Legacy to Release True to the Blues: The Johnny Winter Story Box Set

This four-CD box will help to celebrate the guitarist's upcoming 70th birthday.

By , Columnist

The New Year is rapidly approaching, ushering in a new chance at everything (gonna take it?). It also heralds the 70th birthday of a guitar legend from Texas — Johnny Winter.

Johnny Winter got his start with the album The Progressive Blues Experiment, released in 1968. However, it wasn't until his highly anticipated release on Columbia Records that brought him running into the arms of those who appreciated his electric blues and the fast fingers that literally skated over the fret board.

Second Winter is the masterpiece of Johnny Winter's long career. It's filled with gems beginning to end, including the incendiary version of Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" and three sides of rock and roll so blistering that you may not have been able to complete a fourth side of vinyl if one were included. (For those who are unaware, Second Winter was sold as a two-LP set, but with only three sides of playability — the fourth side remained blank.)

Johnny Winter provided six albums to Columbia Records with another six on Epic's Blue Sky Records. With a penchant for hard-core blues, Winter gravitated toward serious blues and signed with Alligator Records. He eventually moved on to other labels as time and style changes and appreciations all but obliterated his brilliance.

JohnnyWinterTrueToTheBlues.jpgOn February 25, just two days after his official birthday, Legacy Recordings, in conjunction with Columbia Records, will issue a long overdue four-CD box called True to the Blues: The Johnny Winter Story. The set will feature 56 tracks from every point in his career. Beginning in 1968 with the release of the above-mentioned The Progressive Blues Experiment, through his important Columbia Records rockers, and his eventual move into vintage blues, True to the Blues will crawl the calendar with you from 1968 through 2011.

Johnny Winter showed his best side with his live material. Because of that, this set will also provide live tracks from his several official live releases as well as later released live albums (The Woodstock Experience; Fillmore East). Even better, there will be two previously unreleased live performance tracks included.

The box set will feature remastering on all of its 56 tracks, as well as a richly detailed booklet with new notes and essays, plenty of photos and memorabilia, and complete credits for all albums.

Below is a complete rundown of the music found on True to the Blues: The Johnny Winter Story. You're welcome!

True To The Blues: The Johnny Winter Story

(Columbia/Legacy 88883 74085 2)

Disc One - Selections: 1. Bad Luck And Trouble (A) • 2. Mean Town Blues (A) • 3. Mike Bloomfield’s Introduction Of Johnny Winter (live, B) • 4. It’s My Own Fault (live, B) • 5. I’m Yours And I’m Hers (C) • 6. Mean Mistreater (C, with Willie Dixon and Walter “Shakey” Horton) • 7. Dallas (C) • 8. Be Careful With A Fool (C) • 9. Leland Mississippi Blues (live, D) • 10. Memory Pain (E) • 11. Highway 61 Revisited (E) • 12. Miss Ann (E) • 13. Hustled Down In Texas (E) • 14. Black Cat Bone (live, F) • 15. Johnny B. Goode (live, F).

Disc Two - Selections: 1. Eyesight To The Blind (previously unreleased, live at Atlanta Pop Festival, 1970) • 2.Johnny Winter’s Intro (live at Atlanta Pop Festival, 1970) • 3. Prodigal Son (previously unreleased, live at Atlanta Pop Festival, 1970) • 4. Mean Mistreater (live, G) • 5. Rock And Roll Hoochie Koo (H) • 6. Guess I’ll Go Away (H) • 7. On The Limb (H) • 8. It’s My Own Fault (live, I) • 9. Jumpin’ Jack Flash (live, I) • 10. Good Morning Little School Girl (live, J) • 11. Mean Town Blues (live,J).

Disc Three - Selections: 1. Still Alive And Well (K) • 2. Rock Me Baby (K) • 3. Rock & Roll (K) • 4. Rollin’ ’Cross The Country (L) • 5. Hurtin’ So Bad (L) • 6. Bad Luck Situation (L) • 7. Self Destructive Blues (M) • 8. Sweet Papa John (M) • 9. Rock & Roll People (M) • 10. Harlem Shuffle (live, with Edgar Winter, N) • 11. Bony Moronie (live, O) • 12. Roll With Me (live, O) • 13. Tired Of Tryin’ (P) • 14. TV Mama (P) • 15. Walkin’ Thru The Park (with Muddy Waters & James Cotton, P) • 16. I Done Got Over It (live, with Muddy Waters & James Cotton, Q).

