Sometimes an artist locked into a genre like say SOUL or BLUES produces so many albums across a staggeringly long career – they can get overlooked – or even ignored. Winter’s “Let Me In” is a case in point. Because the only word to describe this album of non-stop Boogie and Blues is ‘blistering’.
It starts out fast with “Illustrated Man” (lyrics above) – slows down on occasion to Blues up your living room (“Life Is Hard”) – then continues rattling your speakers with fabulous rocking stuff like the 2:43 minutes of “Hey You” until they beg for mercy come the end.
First released on Virgin’s Pointblank label imprint in August 1991 on LP, MC and CD (Voiceprint VPB 5) – it’s top heavy with covers – but versions that satisfy. There’s Robert Parker’s “Barefootin’”, Rusty Lee’s “Sugaree” [written by Marty Robbins], Jimmy Reed’s “Shame Shame Shame”, Dr. John’s “You Lie Too Much” and acoustic blues on Jesse Mae Robinson’s “Blue Mood”.
The band features the heavy Harmonica warbling of Billy Branch on three – “Hey You”, “Shame Shame Shame” and “If You Got A Good Woman” - while Dr. John tinkers the ivories on three others - “”You Lie Too Much”, “Barefootin’” and “Life Is Hard”.
The menace in “Medicine Man” is fantastic too. But if you really want to hear how good Johnny Winter can be with a sympathetic band backing him - go to YouTube and seek out a video someone has posted of “If You Got A Good Woman” - one of the two originals on here. It features both Ken Saydek (Rounder Records) and Dr. John on piano with Billy Branch on Harmonica and Winter ripping up and down the frets. Holy crap! And Wow!
Bluesman – boogie merchant – call him what you want. Muddy Waters once called him the best Blues Guitarist in the world. That’s praise I could live with.
Get this fab little CD in your life folks…