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Johnny Winter

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Johnny Winter

Johnny Winter: Saints and Sinners

Col. KC 32715

Here we are in 1974 and a Texas gentleman by the name of Johnny Winter has given us something to look forward to for the rest of the year. It comes in the form of "heavy metal" rock 'n roll via his new album, "Saints & Sinners."

Johnny Winter first made a name for himself in this area during a surprise visit to the 1970 Ann Arbor Blues Festival, when he jammed with Luther Allison out by Huron High. As you may remember, attendance wasn't all that good because of the Goose Lake Pop Festival going on at the same time, but the Johnny Winter legend was in its' first step.

Then, the next summer when Winter was doing a concert in Detroit, he appeared the day after at one of the Sunday free concerts held at Otis Spann Memorial Field. The man was fascinating to watch with his white hair flowing, and the legend strengthened itself.

After seeing him at the free concert I was a firm believer. Watching Winter churn out his raunchy Texan sounds and listening to him sing the blues while rocking the stage, along with Riek Derringer also on guitar, was a treat for eyes and ears.

But after that surprise jam at the Community Park Program people didn't see or hear too much about Johnny and everyone began to wonder why. Well, Winter was institutionalized and spent quite some time in a hospital for a jones.

After going thru all that, Johnny managed to survive his misfortune and released an album entitled "Still Alive and Well" a while back, just to let people know the legend wasn't only something of the past.

With the fastest guitar in the west and some down-right gut level vocals, Johnny Winter breezes thru some familiar tunes such as "Boney Maroney" and "Riot n Cell Block No. 9" on his latest lp. In "Riot", originally done by the Coasters in the '50s, the vocals and guitar jump right off the vinyl. Doing "Thirty Days", an old Chuck Berry masterpiece, Winter shows off his Texan rock and roll soul.

"Feedback on Highway 101" a tune written by Van Morrison, and "Stone County" and "Rollin Cross Country" also deserve special attention. '

With all the headline his brother Edgar has been getting lately, Johnny HAD to come up with some really good rock and roll, and with this LP the legend of the white-haired Texan will again become a topic of discussion.

-- Stanley Zillifro