Disc Four - Selections: 1. One Step At A Time (R) • 2. Honest I Do (R) • 3. Nickel Blues (R) • 4. Talk Is Cheap (S) • 5. Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing (S) • 6. Bon Ton Roulet (S) • 7. Don’t Take Advantage Of Me (T) • 8. Master Mechanic (U) • 9. Mojo Boogie (V) • 10. Stranger Blues (live, W) • 11. Illustrated Man (with Dr. John, X) • 12. Hard Way (Y) • 13. Highway 61 Revisited (live, Z) • 14. Maybelline (featuring Vince Gill, AA) • 15. Dust My Broom (featuring Derek Trucks, AA).

Album index :

A - from The Progressive Blues Experiment (Liberty LP-12431, recorded 1968, released 1969)

B - from Fillmore East: The Lost Concert Tapes 12/13/68 (Columbia/Legacy 85278, recorded 1968, released 2003)

C - from Johnny Winter (Columbia 9826, recorded and released 1969)

D - from The Woodstock Experience (Columbia/Legacy 88697 48244 2, rec. 1969, rel. 2009)

E - from Second Winter (Columbia 9947, recorded and released 1969)

F - from Second Winter: Legacy Edition (Columbia/Legacy 85735, recorded 1970 at The Royal Albert Hall, London, released 2004)

G - from The First Great Rock Festivals Of The Seventies - Isle Of Wight/Atlanta Pop (Columbia 30805, recorded July 5, 1970, at Middle Georgia Raceway, Byron, GA, released 1971, previously unavailable on CD)

H - from Johnny Winter And (Columbia 30221, recorded and released 1970)

I - from Johnny Winter And/Live (Columbia 30475, recorded 1970 at Pirate’s World, Dania, FL, released 1971)

J - from Live At The Fillmore East 10/3/70 (Collectors Choice 60002, rec. 1970, rel. 2010)

K - from Still Alive And Well (Columbia 32188, recorded and released 1973)

L - from Saints & Sinners (Columbia 32715, recorded 1974, released 1975)

M - from John Dawson Winter III (Blue Sky 33292, recorded and released 1974)

N - from Together (Blue Sky 34033, recorded 1975 at Swing Auditorium, San Bernardino, CA, released 1976)

O - from Captured Live! (Blue Sky 33944, recorded 1976 at San Diego Sports Arena and Oakland Coliseum, released 1976)

P - from Nothin’ But The Blues (Blue Sky 34813, recorded and released 1977)

Q - from Breakin’ It Up, Breakin’ It Down (Columbia/Legacy 88697 07283 2, recorded 1977 at Masonic Temple Theatre, Detroit, released 2007)

R - from White, Hot & Blue (Blue Sky 35475, recorded and released 1978)

S - from Raisin’ Cain (Blue Sky 36343, recorded 1979, released 1980)

T - from Guitar Slinger (Alligator 4735, recorded and released 1984, Grammy®-nominated)

U - from Serious Business (Alligator 4742, recorded and released 1985, Grammy®-nominated)

V - from 3rd Degree (Alligator 4748, recorded and released 1986)

W - from Live Bootleg Series Vol. 3 (Friday Music 1085, recorded late 1980s, released 2008)

X - from Let Me In (Pointblank 91744-2, recorded and released 1991)

Y - from Hey, Where’s Your Brother? (Pointblank 0777 7 86512 2 2, rec. and rel. 1992)

Z - from Bob Dylan - The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration (Columbia 53230, recorded 1992 at Madison Square Garden, released 1993)

AA - from Roots (Megaforce 1603, recorded and released 2011)

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Matt Rowe began his life with an AM radio, listening to anything that was considered music. Since, he has labored intently to build a collection of music, paring it down, rebuilding, and refining as he sees fit. His decided goal is to keep up with new music by panning for the nuggets among literal mountains…

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