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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Johnny Winter

Live at Rockpalast 1979

Review by Gary Hill

A live recording from Johnny Winter, this is a great release. Winter’s style of music occupies the space between rock and the blues (with the leaning more on the blues end). As a guitarist he shreds and every single track on the set is strong. The only complaint is that at times it seems a bit like “more of the same” because the musical style is a bit limited.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Hideaway

Here’s an intriguing opening number. While it’s called “Hideaway,” really it’s a bluesy rock jam based on key riffs from a number of classic tunes. It’s a cool cut but not really standout. That said, it’s a dynamic and diverse instrumental that works through some cool territory as it continues. Winter purely shred on his guitar soloing.

Messin' With The Kid

This is a smoking hot blues rock jam that’s got a killer bass line. It’s among the real highlights of the set and Johnny Winter screams all over this thing.

Walking By Myself
While this is a good tune, it pales in comparison to the previous one while living in much the same musical style.
Divin Duck
Comparisons to Jimi Hendrix wouldn’t be out of the question here, but this is more bluesy than a lot of Hendrix music. Winter puts in some seriously tasty guitar solo performances and this is a real screamer. It’s another standout tune.
I'm Ready
There’s not a big change here, but the cut is effective. It’s not a standout, but works well nonetheless.
Rockabilly Boogie
As the title suggests, this piece lands closer to old school rock and roll than it does to real blues music. It’s a seriously powerful cut that provides a little bit of variety.
Jumping Jack Flash
Jamming on the Rolling Stones classic, Winter and company put in a powerhouse performance of the tune. It’s a serious screamer and a highlight of the set.
 
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