter has been touring frequently in recent years, and while his cult American audience is dedicated and most of his shows sell out, in Europe he is a gigantic draw. Winter's old 1970s rep as the world's greatest white bluesman was supplanted by Stevie Ray Vaughan in the '80s. Yet in many parts of the world, the albino guitarist is still considered a legend.

His new album, the first in nearly eight years, ``I'm a Bluesman'' (Virgin/EMI), has a distinct New England stamp. It was recorded in South Boston and Stamford, Conn., and in addition to Montgomery on harmonica, the co-producer is Boston's Tom Hambridge and Boston-area musicians Mike Welch and Sal Baglio make appearances.

``I'm a Bluesman'' has been called a return to pure blues for this onetime rocker. Yet Winter does not concur. He says he has always played blues, especially since 1984, when he began recording a series of CDs on Chicago's Alligator label.

``The two other albums I've made for Virgin have also been blues albums. This one is just called `I'm a Bluesman' because that's the name of the (title) song,'' he said.

The answer is pure Winter, a man who avoids big statements and, in interviews, rarely answers a question with more than a short phrase. Ask him how it felt to play guitar with and produce albums for Muddy Waters, and he'll just say ``great!''

A follow-up question gleans this: ``I wanted to make Muddy sound like he sounded in the '50s.''

In 1977, Winter produced Waters' album ``Hard Again'' and spearheaded a Waters revival, presenting the legend in a visceral yet still relatively traditional electric blues setting. It was the best gift Winter could have bestowed upon his boyhood hero. The album set Waters up for a triumphant old age, and the Winter-Waters team followed it up with ``I'm Ready'' in 1978, and Waters' last studioalbum, ``King Bee,'' in 1981. The albums won three Grammys, and have just been released on CD by Sony Legacy, with additional songs. They've aged very well.

It's hard to get Winter to open up about the experience, however. Ask him if working with Waters changed his guitar style or influenced his own music, and he'll just say ``No.''

His pal Montgomery, meanwhile, is effusive. ``Muddy Waters called Johnny his son,'' he said. ``It was a close relationship. With all of Johnny's amazing blues experiences, there are few people in the world like him today.''

The big yearly event in Montgomery's life is coming up Aug. 8: the Reel Blues Fest at the Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis, a benefit for the Blues Society Medical Fund. The fund has helped dozens of underinsured blues musicians find free medical care.

Dickie Betts and Koko Taylor will headline, and Montgomery will play with guitarist G.E. Smith and special guests to be named later. Entrain is also on the long bill. The show starts at 4 p.m.

Saturday, 24 July 2004 Regent Theatre Arlington, MA

A Night With Johnny Winter
At The Regent Theater

July 24, 2004-Arlington, Mass.

I had the pleasure of seeing a blues legend perform last night. John Dawson Winter III, well known as Johnny Winter, got the 600 seat Regent Theater in Arlington, MA into a steamy red-hot groove with a career encompassing set along with some smokers from his latest recording I'm A Bluesman .

Before Winter played on into the humid July evening, there was a young and vibrant talent that set foot onstage to warm up the crowd-a guitar slinger in the mold of Eric Johnson named Julien Kasper . I talked to Kasper briefly during the break and told him I thought he may be influenced by Johnson, and he responded "Well, no, I don't listen to him." In any event, he does sound like the great guitarist in many ways, which is a big compliment by anyone's standards when looking at a guitar player's abilities.

When they were setting up before Winter came on, the stage crew put a chair right in the middle of the stage, which bewildered many in attendance. Johnny is still recovering from major hip surgery and he is walking around gingerly at this point in his recovery, so he sat down for the entire evening and commenced to blow us all away with some guitar licks that would have made his adopted musical father, Muddy Waters, proud. Standing up or sitting down, at 60 years old, this man has not lost a step in his guitar mastery, he has lost a bit in the vocal department, but it's still da blues, and Winter remains a respected talent in blues worldwide.

