Johnny Winter: Live Through The '70s

Mike Perciaccante By

Sign in to view read count
Johnny Winter
Live Through The '70s
Music Video Distributors

Johnny Winter: Live Through the '70s is a treasure trove of rare, hard-to-find, powerful and lively electric guitar masterpieces. Featuring very good video (for its age) and clear (if a bit low in volume) sound, this DVD culls Johnny Winter's most incendiary performances during classic rock's heyday—the '70s. The fifteen performances on this DVD are more than memorable—they are unforgettable. Winter's backing bands feature an all-star cast of musicians: guitarist Michael Bloomfield, Buddy Miles on drums, harmonica master Junior Wells, Dr. John on piano, his brother Edgar Winter on sax (and drums!), Bobby Caldwell behind the skins and Tommy Shannon on bass to name a few.

The performances, recorded in Connecticut (as originally broadcast on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert), Chicago (a Soundstage taping), London (filmed at the Royal Albert Hall), three different concerts from Germany (televised on Rockplast, Musikladen and Beat Club) and Denmark (broadcast on Danish TV's Gladsaxe Teen Club), are intercut with rare archival interview footage recorded at Detroit Tubeworks in 1970 (which also includes a performance of "Key To The Highway"). The question and answer sessions are quite interesting as Winter spends much of the time hiding behind a big droopy black hat and messing around with the interviewer who appears to be little more than a college student or, at the very least, a novice.

As with any project centered around film and video that is over thirty years old, the final product is only as good as the source material. Thankfully, the source musical performances are stellar. With regard to the picture, Live Through The '70s suffers from the occasional video glitch—especially the 1979 performances from Germany. Sadly, The Royal Albert Hall tracks are on film and as such are in the worst shape. The film, though treated, is dirty and scratched. The vast majority of the video is in good condition, although some of it appears to have moments of washout.

But it is the live footage of Winter and his bands in concert that make this DVD worthwhile. The DVD is highlighted by "Tell The Truth" featuring Edgar Winter on sax as recorded at the Royal Albert Hall, "Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo" from Waterbury, CT and the amazing version, featuring both drum and keyboard solos, of "Frankenstein" as played on Danish TV and is yet another track featuring Edgar Winter. Also of note are the extended jams featured from 1979 as televised on the German Rockplast TV show. "Walking By Myself," "Mississippi Blues" and "Suzie Q" feature a performer that is completely comfortable within his own skin. Each of these tracks check-in at over nine minutes in length, and with the extended bluesy solos, are a sight to behold.

It has been said that it's the music that matters. It truly does. The music contained on this DVD cements Winter's reputation as one of the best blues guitarists and performers of his generation.

Tracks: Frankenstein; Be Careful of the Fool; Drop the Bomb; Interview; Johnny Be Good; Talk to Your Daughter; Tell The Truth; Interview; Key to the Highway; Mean Town Blues; Interview; Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo; Stone County; Walking Through the Park; Interview; Boney Maroney; Walking by Myself; Mississippi Blues; Suzie Q.

Personnel: Johnny Winter: guitar, vocals, Mike Bloomfeld; guitar; Phil Guy: guitar; Floyd Radford: guitar; Edgar Winter: keyboards, sax, drums, vocals; Dr. John: piano; Tommy Shannon: bass; Randy Jo Hobbs: bass; Al Radford: bass; John Paris: bass, harp; Bobby Caldwell: drums; Uncle John Turner: drums; Richard Hughes: drums; Buddy Miles; drums; Junior Wells: harp.

Post a comment


Shop Amazon


Interview with Lynyrd Skynyrd: Live At Knebworth '76
Interview with Buster Williams: Bass to Infinity
Interview with Sylvie's Love
Film Review
Sylvie's Love
Interview with Billie
Film Review
Interview with Never Too Late: The Doc Severinsen Story
Interview with Zappa
Film Review
Interview with Ronnie Wood:  Somebody Up There Likes Me


Read Tony Bennett: A Hero's Journey in Authenticity
Beauty, Love and Justice: Living A Coltranian Life
Tony Bennett: A Hero's Journey in Authenticity
Read Steve Reich: Humans Love to See Other Humans Play Music
Read Top Jazz-Rock Fusion Recordings
Read Joe Lovano: Finding New Adventures
Read Dean Brown: Global Fusion on Acid
Read Instrumental Duos
Building a Jazz Library
Instrumental Duos

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.