After a rest period of two years, Johnny Winter returns with the album "Still Alive and Well", this album reaches #22 in the US Billboard Charts This web page has photos of album covers, inner sleeves, record labels together with production details, musicians and track-listing.
In the early 1970s, the world of rock music was eagerly anticipating the return of one of its most iconic blues-rock guitarists, Johnny Winter. After a two-year hiatus, Winter made a triumphant comeback with the release of his album "Still Alive and Well" in 1973. The LP, featuring his signature fiery guitar work and soulful vocals, captivated both old fans and new listeners, propelling it to the #22 spot on the US Billboard Charts. Let's take a closer look at this timeless 12" vinyl LP and its lasting impact on the music industry.
A Long-Awaited Comeback
Johnny Winter's career had already reached notable heights before his temporary withdrawal from the spotlight. His fiery guitar style, deeply rooted in blues traditions, had earned him a reputation as one of the most talented and influential guitarists of his time. However, the relentless touring and recording schedule had taken its toll on his physical and mental well-being, leading him to take a much-needed break from the music industry.
"Still Alive and Well" marked Winter's triumphant return after a two-year rest period. Released in 1973, the album heralded his comeback to the stage with an electrifying and refreshing collection of songs that showcased his undiminished skills as a guitarist and songwriter.
The LP opens with the title track, "Still Alive and Well", setting the tone for what's to come. The track exudes an air of defiance, announcing to the world that Winter was back, stronger than ever. His guitar riffs soar and intertwine with his powerful vocals, instantly capturing the listener's attention.
One of the standout tracks on the album is "Rock Me Baby", a blues classic that Winter masterfully reinterprets with his distinctive touch. His virtuosic guitar solos and soulful delivery make this rendition a highlight of the album.
Another gem from the LP is "Silver Train", a high-octane rocker that showcases Winter's impeccable skills as a performer. The track's relentless energy and infectious groove exemplify the timeless appeal of blues-infused rock 'n' roll.
The album also features a soulful rendition of "Let It Bleed", originally by The Rolling Stones. Winter's unique interpretation adds a fresh layer of emotion to the already powerful lyrics, earning praise from critics and fans alike.
Impact and Legacy
"Still Alive and Well" not only marked Johnny Winter's triumphant return but also solidified his place as a pioneering force in the world of blues and rock music. The album's success on the US Billboard Charts (#22) demonstrated that the world was eager to embrace Winter's talent and eagerly anticipated his comeback.
Beyond its commercial success, the LP's enduring legacy lies in the inspiration it provided to generations of musicians. Winter's signature guitar style and passionate delivery left an indelible mark on the music industry, influencing countless aspiring guitarists and rock musicians.
Record Format: 12" Vinyl Stereo Gramophone Record
Total Album (Cover+Record) weight: 230 gram
1973 Made in USA
This album comes with custom inner sleeves with full page photos of Johnny Winter playing the National Standard Steel guitar.
Rick Derriner - Producer
John Berg - Album Cover Design
Ed Lee - Album Cover Design
Alan MacWeeny (Steinbicker/Houghton Inc) - Photographer
Johnny Winter – guitar, slide guitar, mandolin, vocals
Randy Jo Hobbs – bass
Randy Jo Hobbs (Full-name: Randy Joël Hobbs) was an accomplished bass player known for his exceptional talent, innovative style, and dynamic stage presence. Born on 22 March 1948, in Winchester, Indiana, Hobbs developed a deep passion for music at an early age. His innate musical abilities and dedication to his craft would ultimately lead him to become one of the most respected bass players of his time.
Hobbs' breakthrough came in 1969 when he joined the band The McCoys, known for their hit single "Hang On Sloopy". This opportunity allowed him to showcase his bass-playing prowess on a larger stage and gain recognition within the industry. Shortly thereafter, he caught the attention of rock legend Johnny and Edgar Winter.
Richard Hughes – Drums
Richard Hughes was an American drummer who played with Johnny Winter's band from 1973 to 1976. He was born in Trenton, New Jersey, on 31 March 1950. Hughes began playing drums at a young age, and by his early twenties, he was playing in local bands in the New Jersey area.
