12 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Johnny Winter’s big break came when Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper brought him onstage as a special guest during a 1969 concert at the Fillmore East. A&R men from Columbia were in attendance and signed Winter on the spot; within months his self-titled debut was in stores. It’s not hard to imagine what a guy like Bloomfield must have felt when he first heard Winter. Though Bloomfield was a virtuoso, he was also an outsider who had to work his way into Chicago's blues culture. Winter, on the other hand, was a Texas original. He cut his teeth playing R&B and blues around Beaumont, and his down-home feel is what elevates his performances of well-worn standards like “Good Morning Little School Girl,” “Country Girl," and “Back Door Friend,” the last of which is about raw as white blues got in the '60s. The guitar craft is spectacular—Winter combines the gutsiness of Lightnin’ Hopkins and the madness of Jimi Hendrix. But his singing shouldn't be overlooked. His performance of Ray Charles’ seemingly untouchable “I’ll Drown in My Own Tears” is tender and vulnerable without ever going soft.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Johnny Winter’s big break came when Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper brought him onstage as a special guest during a 1969 concert at the Fillmore East. A&R men from Columbia were in attendance and signed Winter on the spot; within months his self-titled debut was in stores. It’s not hard to imagine what a guy like Bloomfield must have felt when he first heard Winter. Though Bloomfield was a virtuoso, he was also an outsider who had to work his way into Chicago's blues culture. Winter, on the other hand, was a Texas original. He cut his teeth playing R&B and blues around Beaumont, and his down-home feel is what elevates his performances of well-worn standards like “Good Morning Little School Girl,” “Country Girl," and “Back Door Friend,” the last of which is about raw as white blues got in the '60s. The guitar craft is spectacular—Winter combines the gutsiness of Lightnin’ Hopkins and the madness of Jimi Hendrix. But his singing shouldn't be overlooked. His performance of Ray Charles’ seemingly untouchable “I’ll Drown in My Own Tears” is tender and vulnerable without ever going soft.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
38 Ratings

38 Ratings

A.D.A. ,

Great album

I remember buying my first Vanhalen record and being proud as all get out. I brought it home and my old man was like "What is that?" Incredulous, and somewhat offended, I sang Eddie's praises as a guitar player. My dad just deadpanned..."That's nothing. Let me play you something." He put this record on his stereo with the volume cranked up so the walls were shaking and I sat slackjawed and completely blown away for 40 minutes while I listened to that record. I quickly recorded it. Wore out that cassette. Recorded it again. Wore out that cassette. etc etc. Never will forget that first listen though. Amazing.

Troutdog1 ,

Great Album

This album is one of Johnny Winters best. Especially I"m Yours and I'm Hers and Be Careful with a Fool. A must have!!!!

Manic Cowboy ,

Johnny Winter

One of the best blues-rock albums ever! This original guitar-slinger from Texas is still at the top of my list along with Freddy, Stevie, Jimmie and Billy G.

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