The Impalas & Johnny Winter

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The Impalas & Johnny Winter

Postby ricochet » Fri Jul 07, 2006 3:15 am

My boy Joe and I went to see this show this evening in Kingsport, Tennessee. It was outdoors on Broad Street, downtown. The Impalas, a local group all of whom are friends of mine, opened with a great show of blues and funk. After their set, Johnny came out and did a rippin' set. He acted like he was going off after doing the first part on his little headless guitar (that I heard some folks calling an "Austin Axe"), but then he turned around and played a terrific slide set on a Gibson Firebird. Johnny looks good, and walked out on stage OK. He sat for the performance, which was plenty strong. He sang well, and he can tear up the guitar, both standard and slide. I didn't hear anything I hadn't heard before on the standard guitar, but I did hear some stuff in his slide set I'd never heard done. I'm gonna have to see if I can remember how it went. He was in Open E, and a lot of what he did was standard Elmore James stuff. A good bit of it wasn't, though!

I'll put up a few pics. I got a bunch of good ones of The Impalas, but none that showed the drummer, John Grayson, well. I'll post the only one you can see all 4 members in, though poorly. The guitarist is "BB," Ben Blevins. Drummer's John Grayson, who recently returned from service in Iraq. Singer's Linda Laws. Bass player's Keith ____ Dang, I'm having a "senior moment" on his last name. He had his son Jackson, who looks just like him, on stage with him, and John had his little girl up there, too, but you can't see her. The keyboard player on the right is my music teacher, Jason Lloyd.

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The first picture of Johnny with his band is right after he came out. The blond backup guitarist disappeared after the first song for some reason, and was not seen again. He wasn't missed, though.

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I got lots of pictures of Johnny and his band after it was getting dark and the stage lights were up. Alas, they all blurred badly because I was too far away for flash and my camera uses a very long exposure under dark conditions that only works well if it's on a tripod. The only one that looks presentable is the last pic I took of him playing slide.

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All in all, it was a terific show! Joe had never heard of Johnny Winter. He thought the show was "awesome."
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Postby jeffl » Fri Jul 07, 2006 2:17 pm

Cool beans Rico! I'm gonna see Johnny at the Fargo Blues Fest (God willing),and I have a fantasy of being able to jam with him at one of the after hours jams. I'm well aware that he may not be up for hittin' the after hours jams,but I can still hope. Last year I got invited to play downtown both Friday and Saturday nite,and it was a blast. The musicians were all very accomodating,and I made some good friends.
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Postby ricochet » Fri Jul 07, 2006 3:42 pm

I doubt he'll be up to jamming later, but you never know. I saw one guy who'd brought a guitar last night, probably hoping for a signature. He was isolated in a trailer next to the stage before the show, and went straight back into it afterward. Joe and I boogied on out, we didn't stick around.
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Postby lightninboy » Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:28 pm

Wow! What a fantastic gig.
A small gig like that with Johnny would be the ultimate.
Thanks for the pics, and report.
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Postby ricochet » Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:53 pm

The guy on the right playing keyboards in the Impalas shot, and sneaking back offstage after helping Johnny's bass player with the amp, is my music teacher Jason Lloyd.
Last edited by ricochet on Tue Aug 22, 2006 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jeffl » Tue Aug 22, 2006 8:07 pm

[quote="ricochet"]I doubt he'll be up to jamming later, but you never know. [quote] Yer right Rico--he didn't stick around, as far as I know. I didn't really expect it, or expect to be able to horn myself up there, but I had success up there last year, and without the vision...... I didn't jam at all this year up there, but I caught a coupla good bands after hours anyway,and had a great time closin' down the bars.
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Postby ricochet » Tue Aug 22, 2006 8:13 pm

Well, that's great that you had a good time anyway. :D
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