In 1972, Hughes was playing in a Johnny Winter cover band when he was spotted by Winter himself. Winter was impressed by Hughes's playing, and he invited him to join his band. Hughes accepted the invitation, and he began touring with Winter in 1973.
Hughes played on five albums with Winter, including Still Alive and Well, Saints & Sinners, John Dawson Winter III, Captured Live, and Together. He was known for his powerful drumming style, which helped to drive Winter's blues-rock sound.
In 1976, Hughes left Winter's band to pursue other musical interests. He continued to play drums in various bands, and he also worked as a session musician. In 1981, he rejoined Winter's band for a brief tour.
Hughes struggled with mental health issues throughout his life. In 1985, he took his own life at the age of 35.
Hughes's drumming was a key part of Johnny Winter's sound. His powerful playing helped to drive Winter's blues-rock sound, and he was a vital member of Winter's band during his most successful period. Hughes's legacy as a drummer is still felt today, and he is remembered as one of the most talented drummers of his generation.
In addition to his work with Winter, Hughes also played with a number of other notable musicians, including Rick Derringer, Bob Margolin, and Charlie Musselwhite. He was a respected figure in the blues-rock world, and his death was a major loss to the music community.
Rick Derringer (born Ricky Zehringer on 5 August 1947) an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, and producer. He first gained fame as a member of The McCoys, a rock group that had a hit with the song "Hang On Sloopy" in 1965. He later became a solo artist and has worked as a producer and collaborator with many well-known musicians.
Derringer was born in Fort Recovery, Ohio and grew up in Union City, Indiana. His family was musical, and he began playing guitar at an early age. In the mid-1960s, he formed The McCoys with his brother Randy and three other musicians. They had several hits, including "Hang On Sloopy," which was a number one hit in the United States in 1965.
After The McCoys disbanded, Derringer formed the band "Johnny Winter And" with blues guitarist Johnny Winter. He also played on several of Winter's albums, including "Johnny Winter And Live" and "Still Alive and Well." In 1973, Derringer released his first solo album, "All American Boy," which featured the hit song "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo."
Derringer continued to release solo albums throughout the 1970s and 1980s, including "Spring Fever," "Guitars and Women," and "Face to Face." He also worked as a producer, producing albums for artists such as Cheap Trick, Meat Loaf, and Mason Ruffner.
In the 1990s and 2000s, Derringer continued to perform and record. He also worked as a collaborator with many musicians, including Edgar Winter, Steely Dan, and Kiss. He has been inducted into the Guitar Player Hall of Fame and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.
Throughout his career, Derringer has been known for his guitar skills and his ability to write catchy rock songs. He has influenced many musicians and continues to be a respected figure in the rock music world.
1947: Rick Derringer (Born Rick Zehringer) is born on 5 August in Fort Recovery, Ohio, United States.
1963: Derringer forms his first band called The McCoys with his brother Randy. The band gains national attention with their hit single "Hang On Sloopy", which reaches No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
1966: The McCoys release their self-titled debut album, which includes "Hang On Sloopy" as the lead single. The album achieves moderate success.
1969: Derringer leaves The McCoys and embarks on a solo career. He releases his debut solo album titled "All American Boy", which features the popular song "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo". The album establishes Derringer as a notable guitarist and rock artist.
1970: Derringer collaborates with Johnny Winter, joining Winter's band and contributing his guitar skills to Winter's album "Johnny Winter And".
1973: Derringer continues his collaboration with Johnny Winter, appearing on Winter's critically acclaimed album "Still Alive and Well". Derringer's guitar work shines throughout the record.
1973: Derringer releases his second solo album, "Spring Fever".
1974: The Edgar Winter Group releases their successful album "They Only Come Out at Night", which includes the hit singles "Frankenstein" and "Free Ride". Derringer's guitar work is prominently featured throughout the album.
1976: Derringer releases his third solo album, "Derringer", which includes the popular single "Let Me In". The album showcases his blues-rock style and receives positive reviews.
1980: Derringer releases his fourth solo album, "Face to Face", which includes the single "Goodbye Again". The album marks a transition to a more commercial sound.
1983: Derringer forms the band DNA (Derringer and Appice) with drummer Carmine Appice. They release their self-titled debut album, which features a mix of hard rock and pop-oriented tracks.
