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Johnny Winter - Second Winter (1969)

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Johnny Winter - Second Winter (1969)

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A1 	Memory Pain 	5:27
A2 	I'm Not Sure 	5:18
A3 	The Good Love 	4:38
B1 	Slippin' And Slidin' 	2:43
B2 	Miss Ann 	3:04
B3 	Johnny B. Goode 	3:45
B4 	Highway 61 Revisited 	5:07
C1 	I Love Everybody 	3:50
C2 	Hustled Down In Texas 	3:31
C3 	I Hate Everybody 	2:35
C4 	Fast Life Rider 	7:05

Bass – Tommy Shannon (tracks: A1, A2, B1 to C4)
Percussion – "Uncle" John Turner
Piano, Organ, Harpsichord, Alto Saxophone – Edgar Winter
Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin – Johnny Winter 

 

Johnny's second Columbia album shows an artist in transition. He's still obviously a Texas bluesman, recording in the same trio format that he left Dallas with. But his music is moving toward the more rock & roll sounds he would go on to create. The opener, "Memory Pain," moves him into psychedelic blues-rock territory, while old-time rockers like "Johnny B. Goode," "Miss Ann," and "Slippin' and Slidin'" provide him with familiar landscapes on which to spray his patented licks. His reworking of Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" is the high spot of the record, a career-defining track that would remain a major component in his set list to the end of his life. ---Cub Koda

 

The leaves hadn’t even started turning red in Texas in late October 1969 when Beaumont-born bluesman Johnny Winter released Second Winter, arguably the pinnacle of his long and storied career.

Technically speaking, this was the guitar great's "third Winter," if you take into account 1968's Progressive Blues Experiment, which was released by Austin’s tiny Sonobeat Records before Winter signed with the mighty Columbia -- a label so powerful, it evidently had no qualms about revising historical accounting.

Either way, the talented six-string phenom grasped this opportunity and let loose a powerful display of fret prowess across all three vinyl sides of Second Winter. As anyone with a prized original copy, or a long memory, can tell you, the album was released as a rare three-sided set, the product of an inspired Nashville recording session that yielded too much great material to be pared down into a regular two-sided LP but not quite enough for a four-sided double.

So, rather than short-change fans or themselves, Winter and his bandmates -- bassist Tommy Shannon (who later joined Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Double Trouble), drummer Uncle John Turner and keyboard-and-sax-playing little brother Edgar -- released the bulk of the sessions and left side four blank.

Winter starts it all off by showing off his soulful voice on a cover of Percy Mayfield’s "Memory Pain," before he surrenders the spotlight to Edgar’s nimble keys on the self-penned "I’m Not Sure." It wraps with a strangling of his Gibson Firebird’s neck on Dennis Collins’ "The Good Love."

Side two, somewhat surprisingly, turns into an old-time ‘50s rock 'n' roll dance party, as Winter wails his way across classics like "Slippin’ and Slidin"’ and "Miss Ann" (both made famous by Little Richard), and Chuck Berry’s ripping "Johnny B. Goode." ---ultimateclassicrock.com

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