Johnny through the years: On Tuesday (5/26), Shout! Factory will release The Johnny Winter Anthology, a two-disc, 35-track collection that spans Johnny’s entire career and includes tunes like “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo,” “Still Alive and Well” and “Silver Train.”
Click here to view the complete track listing.
From Shout! Factory:
Take a few minutes to imagine a 130-pound, cross-eyed albino bluesman with long fleecy hair playing some of the gutsiest blues guitar you have ever heard, effused a Rolling Stone cover story in December 1968, in an overview of Texas music focused on Austin, where RS had run across 24-year-old blues dynamo Johnny Winter and his trio ripping up a local club. Johnny’s first taste of national publicity ran to just three short paragraphs, but they would nonetheless alter the then-struggling electric blues flash’s life forever.
In fact, within a year Johnny would be one of the top concert draws in America. But while the lanky albino blues rocker from Beaumont seemed like an overnight sensation to throngs of newfound fans on both sides of the Atlantic, Winter had already toiled the better part of a decade to get there.
This anthology’s opening track, “Rollin’ And Tumblin’” displays the blues ferocity RS had run across in Austin. Backed by drummer John “Red” Turner and bassist Tommy Shannon (who’d play the same role in Stevie Ray Vaughan’s own Texas trio a decade later), Winter’s snarling voice and aggressive, wildly expressive playing rebuffed the British Invasion’s claim on American blues with a vengeance. Recorded at the (apparently empty) Vulcan Gas Company club for indie Sonophone, The Progressive Blues Experiment established the template for subsequent Winter triumphs that carried him far beyond his humble Southern origins.