Midnight. The Woodstock Music & Art Fair was supposed to over by now, but rain and other delays have pushed the festival into a fourth calendar day. We’re heading into Monday, and Johnny Winter is going to get it going for us.
Johnny is a bad ass, as good of a bottleneck blues player as anybody out there. He and his brother, Edgar, both were musical prodigies, but Johnny’s “official” career really kicked off when he signed with Columbia in 1969, the same year as Woodstock.
Edgar joined him for three cuts at Woodstock — “I Can’t Stand It,” “Tobacco Road,” and “Tell the Truth.” His is the most genuine blues set from the festival, and as such it’s pretty timeless. “You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now,” for example, sounds both as fresh and as ancient as it did that August night.
And if you want back story, Winter’s has more than a dozen VH1 Behind the Scenes episodes combined: heroin addiction; vicious record company snakes screwing him over; an affair with Janis Joplin. Come on, man, write a memoir. That’s one story I want to read.
Johnny Winter is still very much alive, well, and working [Note: Winter died July 16, 2014, after this piece was originally posted]. If you want to hear some blues played the way nature intended, catch him live. Visit his website for info.
Winter’s complete Woodstock set can be found on the CD Johnny Winter: The Woodstock Experience. Here’s the set list:.
- Mama, Talk To Your Daughter
- Leland Mississippi Blues
- Mean Town Blues
- You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now
- I Can’t Stand It
- Tobacco Road
- Tell the Truth
- Johnny B. Goode
Your official (and bootleg) Woodstock soundtrack song count to date: 175
Update: On August 2, 2019, Rhino Records released Woodstock – Back to the Garden: The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive and changed the game forever. With exception to two Hendrix tracks and one Sha Na Na cut, the massive box set contains complete sets from every Woodstock artist—even those long believed lost or never recorded.
Here is Winters‘s set as it appears on the Back to the Garden archive, including announcements, etc.:
1. Chip Monck – “There’s evidently a trickle”
2. MAMA, TALK TO YOUR DAUGHTER
3. LELAND MISSISSIPPI BLUES
4. MEAN TOWN BLUES
5. YOU DONE LOST YOUR GOOD THING NOW
6. I CAN’T STAND IT – with Edgar Winter
7. TOBACCO ROAD – with Edgar Winter
8. TELL THE TRUTH – with Edgar Winter
9. JOHNNY B. GOODE
10. Chip Monck & stage crew – “Amplifier Section, come in please”