This summer marks the 40th Anniversary of 1969's historic Woodstock Music And Arts Festival. As part of the celebration, Sony/Legacy Recordings is releasing a limited edition series of deluxe, double disc recordings by five of the artists whose performances at Woodstock changed the world.
Dubbed The Woodstock Experience, each double-CD set pairs a classic 1969 album from the featured artist, along with their full festival performance. All of the concert recordings — by Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Johnny Winter, Sly And The Family Stone, and Santana — appear on these CDs in their entirety for the first time ever. All are packaged in eco-friendly sleeves, that include a mini-version of the original album cover and a 16 X 20 inch double-sided fold-out poster. With this series, which we are also calling The Woodstock Experience, Blogcritics will be reviewing each of these commemorative sets.
Johnny Winter was one of the lesser-known acts chosen to perform at the time promoters were putting together the lineup for Woodstock back in 1969. At the time, the Texas blues guitarist was primarily known for two things — being an albino, and the fairly strong buzz he had been generating largely via word of mouth from music critics and scenesters.
Johnny Winter of course eventually went on to much bigger and better things. He took his rightful place amongst the upper-tier of the best regarded rock guitarists, and by the seventies — first with his group Johnny Winter And, and later with albums like Still Alive And Well — he was also headlining arenas. Brother Edgar Winter would also ride Johnny's coattails to success with his own hits "Frankenstein" and "Free Ride."
Reportedly in ill health these days, Johnny Winter nonetheless still regularly gets out there to play shows. But for the past decade or so, he's retreated from the bright lights of rock stardom to pursue a lower profile as more of a blues purist.
In 1969 though, Johnny was quite the sight to see with his flowing white hair, and some equally white-hot blues/rock guitar slinging to match. It's easy to forget that Johnny Winter even played at the Woodstock festival today though. He wasn't in the original movie, although he does show up on the bonus disc of the recently released Woodstock 40th Anniversary DVD box.