Among those entertaining the hordes present at Bethel Woods, New York aka the Woodstock Festival today in 1969 was Texan guitar slinger Johnny Winter, whose “progressive” blues and boogie style showcased a man at the top of his game.
Taking to the stage in the early hours of the morning after Blood, Sweat and Tears and before Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Winter was accompanied by Tommy Shannon on bass and John Turner on drums. Johnny’s brother Edgar then boosted the trio to a quartet when appearing in the latter part of the set to add keyboards,saxophone and vocals.
The 65 minute set consisted of: “Mama, Talk to your Daughter”, “Leland Mississippi Blues”, “Meantown Blues”, “You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now / Mean Mistreater”, ”I Can’t Stand It”, ”Tobacco Road” and ”Johnny B.Goode.”
For Winter, it was the culmination of an epic year that had seen him appear at many festivals and also release his self-titled second album – although only one track from that record featured in his Woodstock set (his own composition, “Leland Mississippi Blues.”)
However his absence from either the official film or albums of the festival meant that what was an electrifying set of hard blues was largely overlooked – or in some cases completely forgotten about. That situation was finally rectified some 40 days later with a retrospective release of his performance on both CD and DVD.
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And here’s some footage of the gig: