by Robert Bell
9:30 p.m. Juanita's. $25 adv., $30 day of.
It's just not every day that you get a real-deal living legend playing in town. I mean, even if the blues isn't your jam, you've got to admit that Johnny Winter is a badass. For my money, Winter eclipsed most of his guitar-god peers in some pretty important ways. Neither Jeff Beck nor Eric Clapton came close to capturing the raw sound and emotion that Winter conjured from his instrument.
His playing was fluid and sophisticated ("Be Careful with a Fool"), but could also be real nasty when called for ("Silver Train," "Fast Life Rider"). Winter's latest album is "Roots," which finds the guitar slinger teaming up with a who's-who of current blues virtuosos, including Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Warren Haynes, as well as his brother Edgar Winter and a host of others. As you might surmise from the title, it's a collection of blues classics, with tracks by T-Bone Walker, Jimmy Reed, Elmore James, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and others.
Critic Steve Leggett wrote of the album: "He sings here as well as he ever has and his guitar playing is powerful and brilliant, like it always is, and he's diving into songs and material that he's always emulated — the end result is a coherently shaped, explosive, vibrant, and joyous set of Winter at his best doing what he loves the best." Sounds awesome. Don't miss this one folks.
Opening the show will be Steve Hester & DejaVooDoo, Low Society and Joecephus & The George Jonestown Massacre.