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  • Roots
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4.6 out of 5 stars
17
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 28 September 2011
I downloaded this album yesterday, so I cannot comment on the sleeve notes etc on the CD. I have been a Johnny Winter fan for 25 or so years and have enjoyed, but have been disappointed with his albums since "Hey Where's Your Brother". I was not disappointed when I heard this album, and was really pleasantly surprised. Johnny no longer has the fast fiery licks of 20 years ago, but he still plays with great feel and skill. What is noticeable is his voice is much better in this album compared to his last two recordings and that signature growl is back. The guests on the album are of high musical calibre. They do not get in the way of Johnny expressing himself and vice-versa. The idea of using guests with Johnny really works. This is a really good album and a must have for all Johnny fans.
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on 25 October 2011
This is Johnny's first album for seven years and he is back to his blues roots playing numbers by Robert Johnson, Elmore James, Son House and Muddy Waters amongst others. He is also accompanied by guest guitarists/musicians who duet to Johnny's still wonderful playing. He is also in fine voice - it is a crystal clear recording, the performance mature to the bone and fleshed out with a lifetime of history and experience. That Johnny has shed his demons means he tours continuously, and I had the great pleasure of seeing him perform just over a year ago - helped onto stage [not me, Johnny aged then 66] and seated, but once connected to his guitar the National Grid would struggle to keep pace with his blues-powered natural energy.

'Roots' kicks off to T-Bone Walker's 'T-Bone Shuffle', and the slide guitar of Sonny Landreth ignites the album's riff-banter with Johnny. Bobby `Blue' Band's 'Further On Up The Road' chugs in second with Jimmy Vivino laying down the complement. The ubiquitous Warren Haynes contributes next to Elmore James' 'Done Somebody Wrong', and Johnny's vocal can still growl out the blues with passion. Next up is Muddy Water's 'Got My Mojo Workin'' where the blues harp of Frank Lotorre makes sure the title delivers its promise to the listener. This is followed by 'Last Night' and virtuoso harp playing [it is dynamite], this time by John Popper, frontman from Blues Traveler, who slides and glides all over this Little Walter number with Johnny running up and down the neck in empathy. Chuck Berry's 'Maybellene' adds some rock'n'roll to the mix, and guest guitarist Vince Gill adds Country in this rousing version - Gill's quick picking such a vivid mirror to Johnny's speed. Susan Tedeschi offers a vocal shift in accompanying Johnny next on Jimmy Reed's 'Bright Lights, Big City', her guitar shining bright too. Brother Edgar plays saxophone on the one instrumental 'Honky Tonk' and it's a sibling stonker. The Tedeschi family line returns when husband Derek Trucks adds his slide guitar layers to Johnny's on Robert Johnson's 'Dust My Broom'. Penultimate musical marriage is Larry William's 'Short Fat Fannie' with Johnny's band member Paul Nelson on guitar - and when I saw this guy play an instrumental before Johnny came on stage he demonstrated some phenomenal skills. The final track is Walter Davis' 'Come Back Baby' and Johnny again sings with his signature growl and heart, the organ of John Medeski filling this blues ballad with its requisite warble and then stabs of other blues heart and soul - horns and Johnny's final guitar fling filling out the emotion on this rousing closer.
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on 9 February 2016
This is Johnny doing the blues with class.An album of standards that have been covered and recovered over the years,and yet JW still managed to put his own unique stamp.What an album.Johnny not as frenetic as he can be,but age does catch up with us all does it not.
If you love your blues rock n roll style then this is for you..
RIP Johnny
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on 7 June 2014
Bought a live album of Johnny Winter's early 70's performances recently and couldn't believe how well that work still stood up 40 years on, so when I saw this I just had to buy it!

Anyone who loves ‘old style’ blues & rock'n'roll will love this and everyone of my friends that have heard it (so far) say how good it is. The vocals are great and Johnny's voice has certainly withstood the test of time - there are some great guests on the album and to cut a long story short. Buy it, you certainly won't regret it - a modern classic.
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on 3 November 2011
This is the best thing Winter has done in a long time. Great production, clean guitar, and even if the songs are old, the music sounds brand new. Guest guitarists including Sonny Landreth, and surprsingly, Vince Gill on Maybelline, help Winter shine.
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on 21 October 2011
Roots

I ahve listened to Johnny Winter a lot over the years! Especially his first couple of albums and the one he did with Rick Derringer were great! Then I somehow lost him over the years until now!! This album is a stunner! Covers of his old favs and with a lot of guests like Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks and Warren Hayes! Give it a listen and enjoy!!
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on 4 December 2011
Been a fan of Johnny Winter since some college pals took me to see him at Watford Town hall back in about 1970ish. I agree with other reviewers that some of the stuff later wasn't great but this is real back to basics and Johnny at his best, well worth buying.
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on 26 April 2014
I'm almost 56. I have loved JW's guitar playing since I was 17 years old living in Northern Ireland.
This is 'old' covers but JW still plays some blinding guitar.
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on 19 January 2015
Christmas gift for my Dad and he was very happy with it. Many thanks :)
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on 29 August 2015
Not quite up to what I was expecting from Mr Winter.
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