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Johnny Winter

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Johnny Winter

 

Tracklist

(Vinyl)
A1   I'm Yours And I'm Hers      4:27
A2   Be Careful With A Fool      5:15
A3   Dallas      2:45
A4   Mean Mistreater      3:53
B1   Leland Mississippi Blues      3:19
B2   Good Morning Little School Girl      2:45
B3   When You Got A Good Friend      3:30
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* Items below may differ depending on the release.

          

Review


Having listened to the new Johnny Winter LP for a couple of weeks, I have to say that I found it disappointing, despite the fact that in several respects it's a more than respectable, even a fine album. But it hasn't the looseness, excitement, intensity, the real power and urgency of the best stuff on the earlier Sonobeat session. Most of the music on the Columbia set sounds tired, fussy, too worked-over and worried out of any real vitality. Undoubtedly there were strong pressures on Winter to come up with a truly "heavy" album that would justify… Read More

all the hype that followed on his six-figure signing, so perhaps he can be excused for being a bit cautious. I'm damn sure I'd be. But it's too bad he wound up the victim of all the B S that went down.

This could have been a monster of an album. As it is, there are a couple of spots where it almost happens. Much of the difficulty with the tracks that might have made it is that they suffer from excess, as though Winter couldn't trust his instincts to leave well enough alone. He piles everything on.

"I'm Yours and I'm Hers" is an example of this overindulgence. The accompaniment consists of two electric guitar parts, one slide (channel A) the other plectrum lead (channel B), plus bass and drums (with the vocal in the center). Now, it's an interesting idea to have parallel guitar parts playing contrapuntally, but the end result here is just so much busyness. The two parts tend to cancel each other out because instead of being complementary, interlocking parts that work together as contrapuntal voices they pretty much attempt the same thing, with only the minor variations resulting from their not being played perfectly together. If we assume that the slide part was the basic accompaniment, then the other just muddies up the texture because it doesn't add anything significant (not even parallel voicing) but merely duplicates, with an excess of decoration, what the slide has laid down. Though the tune is credited to Winter, an almost identical piece, "She's Mine, She's Yours," was recorded by Jimmy Rushing for King Records seventeen years ago.

The same over-busyness mars the version of Robert Johnson's "When You Got a Good Friend" and again the problem is a two-guitar accompaniment for which no real part has been worked out. An imaginative but unobtrusive bass-guitar part would have been far more successful than the two lead parts—neither of which is properly a lead. It's too frantic. "Dallas," on the other hand, works out well. The accompaniment is a single slide guitar line, played on the National. The piece suggests several of Johnson's song accompaniments but perhaps the major source is his "Terra-Plane Blues," though Winter's playing is not as tightly focused as it was on the Sonobeat "Broke Down Engine," which also used a Johnson-styled accompaniment. This one is a bit sloppy rhythmically and the texture somewhat thick. But, all in all, the best performance in this style on


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