1987: Derringer releases his fifth solo album, "Back to the Blues", returning to his blues roots. The album receives critical acclaim for his guitar skills and soulful performances.
1990s: Derringer continues to release albums and perform live, showcasing his versatility as a musician and songwriter. He also collaborates with various artists, including Cyndi Lauper and Alice Cooper.
2000s: Derringer remains active in the music industry, touring and recording new material. He also makes occasional guest appearances and collaborates with other musicians.
2010s: Derringer continues to perform live and release albums independently. He also collaborates with Johnny Winter on various projects, including live performances and recordings.
Jeremy Steig – flute on "Too Much Seconal"
Jeremy Steig was a renowned American jazz flutist and composer, born on 23 September 1942, in New York City, USA. He was born into a family deeply rooted in music; his father, William Steig, was a celebrated cartoonist and illustrator, while his mother, Elizabeth Steig, was a talented pianist. Growing up in such a creative environment, Jeremy's passion for music was nurtured from an early age.
Steig started playing the piano at a young age but later switched to the flute, which became his primary instrument. He attended the High School of Music & Art in New York City, where he honed his skills and developed a deep love for jazz. After high school, he continued his musical journey, studying at the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School of Music.
In the mid-1960s, Jeremy Steig began his professional career, playing with various jazz groups and exploring avant-garde and free jazz styles. He quickly gained recognition for his innovative approach to the flute and his ability to blend various influences, including classical, jazz, and world music, into his playing.
In 1969, Steig released his debut album, "Flute Fever", which showcased his distinctive style and established him as one of the most prominent jazz flutists of his time. The album received critical acclaim and helped him build a loyal fan base.
During the 1970s, Jeremy Steig collaborated with a wide range of musicians, including Eddie Gomez, Don Alias, and Jan Hammer, among others. His versatility and willingness to experiment with different genres made him a sought-after artist in the jazz community.
One of the significant collaborations in Jeremy Steig's career was with the blues-rock legend Johnny Winter. Steig played flute on Johnny Winter's albums "Still Alive and Well" (1973) and "Saints & Sinners" (1974). His flute added a unique and unexpected element to Winter's bluesy rock sound, creating an exciting and memorable fusion.
Throughout his career, Jeremy Steig released numerous solo albums and contributed to various projects as a guest musician. Some of his notable works include "Fusion" (1972), "Wayfaring Stranger" (1980), and "Monium" (1996).
Jeremy Steig's dedication to music and his willingness to push boundaries continued to inspire fellow musicians and flute players around the world. He left a lasting impact on the jazz community and beyond with his innovative and soulful approach to the flute. Tragically, Jeremy Steig passed away on w April 2016, but his musical legacy remains alive through his recordings and the influence he had on generations of musicians
Todd Rundgren – Mellotron on "Cheap Tequila"
Todd Rundgren is a multi-talented American musician, singer, songwriter, producer, and visionary in the world of rock music. Born on 22 June 1948, in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, he has left an indelible mark on the music industry through his diverse skills and creative endeavors. Throughout his career, Rundgren has embraced various genres, experimenting with his sound and forging a reputation as an innovative and influential artist.
Early Life and Musical Beginnings:
Todd Harry Rundgren was raised in a middle-class family, and from an early age, he showed a keen interest in music. He began playing guitar as a teenager and quickly honed his skills, drawn to the burgeoning rock 'n' roll scene of the 1960s. He formed his first band, The Nazz, in 1967, which quickly gained a local following. The Nazz released three studio albums, showcasing Rundgren's early songwriting prowess.
Solo Career and Commercial Success:
In 1970, Rundgren decided to pursue a solo career and released his debut album, "Runt". The album received critical acclaim, but it was his third solo effort, "Something/Anything?" (1972), that catapulted him to commercial success. This double album featured hit songs like "I Saw the Light", "Hello, It's Me", and "Couldn't I Just Tell You", showcasing his diverse musical talent and mastery of various instruments.
Following the success of "Something/Anything?", Rundgren continued to release a series of well-received albums throughout the 1970s, such as "A Wizard, a True Star" (1973), "Todd" (1974), and "Faithful" (1976). His music combined elements of rock, pop, soul, and psychedelia, making him a unique and innovative figure in the music world.
