Archive for Johnny Winter

Rockin’ Blues Sunday (and Monday)

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , on March 3, 2013 by 30daysout

Hendrix playing Elmore James

It’s been a while since we wailed the blues on a Monday. So let’s do it on a Sunday – with a dozen guitar rockin’ blues.

MP3: “Buried Alive In The Blues” by Nick Gravenites

MP3: “Blues Before Sunrise” by Elmore James & the Broom Dusters

MP3: “Little Red Rooster” by Sugar Blue

MP3: “Good Rockin’ Tonight” by Wynonie Harris

MP3: “All Your Love” by John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers (w/Eric Clapton)

MP3: “Rockin’ Daddy” by Howlin’ Wolf (w/Eric Clapton)

MP3: “What’d I Say” by Steve Cropper, Pops Staples & Albert King

MP3: “Sweet Little Angel” by B.B. King

MP3: “The Blues Had A Baby (And They Called It Rock and Roll)” by Muddy Waters (w/Johnny Winter)

MP3: “Bound For Glory” by the Tedeschi Trucks Band

MP3: “Dirty Pool” by Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble

MP3: “Hear My Train A’ Comin'” by Jimi Hendrix

Video Du Jour: Johnny Winter

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , on August 3, 2012 by 30daysout

Let’s end the week with a little blues from our homie Johnny Winter. This 1970 video from Danish TV captures Johnny at one of his peaks – and he’s accompanied by Uncle John Turner (of Port Arthur, Texas) on drums and Tommy Shannon (later of Double Trouble) on bass.

We’re going to take a long weekend off, so have a good one and catch ya next Tuesday or so!

Johnny Winter official web site

Johnny Winter makes rare in-store appearance in Houston

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , on February 8, 2012 by 30daysout

Johnny Winter, second from right, and members of his band at Cactus Music in Houston. (Photo courtesy Cactus Music)

Even though we’re a few months out from Record Store Day (April 21) we thought we’d give a little love to Cactus Music, Houston’s biggest independent music store. Not only is it one of the country’s last few real record stores – yes, they also sell vinyl – but Cactus goes out of its way to book some really cool people to show up and play live music.

In the past year at Cactus Music I have seen such great acts such as Los Lonely Boys, Girl In A Coma, Peter Case, Robert Earl Keen and the great Steve Earle, performing from just a few feet away and in person – all for free. They hand out free beer at all of these (ice-cold Saint Arnold, from the local brewery) and in many cases the artist hangs out and signs autographs.

Last week Cactus hosted a true Texas legend: blues guitarist Johnny Winter, who did a rare autograph signing session to support his latest album Roots. People started lining up about a half hour early and by the time Winter and his band showed up a line snaked through the store, full of people carrying old LPs and guitars for the man to sign.

I didn’t get anything signed but I was impressed by the number of fans who turned out for the chance to meet this legendary musician. The most recent Cactus Music newsletter reported that an estimated 1,000 people attended the two-hour meet and greet.

Winter is of course the Beaumont, Texas, native who made his name in the late 1960s with a blazing guitar and an authentic blues style. He played at Woodstock with a band that included his brother Edgar, drummer Uncle John Turner and bass player Tommy Shannon (later of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Double Trouble). Winter also helped resurrect the career of blues great Muddy Waters in the late 1970s, most notably with the Grammy Award-winning Hard Again album.

Roots is a collection of classic blues numbers that helped shape Johnny’s love of the blues. The CD features such notable guests as Vince Gill, Warren Haynes, John Popper, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi and others. At age 67, Winter shows the miles and physical toll the years have taken on him (he was once a heroin addict) but his guitar playing is still pretty sharp. Check out this appearance on “Late Night With David Letterman” from January:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Anyway, thanks Cactus Music. Check out the store’s official website for upcoming in-store performances (Dr. Dog next month!).

Johnny Winter official website

Chuck Berry’s Covers

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , on February 4, 2012 by 30daysout

Chuck Berry, still rockin' at age 85.

Long past the half-century mark, rock and roll is now nearing senior citizen status. Yesterday we marked the 53rd anniversary of the deaths of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Richie Valens, and we’ve had some tragic losses in the past couple weeks (Etta James, Johnny Otis, etc.).

But one of our greatest original rockers is still with us – Chuck Berry, still rockin’ (sometimes) at age 85. He has some health issues, but he apparently still performs at the Blueberry Hill restaurant in St. Louis, where he lives.

Berry, of course, is the wellspring of some of rock’s greatest songs: “Johnny B. Goode,” “Sweet Little Sixteen,” “Roll Over Beethoven” and many more. Rockers following in his giant footsteps have all burned through a Chuck Berry song or two, so today let’s celebrate the legacy of this great performer with a handful of Berrys – by himself and by others.