Winter's good friend and mine, Paul Nelson, who also co-wrote and played on the new album, was there to make sure we got into our seats, which were as good as they get, and he treated myself and my wife like we were royalty. I did not expect this at all, but it was certainly a welcome pleasure indeed. Paul is also playing with Johnny on tour but on this night, he was busy doing some other things for the band. Nelson is a classy guy and he really made the evening very special for us by arranging a meet and greet with Johnny after the show. Watch for more smokin' licks from Nelson on a studio album at some point after the tour is over

The incredibly entertaining James Montgomery, a blues legend in his own right, played the harp and sang his heart out (most notably on "Hoochie Coochie Man") complimenting Johnny wonderfully. The drummer Wayne June can belt out a tune as well; he found his groove on the classic "Tore Down," covering it as if he owned it. The only member of the band that did not sing was the bass player Scott Spray, who played his bass like a man on a mission in an eternal Winterized chill out; he kept in perfect step with June all night. When I saw Spray on the tour bus he was very cordial and all smiles, he seemed genuinely happy to be part of Winter's entourage, what musician wouldn't be? Winter is a sweet guy and he was a pleasure to chat with.

Johnny has managed to put together another crackerjack band, doesn't he always? They are really cookin' live and I felt privileged to witness a blues legend in action. When he launched into "Blackjack" and " Johnny Guitar," the crowd went into a frenzy, all 600 blues fans were living their own personal glorious once-in-a-lifetime evening with Johnny. I sure felt that way after I left, knowing that I witnessed something special I never would forget.

  1. Hideaway
  2. Sugar Coated Love
  3. She Likes to Boogie Real Low
  4. Blackjack
  5. Tore Down
  6. Start All Over Again
  7. Lone Wolf
  8. Hoochie Coochie Man
  9. Johnny Guitar
  10. Mojo Boogie

Sunday, 25 July 2004: Grand Auditorium, Ellsworth

It was Christmas in July when Johnny Winter and Pam Baker played the Grand Auditorium in Ellsworth Sunday July 25th. The doors opened at 7pm, but fans began lining the sidewalk long before for the general admission concert that capped the promotional tour for I’m a Bluesman the newest album from the legendary Texas bluesman and Virgin Records.

Portland-based Pam Baker and the SG’s opened the show with their signature style of bump and grind blues. Baker’s powerful voice, sexy delivery, and sheer enthusiasm, (a parallel, I imagine, to Mrs. Claus) wowed first time listeners. For Pam Baker fans, and there were plenty present, her performance was an unexpected and pleasurable beginning to what all hoped would be a memorable night. Backed by her fellow musicians their performance echoed and elevated the playful spirit of the audience. In fact, some fans shouted, “Bring Back Pam!” when there was an unexplained delay between acts.

When the 60 year-old Johnny Winter, recovering from hip surgery, was finally led onto the stage after 9pm he did not appear as a “right jolly old elf” but rather as a frail, melancholy urchin. The crowd, which had become restless while waiting for Johnny Winter’s entrance, continued rumbling until he picked up his Lazer guitar and blasted us with Freddie King’s “Hideaway.”

When Johnny Winter arrived in New York City in 1968 Rolling Stone described him as “a cross-eyed albino with long fleecy hair, who plays some of the gutsiest fluid blues guitar you’ve ever heard.” Thirty five years later this is still true. Johnny Winter’s 80 minute set ignited the crowd and included two songs from his new album: a sweet slide number, “Sweet Little Baby” and “Let’s Start Over,” a collaboration between Winter and harmonica player James Montgomery. Montgomery, an outstanding musician, also delivered a lion’s share of the vocals during the concert. At times his performance came close to stealing the show, both his volume and lively delivery completely overpowering the quiet whisper of the seated Johnny Winter. The band also included Scott Spray on bass, Wayne June on drums.

The raw energy of Johnny Winter’s music compensated for the diminished voice of the former blues powerhouse and showed that he still possesses the passion necessary to play the blues. His scorching fingering skills were evident on the infamous Muddy Waters anthem “Hoochie Coochie Man” and “Johnny Guitar,” while the slower “Blackjack” displayed his ability to play with a deeper and more soulful sound.

