I’m fairly naive when it comes to the Winter brothers. They Only Come Out At Night, the third studio album by younger brother Edgar, and the first by his Edgar Winter Group, is a regular on my turntable – for both Frankenstein and Free Ride – but I’d never heard anything by older brother Johnny.
All that changed during my ongoing campaign to pick up all of the individual Woodstock live sets. They’re really starting to flood the market now, with releases by Santana, Janis Joplin, Sly & The Family Stone, Jefferson Airplane, Creedence, and the long-available triple-LP Hendrix set. Johnny Winters’ 8-song set is presented as a double-LP, nicely giving the 55-minute running time space to breathe.
And boy, Johnny can play. It’s clear that he was born with a guitar in his hand, and with a brother this proficient you can understand why Edgar gravitated towards keyboards (and everything else in his multi-instrumentalist arsenal). It also seems fairly par-for-the-course that Johnny would end his Woodstock set with a cover of Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode: People passing by they would stop and say / “Oh my, what that little country boy could play”. Chuck could have been writing about Winter himself.
The Woodstock releases are set to continue throughout the rest of 2020. A release of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band’s set has been delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak, and has been pushed back towards to August, and then after that, who knows…
Hit: Johnny B. Goode
Hidden Gem: Mama, Talk To Your Daughter