“The Woodstock Experience” by Johnny Winter

Artist: Johnny Winter
Title: “The Woodstock Experience”
Label: Sony Legacy
Release Date: 6/30/2009
Genre: Blues Rock
Rating: 4/5

In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Woodstock Festival, Sony Legacy has released a number of special recordings under the title of “The Woodstock Experience”. While available as a limited edition boxed set, the five recordings are also available separately. Each comes packaged in a sturdy cardboard slipcase that houses the album that the artist had released or been supporting at that time in 1969 along with a second CD that features their full Woodstock Festival performance. They are placed in mini-album covers and where the original album is a complete replica, the Woodstock set offers historical liner notes about the gig. It also features a poster of the artist that was taken at the show. The five releases present Johnny Winter, Santana, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane and Sly & The Family Stone. As we did not have the limited edition box set we are instead offering up views on the releases on a one by one basis. Here are our thoughts on the “Johnny Winter: The Woodstock Experience” CD.

Did anyone actually remember that Johnny Winter performed at Woodstock? I know that this was news to me, but of course I was a little too young to be there at the festival nor do I know every single piece of its rich history, but as I checked around with some friends it seemed that I was not the only one in the dark about this fact. Winter would be supporting his self-titled album at the time and this was a recording that while featuring a number of blues standard covers, would present a guitarist that was unlike any others at his time. Yes we had guitar gods in Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, but there was something magnificent in the way that Winter played and if you are a fan of what can be done in Rock/Blues music on the axe then you owe it to yourself to grab this release to see what one of its original masters brought to the table. Highlights on this remastered edition of the “Johnny Winter” CD come via “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” and “Mean Mistreater” if you asked me, but in all honesty the whole CD is an enjoyable listen.

Woodstock: Sunday, August 17, 1969 – Johnny didn’t appear in the original Woodstock film, but has a song represented on the expanded special edition DVD release by way of “Mean Town Blues” and it’s really just a tip of the iceberg to the man’s blistering set. We only find one song presented from his debut album with “Leland Mississippi Blues” but that will not bother anyone when they find that his brother Edgar comes out to join him for three numbers and even offers up some vocals. They do a smoldering rendition of “Tobacco Road” which I have always had a fondness for and even deliver some Chuck Berry with a cooking “Johnny B. Goode” as their closing number. Fans of the guitarist will be happy to finally have this released on audio but probably a little miffed that it took so long to see the light of day. Oh well, you can’t have everything and I say that at least it’s finally here. Johnny plays guitar and sings on most of the tracks before Edgar comes out and the rest of the band is Tommy Shannon on bass and uncle John Turner on drums. Clearly Johnny Winter set the framework for many guitar players who would follow him and it is evident in this Woodstock set. Given this was the Sunday performance, it is safe to assume that he played in front of almost a half million people and judging the kick ass performance he gave them there was not way that he was intimidated by them. This is a truly wonderful set of music that will be played again and again.

PiercingMetal was on point to cover the 40th Anniversary Gala for the “Woodstock” film. Held at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square NYC, the grand event featured both musicians and organizers that were key factors to the events overall success. To enjoy our coverage of the green carpet and live performances just click HERE

Track Listing:
1. I’m Yours and I’m Hers
2. Be Careful With A Fool
3. Dallas
4. Mean Mistreater
5. Leland Mississippi Blues
6. Good Morning Little School Girl
7. When You’ve Got A Good Friend
8. I’ll Drown In My Own Tears
9. Back Door Friend

Woodstock Set:
1. Mama, Talk To Your Daughter
2. Leland Mississippi Blues
3. Mean Town Blues
4. You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now
5. I Can’t Stand It
6. Tobacco Road
7. Tell The Truth
8. Johnny B. Goode

Official Website: http://www.johnnywinter.net/welcome
Official Website: http://www.woodstock.com

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