Johnny Winter

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Johnny Winter

Postby blueswriter » Sun Jan 16, 2005 6:40 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Jan-16-05 AT 02:03 PM (EST)]Johnny Winter
I'm A Bluesman
EMI/Virgin (2004) 90081

http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioA ... 521986.jpg

13 tracks, 51 minutes. Very good. For those who remember Johnny Winter as a major force in blues and rock music, I'm A Bluesman might be a little tough to swallow. There's little doubt that his guitar playing still burns with the fire of old, but health issues have weakened him over the years, stripping a once hefty and growling voice, leaving a mere whisper in its shadow. Winter still fuses driving blues grooves with pyrotechnic wizardry on the fretboard, as amply displayed on Cheatin' Blues, Lone Wolf, Shakedown, Pack Your Bags, plus the remainder of the set, and the tight band delivers the storming backup necessary for this outing. James Montgomery's harp is particularly solid, featuring on The Monkey Song, Last Night, and more. Winter takes the expected slide road as well, Sweet Little Baby, a rocking amplified workout, and That Wouldn't Satisfy, a Delta visit via his National, proving him to be as potent as ever with a bottleneck. Although it's understandable and commendable that Johnny Winter wants to continue cementing his reputation as one of the elder statesmen today, with his current shortcomings as a vocalist, we're left with a disc that's laced with powerhouse guitar work and a riveting band, but lacking a completeness when viewing the project as a whole. It's certainly hopeful that Winter will return to full power soon, and even if he's not quite up-to-par at present, I'm A Bluesman easily proves he's not ready to hang up his rocking shoes anytime soon.

http://johnnywinter.net/

© 2004 by Craig Ruskey
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RE: Johnny Winter

Postby david » Mon Jan 17, 2005 1:45 am

Your reviews are always timely (and have cost me a fortune!). I just ran across this CD in a local shop, but didn't pick it up because it was at a premium price and I wasn't sure how it would rate. Now I know. Thanks, again.

It'd be great if Johnny Winter would put out one all instrumental work, like Zappa's "Shut Up and Play Your Guitar." I'd also like to see a compilation of all is acoustic work.
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RE: Johnny Winter

Postby blueswriter » Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:34 pm

I like your suggestions. I'm hopeful that Johnny's voice returns to the strength it's had in the past, but if it doesn't, I also wouldn't mind hearing someone who can sing take the microphone. Johnny's guitar is still immediately identifiable so it's not like it wouldn't be his record.
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RE: Johnny Winter

Postby bluejay » Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:55 pm

I'd made the same observation over on the What's Everyone Listening To" discussion a while back. I've got the CD in my truck again and had it playing to and from work today. Johnny's voice just undercuts the whole album, though some tracks are better than others, and sometimes it varies a fair bit within a track. Hadn't known about the health issues, but that explains a lot.

I hesitate to add, but will, that on repeated listening, when the voice issues have been accepted by the ear, there are a couple hiccups in the guitar runs that become evident.
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