Friday, October 26, 2012

Johnny Winter Live Through the '70's - DVD

I've wanted to get this DVD for a while and finally found a good deal on it - and boy was it worth it! This shows Johnny as hit first hit big (he had, of course, played for years in Texas before being signed) and it has some fantastic early footage with & without his brother Edgar.

Winter's first album was recorded in 1969, so the footage at the beginning of this DVD shows him during one of his first major tours, with original rhythm section Tommy Shannon on bass and "Uncle" John Turner on drums. This trio created some of his most monstrous blues - nigh energy and still totally heartfelt blues. Here Edgar, looking all of 18 or so (though he was actually in his 20's), joins the band in a formative version of "Frankenstein" (before it had that title) on keys & drums, where he spars with Turner and show what an all-around talent he was - and still is. He comes and goes on this DVD, and adds sax as well as his other instruments to the mix.

There are some funny interviews with an obviously very stoned Johnny on a Detroit cable TV show, where he also jams with his then-bassist Randy Jo Hobbs on "Key to the Highway". Several other great clips from 1970 before moving on to his appearance on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert where he is now sporting a cape, top hat & beard and is far more "rock" and "glam" with "Rock'n'Roll Hootchie Koo" & "Stone County". A cool jam at the Blues Summit in Chicago in '74 includes Dr. John, Michael Bloomfiled, Buddy Miles, Junior Wells and more.

The last footage is from a show in Essen, Germany in 1979 where his bassist, Jon Paris, blows a very credible blues harp, while playing bass, with a weird, glass enclosed contraption. Fittingly, the DVD opens & closes with traditional blues numbers from this amazing guitarist.

Much more footage than I have described and all terrific! Any fan of rockin' blues needs this DVD! Awesome stuff!