Thursday, June 28, 2012

Johnny Winter - Austin Texas

From   Johnny Winter had grown up in Beaumont, Texas, and recorded many records for local labels in the early '60s, but real success had eluded him. In 1968 he decided to try the blossoming hippie scene in Austin with at a hard-driving blues/rock band called simply "Winter", Tommy Shannon and John Turner supplied the backing and the group played many shows around town. Bill Josey heard of this terrific band and in checking with Johnny found he was free of contracts. Josey immediately signed him to a short term deal and recorded several tracks at theVulcan Gas Co.. A single was released, #197 "Mean Town Blues/Rollin' N' Tumblin'", but other people were amazed by this incredible guitar player and the Johnny Winter publicity campaign started rolling. Rolling Stone did a story on Texas that featured Johnny (Larry Sepulvado of Mother Magazine wrote quite a bit of that Texas issue for R.S.).  Steve Paul, of NYC, got interested and put Winter under an exclusive management contract, then the record company bidding began. Meanwhile Sonobeat pressed up a couple hundred demo LPs of "Winter" and passed them around.  Some were sold thr0ugh local stores and the mail, but it was a simple white jacket advance album designed to stir up record company interest.  After the dust had settled, Johnny was with Columbia and the Sonobeat LP had been bought by United Artists.  It was issued on Imperial as "The Progressive Blues Experiment" and several years later reissued on UA as "Johnny Winter -- Austin, Texas."

1 comment:

  1. While living in Ann Arbor, I once saw Johnny Winter perform in a local club. His set was slated to start at midnight, but it was after that before he started. I was standing the whole evening and at one point I dozed off and slowly lurched forward landing my face in the back of some guy's frizzy fro. I woke up in a rush because me face felt like it had entered a bee hive! Finally he started and it was a really good show!


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