JOHNNY WINTER ::: The Progressive Blues Experiment

from: DJ Geezer
27 Mar 2004

I can't believe what I just found in my LP collection. Two copies of the FIRST Johnny Winter LP, on Imperial Records. Johnny Winter - The Progressive Blues Experiment, recorded at the Vulcan Gas Co.in Austin. Tommy Shannon on bass, and that drummer that was in Crackerjack. The album opens with perfection. Bang. No bullshit of any kind. Side 1 - Song 1. Rollin' And Tumblin by McKinley Morgenfield (Muddy Motherfucking Waters) Song 2. Tribute To Muddy by Johnny Winter... Do I see a trend here? This has got to be the SECOND time I heard of the song, Rollin' And Tumblin', the first was on Fresh Cream, the first Cream album in 1967 or 68 on ATCO. I hadn't really figured out who Muddy Waters was, I had no clue of his music at all, never heard of it, or him. I think I had seen the name McKinley Morgenfield on a Rolling Stones album somewhere. I didn't know the name "Rolling Stones" came from a Muddy Waters lyric. This is the Johnny Winter album where he's looking at his reflection on the back of a National Steel resonator acoustic guitar, he plays it on a few songs. Johnny is dressed in this King Arthur Robin Hood looking outfit, like he might be some kind of pixie or knight's squire or something. Oh, yeah, one more AMAZING detail. One of these Progressive Blues Experiment LP's has been played to death, its not as some I've got, but its definitely been on the turntable more than a few times. The other copy of this LP is old and fumky, the cover is tattered, BUT THE DISC HAS NEVER BEEN PLAYED. Its flawless. The packaging has rotted away, but the plastic looks brand spanking new. I'm so glad I have this LP twice, one for playing, one for keeping. BTW, Johnny Winter is wearing these ridiculous sandals as part of his King Arthur's roadie costume. On the back cover it says: "Before the session, there was Johnny Winter and his guitar. During the session, Johnny became the guitar." I remember me and Dan Bennet used to listen to this record, we were really psychedelically impressed with the LSD packaging. We didn't know that aspect had nothing to do with the music. It was more the scene it was recorded in, the Vulcan Gas Co. was the grandpappy of Armadillo World Headquarters. My band SKY played there a couple of times. Its was the most psychedelic place I'd ever seen. Jim Franklin had crazy sculptures everywhere. He was a big big influence on our teenage minds.



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