Still Alive and Well
Still Alive and Well was the most popular album of Johnny Winter’s career. It didn’t have a breakout hit on par with his brother Edgar’s “Frankenstein” (released the same year), but it gained traction among influential radio DJs. In 1973 almost every group was trying to do a spectacular gimmick, but Still Alive and Well was meat-and-potatoes rock for a generation that ate heartily. In many ways, it was the perfect album for the era. Winter was an almighty guitar god in the tradition of Jimi Hendrix, but he also believed in blunt rock 'n' roll. So while Led Zeppelin was turning blues riffs into symphonies, Winter’s tunes were soaked in blood and guts. Witness “Rock Me Baby,” “Can’t You Feel It,” and a positively bone-breaking version of the Stones’ “Let It Bleed.” Still Alive and Well is also an album that personifies the romance of the '70s rock 'n' roll life. Among the rushes of heavy adrenaline there are also tracks like “Cheap Tequila,” “Too Much Seconal," and “Ain’t Nothing to Me”: a trio of windswept acoustic songs that feel like the downtime on the bus between big-city bashes.