Utopia and Collaborations:
During the mid-1970s, Rundgren formed the progressive rock band Utopia, which allowed him to explore more experimental and progressive sounds. Utopia released several albums, with Rundgren often taking a collaborative approach to songwriting and production. They gained a dedicated fanbase and became known for their electrifying live performances.
Apart from his solo and Utopia work, Rundgren earned acclaim for his collaborations as a producer and engineer. He worked with numerous prominent artists, including Meat Loaf ("Bat Out of Hell"), The Band ("Stage Fright"), XTC ("Skylarking"), and New York Dolls ("New York Dolls").
Innovation and Technological Contributions:
Rundgren's musical journey was accompanied by his fascination with technology. He was an early adopter of computer-based music production and video technology, experimenting with interactive concerts and virtual reality shows long before they became mainstream. He continued to push the boundaries of technology and music throughout his career.
Later Career and Legacy:
The 1980s saw Rundgren explore synth-pop and new wave elements in albums like "Hermit of Mink Hollow" (1982) and "A Cappella" (1985). While he may not have achieved the same commercial success as in the 1970s, his artistic integrity and influence remained strong.
In the following decades, Todd Rundgren maintained a consistent output of albums and continued to tour, attracting both loyal fans and new admirers. His live performances were known for their energy, musical proficiency, and willingness to revisit his classic hits alongside new material.
Rundgren's influence extended beyond music. His innovative spirit and artistic vision made him a pioneer in various creative fields. He received recognition from the music industry and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2021, cementing his place as an essential figure in the history of rock music.
Mark Klingman – piano on "Silver Train"
Mark Klingman, an accomplished piano and keyboards player, was born on 7 September 1950, in Great Neck, New York. From an early age, he displayed a profound passion for music, particularly drawn to the captivating sounds of the piano. At just six years old, he started taking formal piano lessons, quickly showcasing an innate talent for the instrument.
Education and Career Development:
As he honed his musical abilities, Mark pursued formal education in music, attending the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City. Under the tutelage of esteemed instructors, he deepened his understanding of music theory, composition, and performance, all of which contributed to shaping his unique playing style.
During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Mark Klingman emerged onto the vibrant music scene in New York City. He became actively involved in the burgeoning rock and pop music movement, collaborating with various bands and artists. His proficiency on the piano and keyboards quickly made him a sought-after musician in the local music circuit.
Songwriting and Collaborations:
While Mark's skill as a pianist was undeniable, it was his gift for songwriting that truly set him apart. His ability to craft engaging melodies and poignant lyrics garnered attention from fellow musicians and industry insiders. One of his early notable collaborations was with the band The Wind in the Willows, where he co-wrote several songs, including the hit "Moments Spent".
In the early 1970s, Klingman's career took a significant leap when he teamed up with the legendary musician and performer Bette Midler. He co-wrote several songs for her, including the popular track "You're Moving Out Today". This collaboration with Midler not only solidified his reputation as a talented songwriter but also opened doors to more opportunities in the music industry.
Utopia and Todd Rundgren:
Mark Klingman's path crossed with the influential musician Todd Rundgren, and they formed the band Utopia in 1974. Klingman's contributions as a keyboardist and songwriter were pivotal to the band's success. Utopia's sound was a fusion of rock, progressive, and experimental music, and they released a string of critically acclaimed albums, earning a dedicated fan base.
Klingman's association with Todd Rundgren extended beyond Utopia, as he collaborated on various solo projects by Rundgren as well. Their musical synergy was evident in the albums they created together.
Later Career and Legacy:
As the years passed, Mark Klingman continued to explore various musical genres and collaborated with numerous artists, earning respect as a versatile and accomplished pianist and songwriter. He embraced opportunities to work on film and television soundtracks, further showcasing his musical versatility.
Klingman's legacy endures not only through his contributions to Utopia and his collaborations with renowned artists but also through his impact on the broader music landscape. His talent and creativity continue to inspire aspiring musicians and fans alike.
Personal Life and Passing:
Mark Klingman's life was tragically cut short when he lost his battle with cancer on 15 May 2011. His passing was mourned by the music community, and tributes poured in from fellow musicians who recognized the immense contributions he made to the world of music.
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 ).
Er lebt noch . . . und wie!
