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Live Bootleg Series, Vol. 3 by Johnny Winter

Label: Friday Music
Release Date: July 29, 2008
Releases: March 31, 2015 (Friday Music)

Styles: Blues-Rock, Modern Electric Blues, Album Rock, Hard Rock, Electric Blues

Live Bootleg Series Vol. 3 offers listeners the chance to hear some prime live Johnny Winter. The album opens with Mojo Boogie. Johnny leads off the tune with some unaccompanied virtuoso slide work, his guitar tuned to open D (one of his favorite tunings for slide), before the band kicks in for a blazing extended intro solo, with bassist Paris offering some double duty by coping Johnny’s slide melodies note-for-note on harmonica.

The second cut, Stranger Blues, is a killer Elmore James boogaloo that Johnny rips apart with more slide work in open D. This is the type of hard-rockin' blues Johnny first introduced to the world back in 1969 with his seminal release, The Progressive Blues Experiment.

On the third track, I Smell Trouble, Johnny displays the kind of mind-blowing speed and virtuosity that he usually reserves for long workouts over slow blues, while Boot Hill is a hard-driving mid-tempo shuffle on which Johnny effortlessly combines slide guitar with some of the fastest single-note work he's ever recorded.

Next up is a very rare live take of Robert Johnson's Stones In My Pass Way, played in front of a small but appreciative audience. Johnny performs the song unaccompanied with a slide on a National steel guitar tuned to open G. "I learned about open tunings from listening to Robert Johnson's King of the Delta Blues," Johnny told me back in 1989. "I picked up the concept of using open tunings just by using my own ears, and when I discovered how the open tunings worked with the slide, it was quite a revelation."

I'm Gonna Murder My Baby was written by one of Johnny's big guitar influences, Pat Hare. Says Johnny, I'm Gonna Murder My Baby is the heaviest blues song ever written!

This collection rounds out with a smoldering version of Johnny’s most well known track, his slide guitar tour-de-force arrangement of Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited. Johnny Winter is regarded as one of the greatest, most original and most influential slide guitarists ever, and this track offers ample testament to that fact.

Personnel: Johnny Winter (vocals, guitar); Jon Paris (harmonica).
Liner Note Author: Andy Aledort.
Photographer: Paul Natkin.

Credits: Andy Aledort - liner notes; Tom Compton - drums, featured artist, musician; Justin Kamerer - art direction; J.B. Lenoir - composer; Paul Natkin - cover photo, photography; Jon Paris - bass, harmonica, musician; Joe Reagoso - art direction, executive producer, mastering; Johnny Winter - art direction, audio production, guitar, musician, primary artist, producer, vocals.

Tracks: 1) Mojo Boogie; 2) Stranger Blues; 3) I Smell Trouble; 4) Boot Hill; 5) Stones In My Pass Way; 6) I'm Gonna Murder My Baby; 7) Highway 61 Revisited.