Breaking out his Firebird guitar Johnny Winter encored with a rousing version of “Mojo Boogie” that moved fans to their feet and propelled them out into the street still moving to the groove. The silence of a Sunday night on Main Street in Ellsworth echoed with phrases of “ Man he looked like a ghost but he can still play” and “Man I’m glad I came” and became a Johnny Winter memory.

Gitarre & Bass August 2004 (Germany)

Johnny Winter in the August released of the German magazine: "Gitarre & Bass"Tabs of Johnny Winter's version of "I Smell Smoke" from Johnny Winter's latest album: "I'm a bluesman"


August 2004: Guitar Magazine (Japan)

Johnny Winter on the front page of Guitar Magazine August 2004 (Japan) and in-articles on his Gibson Firebird and Erlewine Lazer Guitars

  Johnny Winter Guitar Magazine 2004 (Japan)

  Johnny Winter Guitar Magazine 2004 (Japan)

  Johnny Winter Guitar Magazine 2004 (Japan)

Saturday, 28 August 2004: Great Lakes Jam, Owen Sound , Ontario (Canada)

The program of this event:

  • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Tin Man and the Flying Monkeys
  • 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM Eric Burdon & the Animals
  • 4:15 PM - 5:30 PM Cheap Trick
  • 6:00 PM - 7:15 PM Kim Mitchell
  • 7:45 PM - 9:00 PM Johnny Winter
  • 9:30 PM - 11:00 PM Joe Walsh


Johnny Winter in Ontario 2004


Saturday, 2 October 2004: Riverfront Park Little Rock, AR

Thursday, 7 October 2004: B.B. King Blues Club & Grill - New York, NY

Wednesday, 13 October 2004: Belly Up Tavern - Solana Beach, CA

Friday, 15 October 2004: Coach House - Capistrano - San Juan Capistrano, CA

Saturday, 16 October 2004: Ventura Theatre - Ventura, CA

Sunday, 17 October 2004: The Vault 350 , 350 Pine Avenue The Vault, Long Beach, CA

Wednesday, 20 October 2004: Fox Theatre , 2001 H Street 1412 17th Street, Suite 464, Bakersfield, CA

November issue of Guitar World 2004: JOHNNY WINTER with the reissues of his first two albums "Johnny Winter" and "Second Winter", Guitar World talks to Johnny and Edgar Winter, Tommy Shannon and Uncle John Turner about the groundbreaking work of this essential guitarist. PLUS A Johnny Winter discography

Johnny Winter in Guitar World Magazine November 2004
Johnny Winter in Guitar World Magazine November 2004 
Johnny Winter in Guitar World Magazine November 2004 
Johnny Winter in Guitar World Magazine November 2004 
Johnny Winter in Guitar World Magazine November 2004 
Johnny Winter in Guitar World Magazine November 2004 
Johnny Winter in Guitar World Magazine November 2004 
Johnny Winter in Guitar World Magazine November 2004 
Johnny Winter in Guitar World Magazine November 2004 
Johnny Winter in Guitar World Magazine November 2004 

November 2004: Guitar World

Johnny Winter in Guitar World November 2004


Wednesday, 10 November 2004 Mechanics Hall ,321 Main Street P.O. Box 41,Worcester, MA

Friday, 12 November 204: Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Centre, 1 Monument Sq. 28 Monument SquareWoonsocket

Saturday, 13 November 2004: State Theatre - Falls Church, VA

Sunday, 14 November 2004: Peabody's Down Under 2083 East 21st Street Cleveland, OH

Friday, 19 November 2004: Paradise Club - Boston, MA

Saturday, 20 November 2004: Toad's Place, 300 York Street P.O. Box 20060,New Haven, CT

December 2004: Guitar One

GUITAR ONE Magazine December issue "Blues News" Hot Licks Review: Johnny Winter - "I'm a Bluesman" (Virgin/EMI)

"Bona fide blues legend proves the title redundant with a vintage, bare-bones sound as well as pumping Eddie Taylor- style grooves, courtesy of top notch second guitarist Paul Nelson. Paul Nelson Ignites Winter's Fire"

Guitar One Magazine  December  2004 Johnny Winter


Wednesday, 29 December 2004: Ram's Head On Stage,33 West Street Kris Stevens,Annapolis, MD

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