by Robert Wilkinson
Today we celebrate the birthday of one of the greatest guitar slingers Texas has ever produced, the legendary Johnny Winter!
Johnny Winter (February 23, 1944) is one of the original blistering Texas bluesmen. Amazingly high energy, he’s ranked as one of the top 100 guitarists of all time, and won 3 Grammys for producing albums for Muddy Waters.
So let’s get it on with the remarkable guitar work of the legendary Johnny Winter! If you dig electric blues and haven’t ever seen this guitar wizard work his magic, here’s your chance to check out some of the best Texas blues ever served up by a master of his craft!
We’ll begin with Johnny Winter "taking us to church" at Woodstock in 1969! Here his fingers start smokin' on “Mean Town Blues”
We now go to 1970 and a 22+ minute video of Johnny Winter Live in Copenhagen
On Don Kirshner’s television show in 1974 Johnny Winter Live on “Rock Concert”
Here’s the entire 48 minute video of the 1983 Toronto show! Johnny Winter Live in Toronto
From Sweden in 1987, some screaming guitar pyrotechnics! “Sound the Bell”
Johnny’s having fun wailing on the Stones classic “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”
Here’s Johnny and Derek Trucks cutting loose on “Highway 61”
In Canada 2009, here’s the great Leslie West and Johnny paying homage to the One in “Red House”
From 2012 on Letterman, Johnny cuts loose on a smokin’ version of the Elmore James classic, “Dust My Broom”
We now go to a some great audio-only clips! First, the album that introduced Johnny to the World in 1968. Simply awesome! “The Progressive Blues Experiment”
Now, all the rest of the Woodstock set we began earlier! Since I couldn’t find any other video clips of his astonishing playing at Woodstock, here’s the audio of"Mama Talk To Your Daughter."
(The original set list order: "Mama Talk To Your Daughter," "Leland Mississippi Blues," "Mean Town Blues," "You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now," "I Can't Stand It," "Tobacco Road," "Tell The Truth," and "Johnny B Goode.")
And now, from 1970, an entire 1 hour 6 minute concert! “Johnny Winter Live at the Fillmore East”
(Set list: “Guess I'll Go Away,” “Good Morning Little School Girl,” “Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo,” “It's My Own Fault,” “Highway 61 Revisited,” “Mean Town Blues,” “Rollin' and Tumblin’”)
To close today’s set, we have a full hour video of Johnny Winter, with Muddy Waters, Mike Bloomfield, and a lot of incredible stars on Soundstage’s 1974 “Blues Summit in Chicago” This one features Harry Chapin, Mike Bloomfield, Willie Dixon, Nick Gravenites, Buddy Miles, Dr. John, Junior Wells, Koko Taylor, Randy Newman, the Pointer Sisters, Tom Waits, Roberta Flack, and Jose Feliciano!
For our encore, I found a live performance in 1978 of Johnny backing Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker along with Otis Blackwell, Eddie Bluesman Kirkland, Dave Honeyboy Edwards, Foghat and others doing "I Just Want To Make Love To You”
Find out more at Johnny Winter’s Website
Happy 70, Johnny! Thanks for all those nights at the Vulcan Gas Company waaaaay back when Austin was still a small town and the heart of the blues in that part of the world! Awesome then, awesome now. Happy Birthday and rock on, guitar man!
© Copyright 2014 Robert Wilkinson