"The Progressive Blues Experiment" is the first album by "Johnny Winter" The Progressive Blues Experiment was originally issued on Austin's famous Sonobeat Records label in 1968. When Winter signed to Columbia Records, the rights were sold to Imperial Records who reissued the album in 1969. Johnny plays here in trio with his late-sixties band. Several blues artists are covered including B.B. King ("It's My Own Fault"), Sonny Boy Williamson ("Help Me"), and Slim Harpo ("I Got Love If You Want It").


JOHNNY WINTER - Progressive Blues Experiment Sunset LibertY 12" LP Vinyl Album front cover

Album Description:

Johnny Winter's "The Progressive Blues Experiment" is a groundbreaking album that showcases the fusion of traditional blues with a progressive edge. Released initially on Sonobeat Records in 1968 and later reissued by Imperial Records in 1969 after Winter signed with Columbia Records, this LP is a testament to the young guitarist's immense talent and his ability to push the boundaries of the blues genre.

At the time of recording "The Progressive Blues Experiment", Johnny Winter was backed by his late-sixties band, creating a dynamic trio that brought a fresh and energetic sound to the blues. Winter's guitar skills are on full display throughout the album, as he effortlessly blends raw power with intricate technique. His searing solos and soulful playing set him apart as a true virtuoso of the instrument.

The album features a mix of original compositions and covers of blues classics, demonstrating Winter's deep respect for the genre's roots while simultaneously incorporating his own unique style. Winter pays homage to blues legends such as B.B. King with his rendition of "It's My Own Fault", Sonny Boy Williamson with "Help Me", and Slim Harpo with "I Got Love If You Want It". In each track, Winter infuses his own interpretation, injecting a fresh energy that breathes new life into these timeless blues standards.

What sets "The Progressive Blues Experiment" apart from other blues albums of its time is Winter's innovative approach to the genre. He seamlessly incorporates elements of rock and psychedelia into his blues foundation, creating a sound that is both familiar and refreshingly progressive. Tracks like "Mean Mistreater" and "Black Cat Bone" exemplify this fusion, with their heavy guitar riffs and hypnotic rhythms.

Furthermore, Winter's prowess as a slide guitarist is evident throughout the album. His slide work on songs like "I Can't Stand It" and "Dallas" is impeccable, adding a distinct and soulful dimension to his playing. Winter's use of the slide guitar adds depth and emotion to his performances, elevating the listening experience for blues enthusiasts and music lovers alike.

"The Progressive Blues Experiment" is not just an album; it's a testament to Johnny Winter's talent, vision, and passion for music. It showcases his ability to break boundaries and explore new territories while staying true to the blues tradition. Winter's infectious energy and remarkable guitar skills make this LP a must-listen for anyone interested in the evolution of blues music and the influence of progressive rock on the genre

Music Genre:

 Prog Blues Rock 

Album Production Information:

The album: "JOHNNY WINTER - Progressive Blues Experiment" was produced by: Bill Josey, Rim Kelley

Sound/Recording Engineer(s): Rim Kelley

This album was recorded at: Vulcan Gas Company, Austin, Texas

Album cover photography: Burton Wilson

Record Label & Catalognr:

Sunset Records SLS 50264 / Liberty LBS 83 240 1 / LP 12 431

Media Format:

 12" LP Vinyl Stereo Gramophone Record
Total Album (Cover+Record) weight: 230 gram  

Year & Country:

  1969 Made in Germany
Personnel/Band Members and Musicians on: JOHNNY WINTER - Progressive Blues Experiment
    Band-members, Musicians and Performers
  • Johnny Winter
  • John "Red" Turner
  • Tommy Shannon

    Tommy Shannon, born Thomas Lafitte Smedley on 18 April 1946, is an American bass guitarist renowned for his influential work with the legendary blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. His powerful and innovative bass lines have left an indelible mark on the blues and rock music scene, making him one of the most respected and influential bass players of his generation.

    Early Life and Musical Journey:


    Tommy Shannon was born in Tucson, Arizona, and grew up in a musically inclined family. He discovered his passion for music at a young age and initially played guitar before switching to bass. Shannon's musical journey began to take shape in the 1960s when he moved to Dallas, Texas, a hotspot for emerging blues and rock scenes.

    Collaboration with Johnny Winter:

    In the late 1960s, Tommy Shannon's career took a significant turn when he joined forces with the renowned blues guitarist Johnny Winter. Shannon's powerful bass lines perfectly complemented Winter's electrifying guitar playing and distinctive voice. The partnership between Johnny Winter and Tommy Shannon proved to be a match made in blues heaven.

