Johnny Winter
" Live Through The 70's "
MVD Visual DVD

Blueswax 7
Rating 8

Raw and Powerful Winter , (01/21/09))

This DVD is a collection of concert performances taken from Danish TV's Gladsaxe Teen Club (Denmark 1970), the Royal Albert Hall in London (1970), the Beat Club in Bremen, Germany (1970), Don Kirshner's Rock Concert - Palace Theater in Waterbury, Connecticut (1973), Soundstage - Blues Summit in Chicago, Illinois (1974), Musikladen in Bremen, Germany (1974), and Rockpalast in Germany (1979). Interspersed throughout are comical and hippie-dippie days interview clips, which were all taped in 1970 with host Dennis Frawley. Not counting the interviews there are a total of fourteen Blues-based rockers included. Highlights include the opening "Frankenstein," which also has brother Edgar Winter on vocals and keyboards, Tommy Shannon on bass, and the recently departed Uncle John Turner on drums. The same band moves from Denmark to the Royal Albert Hall in London and really sets sail and roars through wild versions of "Johnny B. Goode," an amazing "Talk to Your Daughter," and a pedal-to-the-metal "Tell the Truth," which were all recorded in 1970. This U.K. segment is crazy and fires at breakneck speed and reminds me of my most memorable times that I witnessed Johnny Winter at the Fillmore East

During one of the interviews Winter asks the interviewer if he's ever heard "Key To the Highway," and with bassist Randy Jo Hobbs performs a particularly sweet cover of the Blues classic as a duo. Roll forward to 1974 at the Soundstage Blues Summit in Chicago where we find Winter on stage with Mike Bloomfield, Junior Wells, Buddy Miles, Phil Guy, Al Radford on bass, and a supercharged Dr. John on keys, as they kick through "Walking Through the Park," where the only disappointment is the fact that Winter and Bloomfield never engage. But make no doubt about it, this is a classic Chicago performance.

This video closes on a down note with a lengthy, but otherwise low-spirited and un-inspired cover of "Suzie-Q," as Winter and company attempt to execute as a power-trio, yet it was great to see New York local Jon Paris on bass and harp, plus Bobby Cadlwell on drums.

In summary; the video and audio quality varies from performance to performance, which is understandable considering the age, but this DVD is a fine capture of Winter at his peak and is recommended for all Blues fans who want to view Winter at his rawest and wildest. Since Johnny Winter on video is a rare item, this makes Johnny Winter Live Through the '70s an absolute must for Johnny Winter fans.

Bob Putignano is a contributing editor at BluesWax. You may contact Bob at: web site: Bob Putignano: