Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Johnny Winter - Step Back

True Blues

This is a fine generic blues album, a tribute to the greatness of Johnny Winter rather than an example of his greatness, understandably in the frailty of his age and health at the time of recording. What it does convey without question is the integrity of Winter's blues embrace over all the years of his premier performance of the genre. Another generic quality of the album is its guest list, those who trade vocal and guitar licks with the great man: Ben Harper, Eric Clapton, Billy Gibbons, Leslie West and Joe Bonamassa [on a classy Sweet Sixteen] to name a few other greats. Producer and JW band guitarist Paul Nelson also provides significant lead, and I recall when Johnny played Exeter a few years ago how Nelson then opened the set with an instrumental stormer. He can be heard to the fore on a wonderful version of the classic Killing Floor. Johnny's vocal is low and gruff and, well, full of true blues.

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