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Monday, October 18, 2010

Johnny Winter 1991 Let Me In

1991s "Let Me In" features thirteen primarily electric songs, a good, sympathetic little band, and guest appearances by harpist Billy Branch and R&B-veteran Dr John. The good doctor plays piano on several tracks, getting off a particularly terrific solo on "Sugaree", and Billy Branch's amplified harp duets with Johnny Winter's gritty slide guitar on the Winter-penned slow blues "If You Got A Good Woman", and plays tasteful fills on a fine cover of Jimmy Reed's "Shame Shame Shame".

"Let Me In" is certainly one of Winters' better latter-day efforts. It featuring some magnificent, blazing guitar playing (of course it does), and a number of really good performances, including the energetic opener, "Illustrated Man", and the magnificent acoustic title track, a Son House-like slide guitar blues right out of the Delta. Johnny Winter is one of the best white musicians I have ever heard play the acoustic slide guitar, and this song brings back memories of his masterful playing on Muddy Waters' "Hard Again" album.

And the goodies keep coming. The aforementioned "If You Got A Good Woman" channels the late, great Elmore James, Winter plays a smouldering electric solo on the soulful, if uncharacteristic, ballad "Life Is Hard", and he and Mac Rebennack show off their chops on the swaggering Dr John-penned blues-rocker "You Lie Too Much". Oh, and don't forget to notice the jazzy throwback "Blue Mood", a slow, smoky number penned by 50s songwriter Jessie Mae Robinson.

But in order to be fair I also have to mention that Winter's somewhat predictable versions of old-time rockers like "Barefootin'" and "You're Humbuggin' Me" may not be to the liking of those fans who prefer his bluesier side, and there are a couple of bland, generic exercises here which never get really off the ground, particularly "Hey You" and "Got to Find my Baby".

Still, most of this album is really enjoyable, with something for the blues-lovers and something for the rock n' roll fans, too, and "Let Me In" is a very fine purchase for Winter fans, even if it fails to live up to his best 60s and 70s efforts. And Winter's guitar prowess remain almost unchallenged. (Amazon)


01 - Illustrated Man

02 - Barefootin

03 - Life Is Hard

04 - Hey You

05 - Blue Mood

06 - Sugaree

07 - Medicine Man

08 - You're Humbuggin' Me

09 - If You Got A Good Woman

10 - Got To Find My Baby

11 - Shame Shame Shame

12 - Let Me In

13 - You Lie Too Much



Enjoy the music!

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