Nach seiner Deutschland-Tournee im Frühjahr 1971 war es etwas still um den Albino-Gitarristen geworden. Zwei Jahre lang hatte er sich aus
persönlichen Gründen aus dem Show-Geschäft zurückgezogen. Diese Art innerer Emigration erwies sich als ausgesprochen fruchtbar: nunmehr
liegt seine neue Langspielplatte vor, ihr Titel konstatiert, was Johnny ist: still alive and well.
Winter, über den Kritiker schrieben, er sei "der einzig legitime Nachfolger von Jimi Hendrix", war 1962 auf der Chicagoer Musikszene aufgetaucht. Den aus Beaumont‚ Texas, stammenden klapperdürren Albino mit dem Silberblick zog' s ins Blues-Mekka. Nachdem er zunächst mit Bruder Edgar als "lt And Them" (später in "Johnny Winter And The Black Plague" umbenannt) aufgetreten war, gastierte er kurze Zeit
später in Mike Bloomfield' s Fickle Pickle. Im Dezember 1968 brachte ein Rolling Stone-Artikel alles ins Rollen. Tiny Tim-Entdecker Steve Paul holte ihn nach New York. An einem Morgen, um 2. 00 Uhr, lief im Fillmore East eine Supersession mit Hendrix‚ Stills, Bloomfield und Winter. Billboard schrieb danach: "Johnny ist das heißeste Rock-Phänomen seit Bob Dylan. Das bereitwillige Publikum wird förmlich
zur kompletten Kapitulation getrieben, wenn der weiße Blues-Satan seine betäubende, hinreissende Show abzieht.
Der weißblonde Magier sorgte nicht nur für Explosion auf der Bühne,' sein erstes Album "Johnny Winter" (eine Art Sammlung von Delta-Blues-Stücken) bewies das. Nach "Second Winter" (ein Doppelalbum, von dem kurioserweise eine Seite leer blieb) erschien "Johnny Winter And", eine Aufnahme, die Johnny mit den Ex-McCoys ("Hang On Sloopy" . . .) einspielte und seine Entwicklung vom Blues zum Rock beschleunigte.
Johnny Winter Live" war dann der einstweilige Schlußpunkt, dem jetzt sein jüngstes Plattenopus "Still Alive And Well" (Besetzung: neben Johnny
Randy Jo Hobbs‚ bass‚ Richard Hughes‚ drums) folgt.
Daß Johnny Winter seinen Anspruch auf Superstar-Popularität aufgeben würde, war ohnehin nicht anzunehmen. Der platinblonde Gitarren-König hat sich die Krone wieder aufgesetzt. Sie gebührt ihm sowieso
Aktuelle LP: CBS 65 484 "Still Alive And Well" 7303
Winter's Lean Rock
Johnny Winter has survived much in the world of rock 'n' roll, not the least his arrival from Texas some years ago as the new Rock Messiah, genius guitarist and blues singer. Much money was paid to him for his recording contract, much publicity was made out of the fact that he was a long haired albino, also cross-eyed. His recording debut was delayed but the interest was sustained. Naturally the expectations "hype" (hyperbole) is the industy word — far exceeded what ordinary mortals could provide and Mr. Winter spent the next few years trying to present a more reasonable picture of himself to the public. His new album, "Still Alive and Well (Columbia KC 32188, $5.98), may be it.
Mr. Winter, who plays stripped-down rock, with a strong facing of the blues, is accompanied mainly by a guitar and drums. The album is characterized by a nervous drive as in, for example, the veteran blues song "Rock Me Mama," which is overladen with so much energy, or perhaps tension, that any relaxation is lost. Mr. Winter may also be the first on the block with a traditional sounding blues about seconal, downers "Too Much Seconal." The high whining, sliding guitar style (Mr. Winter still has his roots fixed in the Texas environment) urgent vocals and simplicity of operation take the listener back to one of rock's better periods, the late nineteen-sixties. He has moved neither back-ward nor forward. He may have resolved things for himself with his music and provided us with an instant Nostalgia album.
