The best of the original guitar slinger’s celebrated Alligator releases. Loads of fiery guitar licks from Johnny’s blusiest records. Includes Don’t Take Advantage Of Me, Mojo Boogie and two previously unreleased performances. Guests Dr. John and James Cotton
GEORGIANNA and NOTHING BUT THE DEVIL mixed by David Axelbaum at Chicago Recording Company, Chicago, IL, 2000.
Mastered by at MonsterDisc, Chicago, IL by Brian Jensen and Bruce Iglauer.
Deluxe Edition Series produced by Bob DePugh, Bruce Iglauer and David Forte
Design by David Forte
Cover Photo by Linda Matlow
Back Cover and Back Inlay Photos by Paul Natkin
Inside Inlay Photo by Ebet Roberts
Special thanks to Teddy Slatus
GUITAR SLINGERWhen Johnny Winter came to Alligator Records in 1984, he was one of the best known figures in rock‘n’ roll.He had broken out of Texas 15 years earlier, with a huge spread in Rolling Stoneand the endorsement of B.B. King, declaring that Johnny was the best white blues guitarist in the world. Two albums had established him as a supercharged guitarist and a singer with energy to spare.
But as the ‘70s rolled on, Johnny drifted further from his roots.Adapting to the world of arena rock, he turned up and rocked hard and loud. There was always blues in his music, but it was less and less apparent to his audiences. They came for the skinny, long-haired showman with the flashy guitar licks and outrageous stage outfits.
But Johnny never turned his back on the blues.He shepherded the revitalization of Muddy Waters’ career in 1977. The next year, Johnny came to Son Seals’ New York debut, and we struck up a friendship. He traveled to Chicago to stay in my home, jam with Son, and hang out all night with me and my friend Dick Shurman in the local blues clubs.
A few years later, Johnny cornered his manager and told him in no uncertain terms that he wanted to sign with Alligator and make blues records again. Dick and I put together a world class band of Casey Jones and Johnny B. Gayden from Albert Collins’ Icebreakers, and Ken Saydak from Lonnie Brooks’ group. To add to them, in the course of three albums, we brought in some of the blues’ greatest: James Cotton and Billy Branch on harp, Gene Barge on sax, Dr. John on piano. For Third Degree, we invited his old bandmates, Tommy Shannon and Uncle John Turner, to a studio reunion.
Johnny recorded songs by his old idols, like Bobby Bland, J.B. Lenoir, Lonnie Brooks and Clarence Garlow. He wrote new tunes and recorded again with his National steel guitar.Two of his Alligator albums were nominated for Grammys and, surprisingly, earned their way on to rock radio; we even made a video that appeared on a new medium called MTV. And all without compromising his commitment to his roots. Johnny had come home to the blues. —Bruce Iglauer