Johnny Winter

Live Bootleg Series, Vol. 10

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Just when Johnny Winter's self-curated Live Bootleg series was beginning to sound as if he had come close to the bottom of the barrel, he delivers a set full of gems and jams that reveals there are still plenty of surprises left in his vault. The vintage for this live material is the late 1970s. While the swampy version of Dale Hawkins' "Suzie Q" and a super long jam on the Lowell Fulson arrangement of Tampa Red's "Love Her with a Feeling" -- are reason enough for a purchase, the real gems here are the intense readings of Muddy Waters' swaggering "Catfish Blues" and the scorching jump blues take on Sleepy John Estes' "Diving Duck Blues." The latter two tunes put on offer yet again just how authoritative Winter's command of the originals is: he completely transforms them into modern blues rock without sacrificing what made them special in the first place. "One Step at a Time" is a fine live reworking of a studio track that dates back to his earliest demos for Columbia.

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