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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Monday, January 16, 2012

Megaforce Records artist: Johnny Winter - Roots - New Release review


I just received the new Johnny Winter recording, "Roots". Johnny comes out of the gate swinging with "T-Bone Shuffle" where he trades solos with Sonny Landreth, broadly known as one of the blues most popular slide guitar players, and never lets up on the heat through the entire set. His second track is "Further on Up the Road" which is again done swing style but with a nice Texas gait. Here Johnny trades solos with guitarist Jimmy Vivino, band leader of the Basic Cable Band (Conan O'Brien Show). The third track, "Done Somebody Wrong", is of course an old Elmore James song and here Johnny trades solos with Gov't Mule and Allman Brothers, Warren Haynes Band guitarist extraordinaire Warren Haynes. Next up is "Got My Mojo Workin'" in traditional Muddy Waters style where Johnny features Frank Latorre a great harmonica player, artist and leader of The Kingbees. Next up is "Last Night" where Johnny throws down a pretty dirty solo and features harmonica wiz John Popper from Blues Traveler. Up next, a traditional rendition of "Maybelline". Johnny always had a propensity toward Chuck Berry and it's good to see him revisit his roots here with Vince Gill taking a little tour down rock lane.... and Vince is a great player! "Bright Lights, Big City" is up next where Winter takes a duet with Susan Tedeschi who both sings and solos. Tedeschi of course has led her own band for years and has now joined forces with her husband Derek Trucks. Two classic vocalists and two premiere guitar players who both get their licks in! "Honky Tonk" is a great guitar showcase for Johnny playing in his traditional style. Edgar's playing on sax is always exemplary and after my being raised on White Trash, his distinctive tone and style is easily recognized and a welcome treat. Near the end of the song he winds it up like he did on some of the old records that I love so well and it gets Johnny charged too. Good to see the boys together again. Next up is "Dust My Broom" and what better to showcase Derek Trucks and Johnny Winter than another Elmore James tune. These two guys have always had some of the best slide style around. Johnny's guitar is easily discerned from Trucks and he sounds great...and Trucks always does! "Short Fat Fannie" is Johnny with his base band where he features his own rhythm guitar player, Paul Nelson who has a resume as a session man as long as your arm. Johnny gives him a chance to show off a little and he takes it. Nelson handles being Johnny's backup guitar player very well ... like Derringer did some 40 years ago. Last up, "Come Back Baby", is a nice slow blues which really gives everyone a chance to shine. Keyboard player John Medeski gets the chance to solo here on organ. He adds a nice warm sound to the song.
This is a real solid cd and one that I feel most blues fans and all Johnny Winter fans will enjoy!
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