Johnny Winter was on the comeback trail when he died on July 16, 2014, at age 70. He’d just completed this album: the sequel to 2011’s Roots and the second of four planned collections of early blues and rock songs. The historical box set True to the Blues: The Johnny Winter Story, released earlier in 2014, reminded fans of his legacy. Step Back pairs Winter with contemporaries and fans such as Eric Clapton, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, Dr. John, Joe Bonamassa, and Brian Setzer among the ranks. Winter sings and plays here with a focus that demonstrates how determined he was to remind folks of his abilities. Tracks such as “Don’t Want No Woman” (with Eric Clapton), “Killing Floor” (with producer/guitarist Paul Nelson), “Sweet Sixteen” (with Joe Bonamassa), and “Long Tall Sally” (in a brutal version with Mountain’s Leslie West) make the case for Winter’s resilience and should send longtime fans back to Winter’s early records to revisit his explosive talents. As producer Paul Nelson says, “He left on a high note.” Indeed.
Unchain My Heart (feat. Blues Brothers Horns)
Can't Hold Out (Talk to Me Baby) [feat. Ben Harper]