Deluxe 4-CD, 56 track package from Columbia/Legacy spans 1968-2011, with previously unreleased live tracks from Atlanta Pop Festival, 1970
Available everywhere February 25, 2014, through Columbia/Legacy – follows special birthday night show at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in NYC
Johnny Winter’s 70th birthday on Sunday, February 23, 2014, will be commemorated with the release of True To The Blues: The Johnny Winter Story, a deluxe 4-CD box set containing 56 tracks that will be available everywhere two days later through Columbia/Legacy, a division of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT. On February 23rd, Winter will play a special birthday night performance at the B.B. King Blues Club in New York. The pre-order for True To The Blues is live at http://smarturl.it/jwinter_true_amzn
Covering the fullest scope of Johnny Winter’s prodigious recording career, True To The Blues is sourced from 27 separate albums on the Imperial, Columbia, Blue Sky/Epic, Alligator, Point Blank (Virgin), Friday Music, Megaforce, and Columbia/Legacy labels. Music ranges from his independently recorded and released The Progressive Blues Experiment of 1968 (“Bad Luck And Trouble,” “Mean Town Blues”) up through 2011’s all-star duets project, Roots (“Maybelline” with Vince Gill, “Dust My Broom” with Derek Trucks).
In a career filled with signature songs that frame a litany for loyal fans, True To The Blues covers every base with its mix of studio and live material: “Highway 61 Revisited,” “Dallas,” “Mean Mistreater,” “Mean Town Blues,” “Rock And Roll Hoochie Koo,” “Rock Me Baby,” “It’s My Own Fault,” “Good Morning Little School Girl,” “Bony Moronie,” “Hustled Down In Texas,” “Be Careful With A Fool,” “Johnny B. Goode,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” and more.
True To The Blues rediscovers the Columbia three-LP event of 1970, The First Great Rock Festivals Of The Seventies – Isle Of Wight/Atlanta Pop, previously unavailable on CD, whose opening track was “Mean Mistreater” by Johnny Winter And (his group with Rick Derringer and bassist Randy Hobbs, with Edgar sitting in on drums). Also from the Atlanta fest are two more previously unreleased numbers, Sonny Boy Williamson II’s “Eyesight To The Blind” (cf. the Who’s Tommy) and Johnny’s take on “Prodigal Son.”
At the core of True To The Blues are the six albums that Winter recorded for Columbia Records, and the six albums that he recorded for manager Steve Paul’s Blue Sky Records (distributed by Epic).
- Columbia: Johnny Winter (1969), Second Winter (1969), Johnny Winter And (1970), Johnny Winter And/Live (1971), Still Alive And Well (1973), Saints & Sinners (1975);
- Blue Sky/Epic: John Dawson Winter III (1974), Together (1976), Captured Live! (1976), Nothin’ But The Blues (1977), White, Hot & Blue (1978), Raisin’ Cain (1980).
In addition, True To The Blues draws tracks from a number of historic Columbia/Legacy archival projects released over the past decade: Fillmore East: The Lost Concert Tapes 12/13/68 (2003), Second Winter: Legacy Edition (2004), Breakin’ It Up, Breakin’ It Down (2007), and The Woodstock Experience (2009).
Along the way, a myriad of blues and rock kingpins join Johnny Winter (and occasionally his brother Edgar) in the studio and onstage, starting with Super Session hosts Michael Bloomfield and Al Kooper at the Fillmore East in New York, December 1968. Collaborators (to name a few) include Chicago blues greats Willie Dixon and Walter “Shakey” Horton (on Winter’s Columbia debut LP, 1969), post-McCoys Rick Derringer (from 1970 to ’75), Muddy Waters and his band featuring James Cotton, “Pinetop” Perkins, and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith (1977), Dr. John, and at the Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration at Madison Square Garden in 1992, that night’s all-star ‘house band’ featuring Steve Cropper and Booker T.
“If it was not for Johnny Winter,” said Joe Perry of Aerosmith, “I would have never picked up the guitar!” The testimonial is one of nearly 20 that accompany the box set, from such guitar luminaries as Eddie Van Halen, Angus Young, Pete Townshend, Carlos Santana, Steven Tyler, Billy Gibbons, Joe Satriani, Derek Trucks, Gregg Allman, Leslie West, Vince Gill, Glenn Tipton, Mark Knopfler, and many more. The 4,000-word liner notes essay is written by Guitar World magazine editor-in-chief Brad Tolinski, who penned the notes for the 2013 double-CD, The Essential Johnny Winter (Columbia/Legacy).
True To The Blues: The Johnny Winter Story (Columbia/Legacy 88883 74085 2)