    During his time with Johnny Winter, Shannon contributed to several albums, including the critically acclaimed "Johnny Winter Self-titled", and "The Progressive Blues Experiment" which was released in 1970. The album's success catapulted both Winter and Shannon into the limelight, earning them a dedicated fan base and recognition among their peers.
    After several successful years with Johnny Winter, Tommy Shannon's musical journey took another pivotal turn when he teamed up with the young guitar prodigy, Stevie Ray Vaughan.

    Collaboration with Stevie Ray Vaughan:

    In the early 1980s, Tommy Shannon's career took a significant turn when he joined forces with the young guitar virtuoso Stevie Ray Vaughan. In 1981, Shannon became a member of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, the band that would redefine modern blues and bring the genre to new heights.

    Shannon's rhythmic and steady bass playing provided a solid foundation for Stevie Ray Vaughan's blistering guitar solos, contributing to the band's unique sound. Their chemistry was undeniable, and together they achieved massive success with albums like "Texas Flood" (1983), "Couldn't Stand the Weather" (1984), and "Soul to Soul" (1985).

    Career Highlights:

    As part of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Tommy Shannon performed in iconic venues around the world and became known for his electrifying live performances. His bass lines on songs like "Pride and Joy", "Cold Shot", and "Crossfire" showcased his exceptional talent and helped solidify Stevie Ray Vaughan's status as a blues legend.

    Tragedy and Aftermath:

    Unfortunately, tragedy struck on August 27, 1990, when a helicopter carrying Stevie Ray Vaughan and members of Eric Clapton's entourage crashed after a concert in Wisconsin. The accident claimed the lives of all on board, including Stevie Ray Vaughan. The world mourned the loss of a guitar legend, and Tommy Shannon was deeply affected by the passing of his close friend and musical partner.

    After Stevie Ray Vaughan's death, Tommy Shannon continued to honor his legacy through his music. He played with various bands and musicians, paying tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan's work while also exploring new musical endeavors.


    Tommy Shannon's contributions to the world of blues and rock, particularly through his collaboration with Stevie Ray Vaughan, are immeasurable. His innovative bass playing and dedication to the craft have influenced countless bassists and musicians, leaving an enduring impact on the genre.

Complete Track-listing of the album "JOHNNY WINTER - Progressive Blues Experiment"

The detailed tracklist of this record "JOHNNY WINTER - Progressive Blues Experiment" is:

    Side One:
  1. Rollin' and Tumblin'
  2. Tribute to Muddy
  3. I Got Love If You Want It
  4. Bad Luck and Trouble
  5. Help Me
    Side Two:
  1. Mean Town Blues
  2. Broke Down Engine
  3. Black Cat Bone
  4. It's My Own Fault
  5. Forty-Four


Front Cover Photo Of JOHNNY WINTER - Progressive Blues Experiment Sunset LibertY 12" LP Vinyl Album


JOHNNY WINTER - Progressive Blues Experiment Sunset LibertY 12" LP Vinyl Album front cover

 Note: The photos on this page are taken from albums in my personal collection. Slight differences in color may exist due to the use of the camera's flash. Images can be zoomed in/out ( eg pinch with your fingers on a tablet or smartphone ).

Photo Of The Back Cover JOHNNY WINTER - Progressive Blues Experiment Sunset LibertY 12" LP Vinyl Album


JOHNNY WINTER - Progressive Blues Experiment Sunset LibertY 12" LP Vinyl Album back cover

Close up of record's label JOHNNY WINTER - Progressive Blues Experiment Sunset LibertY 12" LP Vinyl Album Side One

"Progressive Blues Experiment" Record Label Details: Sunset Records SLS 50264 / Liberty LBS 83 240 1 / LP 12 431

"Progressive Blues Experiment" Record Label Details: Sunset Records SLS 50264 / Liberty LBS 83 240 1 / LP 12 431

JOHNNY WINTER - Vinyl and CD Discography and Album Cover Gallery

Johnny Winter , was an American musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. Best known for his high-energy blues-rock albums and live performances in the late 1960s and 1970s, Winter also produced three Grammy Award-winning albums for blues singer and guitarist Muddy Waters. After his time with Waters, Winter recorded several Grammy-nominated blues albums. In 1988, he was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and in 2003, he was ranked 63rd in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the '100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time'. He was also known for his collaborations with other musicians, including Muddy Waters and Edgar Winter. Winter's career spanned several decades and he released numerous albums throughout his lifetime. He died on 16 July 2014.