Johnny's first LP in two years is basically a trio effort as he's assisted by Randy Jo Hobbs on bass and the drums of Richard Hughes. Rick Derringer, who also produced, guests on three tracks (slide, pedal steel and electric); cameos also from Todd Rundgren's mellotron and Jeremy Steig's flute. The affinity that the Texas-born guitar/vocalist has for Jagger and Richard material start and ends side two with "Silver Train" and a strong rendering of "Let it bleed" respectively. The countrified "Ain't nothing to me" is also impressive. He's still in the forefront of bluesrock - and for good reason.
Yes, he-is. In this long-awaited return album, Johnny Winter takes up where he left off. His fingers are fleet and sure as ever, his vocals have bite and growl, and the flash and power of yore are hanging right in there.
Winter wrote two of the ten tracks, most are more rock than heavily blues oriented, and all feature , bassman Randy Jo Hobbs and drummer Richard Hughes. Producer and former guitar partner Rick Derringer is heard on a few tracks, as are various keyboards here and there - but the basic sound is power trio. Technical advice on the LP is credited to Bill Szymczyk, who also produced B.B. King's Alive And Well album, as well as the J. Geils Band and the James Gang.
The bluesiest cuts are the. standard "Rock Me Baby," done here with a sinuous riff and plenty of punch, and the acoustic "Too Much Seconal," a Winter original. Johnny plays National Steel and mandolin on this track, which also features the frenetic flute of Jeremy Steig-it's a burnt-out woman blues in the old tradition, but modernized a bit by choice of pharmaceuticals.
"Can't You Feel It" was written by Dan Hartman, from Brother Edgar's group - predictably it's a straight ahead rocker; "Outside your window baby, trying to get in,/ My love for you goes deeper than sin." It matches up nicely with Johnny's other original, "Rock & Roll" ("You can't keep me, gotta use me while you can"), which features some electrifying slide work.
The two sidestep numbers on the album are "Cheap Tequila," a modish ballad by Derringer. Production includes Todd Rundgren on mellotren, but overall feel is nice-it's good to hear a less raspy vocal tone. "Ain't Nothing to Me" is a fine, double-tough C&W bar song. Johnny shows off another side of his Texas roots with a good vocal, and Derringer adds nice work on pedal steel.
We get a double taste of the Stones with two numbers. One is the new "Silver Train," reportedly written for Johnny. With swirling guitars, rippling piano and buried vocals, it has a definite Exile sound, and Johnny sounds more like Jagger in phrasing and pronunciation than himself. A good, rocking track, with "Paint It Black"-styled Eastern over-tones. Some find it touched with smack references; to me it sounds like a hit single.
"Still Alive and Well" is a shock-of-recognition move. The song was first heard on White Trash's Roadwork album, and speculation was rife that Derringer had done it with Johnny strongly in mind. Here Johnny makes it a vital and personal statement with as much power and self-assertive cool as Muddy Waters had in " Hoochie-Coochie Man. "
The album closes with an appropriately leering rendition of the Stones' "Let It Bleed," once again featuring the crystal-glass-chandelier-like lightning slide guitar work and a strutting vocal. At the end of the take Johnny asks, "Goddamnit, did that get it, or what? "
It did. Welcome back man, nice to see a survivor.
Johnny Winter has the kind of voice and guitar sound you either hate or love . . . I happen to hate it. The gravelly vocal tones bear such a resemblance to genuine suffering that I often worry if he is actually in pain. The guitar-work, though both fast and competent, seems without inspiration. But again, this is all a matter of opinion; and after all the fans Winters' built up over the years. I'm sure it's my ears that are pasted on backwards.
Side one opens with another version of "Rock Me Baby," but the first, last and only version I ever liked was the Jeff Beck Group version ... only because it cooked instead of trundled along with bulldozer heaviness.
The album is produced by ex-Mc-Coy, ex-White Trasher Rick Derringer. Derringer's "Cheap Tequila" is probably the most interesting track on the record. Quieter and more melodious than usual, Winter's voice isn't nearly as grating.
Most annoying to me is the lack of imagination. It's all been done before, the same old rock and roll riffs, from the Allman's to Ten Years After, John Mayall and Savoy Brown. Doesn't it ever change? Music is supposed to be growing up a little . . . but this album just seems stagnant.
The second most annoying thing is the lack of original material. Winter has the reputation for being the great American rock and roll innovator. Why, then, is he rehashing material that's been done a hundred times before?
