Johnny Winter

Early Winter [Crazy Cajun]

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In the wake of Johnny Winter's six-figure signing to Columbia Records, many record labels dug up early recordings he had made during the late '50s and ‘60s for reissue now that he was famous. This release on Huey P. Meaux's Crazy Cajun label is a typical assemblage of such material. It begins with "Leavin' Blues," Winter's 1966 single for Pacemaker Records, which is a recognizable track in his later blues-rock style and features his slide guitar playing along with one of his raucous lead vocals. The B-side of that single, "Birds Can't Row Boats," is also included, and it has a mid-‘60s folk-rock arrangement reminiscent of Bob Dylan records of the time. "Easy Lovin' Girl," meanwhile, also has a mid-‘60s arrangement, this time in a garage rock style. "Trial of the Lonesome" is a jazzy instrumental apparently showcasing Edgar Winter on saxophone with Johnny Winter (possibly) comping along on guitar; the sleeve note says, "Edgar at age 14." (Edgar Winter's 14th birthday occurred on December 28, 1960.) "Please Come Home for Christmas" is an R&B duet said to be Johnny Winter and Edgar Winter singing together, while "Out of Sight" is the James Brown song and "Parchment Farm" the Mose Allison song. This is, thus, a typical compilation of Johnny Winter juvenilia, suggesting the blues-rock singer/guitarist who would emerge on the national scene in the late '60s, but not presenting him in full flower by any means.