MP3: “Roll Over Beethoven” by the Beatles

MP3: “Sweet Little Sixteen” (live) by the Rolling Stones

MP3: “Promised Land” by Elvis Presley

MP3: “Around and Around” (live) by the Grateful Dead

MP3: “Rock and Roll Music” by the Beach Boys

MP3: “Johnny B. Goode” (live) by Johnny Winter

MP3: “Memphis” by the Faces

YouTube: “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry and Bruce Springsteen

MP3: “You Can’t Catch Me” by Chuck Berry

MP3: “No Particular Place To Go” by Chuck Berry

MP3: “Brown Eyed Handsome Man” by Chuck Berry

YouTube: “Maybelline” by Chuck Berry

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Edgar Winter’s White Trash

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , on June 14, 2010 by 30daysout

Giving our big sister’s record collection a break for a few weeks, while we pull some out of my own stack.  Today we take a listen to one of my favorite live albums of all time, 1972’s Roadwork by Edgar Winter’s White Trash.  Winter is a stellar musician who grew up in Southeast Texas and with his brother Johnny left behind some scorching hot records in the late 1960s-early 1970s.  Johnny of course was the most popular as the 1960s waned – he became a guitar god with his incendiary performance at the Woodstock festival.  Little brother Edgar played sax and piano with Johnny at Woodstock, and he sang a couple of songs.

On the basis of that performance Epic Records signed Edgar to a recording contract and he put together White Trash, a soulful Southern roadhouse group made up of good ole boys from Texas and Louisiana.  When I was a kid I in the mid 1960s I had a paper route in Groves, Texas, and one of my stops was a place called the Black Kat Klub.  Many afternoons I could hear Johnny and Edgar’s band on the second floor above the club, every once in a while I’d see them while they were hanging out in back of the club.

Edgar cut one solo album, Entrance (1970) with brother Johnny’s band and a second, Edgar Winter’s White Trash (1971) with the hard-working roadhouse gang White Trash.  The guy who shared lead vocals (and played sax) was Jerry LaCroix, a Louisiana native who grew up in the Beaumont-Port Arthur area of Texas and who made a name for himself as one of the lead singers of the classic roadhouse band The Fabulous Boogie Kings.  LaCroix would co-write with Winter six of the 10 songs on the White Trash album and the two planned to go to Europe and burn Winter’s record company advance locating the “best musicians in the world.”

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Ballad of the Unknown Urban Cowboy: Isaac Payton Sweat Part 1

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , on November 15, 2009 by 30daysout

I.P. Sweat

In June 1980, the beautiful and the glamorous made their unlikely way to the sprawling Gilley’s honky tonk in Pasadena, Texas, to attend the premiere party for the movie Urban Cowboy.  New York socialites squeezed into tight jeans and Hollywood types wore western shirts with silk scarves around their necks, and everyone spilled out onto the hardwood floor to dance.  Many times that night, Gilley’s Urban Cowboy Band played the song “Cotton-Eyed Joe,” and people shuffled their boots along the floor and yelled “BULL SHIT!”

Good times, but one thing was wrong with that picture.  The guy who should have been singing the “Cotton-Eyed Joe” was nowhere to be found.  Where was Isaac Payton Sweat?

In the early 1980s, Isaac Payton Sweat was known as the “King Of the Cotton-Eyed Joe.”  He IP Sweat business cardcertainly had the biggest hit with the old song – whenever it was played, people from El Paso to Orange would shuffle out onto the dance floor.  In the days after disco, the song would point the way to the next big fad that Urban Cowboy would embody.  At the Winchester Club in Houston Sweat, with his Sweat Band (later called the Cadillac Cowboys), reigned as one of the city’s most popular performers.

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From Texas to Woodstock

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2009 by 30daysout

Johnny Winter

When I worked at a small Southeast Texas daily newspaper, we used to try to find “local” angles in pretty much everything in order to have something special for the readers.  Once I thought about writing a column for the 10th anniversary of Woodstock (that would be in 1979) about all of the people from the Golden Triangle area of Texas (Beaumont-Port Arthur-Orange) who played at Woodstock.  It was a pretty lame idea back then to put into print, but today this is the internet — and it’s the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, so why not?

Ahem.  You know about Janis Joplin, I suppose.  Born in Port Arthur, Texas, attended high school there, left for Austin then San Francisco and hit it big with Big Brother and the Holding Company.  But when she played Woodstock she’d already left that band – she had the Kozmic Blues Band playing behind her (which unfortunately didn’t include her Big Brother guitarist Sam Andrew).  Joplin is a legend and you know her place in history – in a week or so we’ll tell another story about her.

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