With all the truly original stuff around, this sounds like one great step backwards for American rock and roll. Sorry, Johnny Winter fans ... if you love him, you'll go out and buy it anyway . . . right?
JOHNNY WINTER STILL ALIVE AND WELL CBS 65484
Seit Johnny Winters letzte Studio-produktion AND erschien, ist soviel Zeit vergangen, daß diese LP fast schon als historisch zu bezeichnen ist. Eine Menge ist seither passiert;
Johnny begab sich in ausgiebige ärztliche Behandlung, weil Drogen ihm Geist und Körper zu ruinieren drohten. Bruder Edgar machte fleißig Karriere und sorgte dafür, daß der Name Winter nicht aus dem Blickfeld verschwand. Nun aber ist Johnny wieder da, gut erholt. Er hat in der langen Pause zwar nichts dazu gelernt, aber zum Glück auch nichts vergessen. Sein kerniger Blues-Rock klingt noch ge- nauso unverbraucht wie früher. Johnny rockt gleich im ersten Titel, Big Bill Broonzys "Rock Me Baby", mächtig los und zieht sodann die gesamte LP mit gleichbleibender Energie durch. Es kocht höllisch, wenn er seine Gitarre sprechen läßt, aber es verbrennt nichts zu Abfall, sondern die Musik wird dadurch eher noch bekömmlicher. Das gilt nicht nur für die reinen Rock-Stücke, sondern auch für die vom Schema abweichenden Nummern, wie beispielsweise "CheapTequila" von Rick Derringer . Besonderen Spaß hat man an den beiden Jagger/Richard-Kompositionen "Silver Train" und "Let It Bleed", von denen auch bereits letztere von den Stones veröffentlich wurde. Winters Bearbeitungen beweisen einmal mehr, daß er auch Material anderer Komponisten zu s e i n e r Musik machen kann. Überhaupt hat er diesmal viel fremde Kompositionen verwendet und nur zwei Stücke selbst geschrieben, was vielleicht als letzter Hinweis auf seine überstandene Schwächeperiode verstanden sein will.
Johnny Winter Zu seinen Begleitmusikern ist diesmal nicht viel zu sagen. Bassist Randy Hobbs ist bereits seit AND dabei. Er scheint mir allerdings flüssiger zu spielen als früher. Drummer Richard Hughes ist zuverlässig, jedoch nicht besonders auffällig. Ansonsten helfen Rick Derringer, der das Album auch produzierte, Todd Rundgren, Mark Klingman und Jeremy Steig hier und da etwas aus. Bemerkanswertes bietet sie nicht, nur Steig hat ein schönes Flötensolo in "Too Much Secononal". Die bei weitem wichtigste Erkanntnis dieser LP: Johnny Winter is still alive and well.
Hans Jürgen Günther
Still Alive and Well (Columbia KC 32188) by Johnny Winter is quite a jump from the saccarine McCartney theme, but it has its own problem. It's a problem — like that or the J. Geils Band and John Kay reviewed late — that is hard to put a finger on. They are each acceptable albums, but the extra spark we have hear learned to expect from these performers is missing this time. "Still Alive and Well" refers to Johnny Winter's late absence, reportedly due to a medical problem, When he burst on the national rock scene in the late 60s, Johnny was playing blazing blues guitar and singing let-it-all-hang-out vocals. He still is, but
There are three or four definite winners on this album, out of 10 cuts. "Rock me Baby" has the tight, punchy feel and nearly inimitable Winter flair: heavy, fast, repeated blues guitar flourishes, with some wailing, moaning solos. Except now it's more rock than blues. "Let It Bleed," which seems to be getting the most airplay, is a good example of the nastiness Johnny likes to imply. But "Silver Train," another Mick Jagger-Keith Richard composition, is nowhere near as successful. The title tune, "Still Alive and Well," is suitably frantic but lacks some cohesion, also, it's kind of disappointing that such an important testament wasn't even written by Winter.
"Too Much Seconal" was written by Johnny, and features him on mandolin and Jeremy Steig on flute, but it too is a little too loose. "All Tore Down" will be best remembered for a good guitar solo. "Cheap Tequila" and "Can't You Feel It" are adequate.
We know he's alive and well, but his fans can still hope Johnny Winter gets better.
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.