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The Impalas & Johnny Winter


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My boy Joe and I went to see this show this evening in Kingsport, Tennessee. It was outdoors on Broad Street, downtown. The Impalas, a local group all of whom are friends of mine, opened with a great show of blues and funk. After their set, Johnny came out and did a rippin' set. He acted like he was going off after doing the first part on his little headless guitar (that I heard some folks calling an "Austin Axe"), but then he turned around and played a terrific slide set on a Gibson Firebird. Johnny looks good, and walked out on stage OK. He sat for the performance, which was plenty strong. He sang well, and he can tear up the guitar, both standard and slide. I didn't hear anything I hadn't heard before on the standard guitar, but I did hear some stuff in his slide set I'd never heard done. I'm gonna have to see if I can remember how it went. He was in Open E, and a lot of what he did was standard Elmore James stuff. A good bit of it wasn't, though!


I'll put up a few pics. I got a bunch of good ones of The Impalas, but none that showed the drummer, John Grayson, well. I'll post the only one you can see all 4 members in, though poorly. The guitarist is "BB," Ben Blevins. Drummer's John Grayson, who recently returned from service in Iraq. Singer's Linda Laws. Bass player's Keith ____ Dang, I'm having a "senior moment" on his last name. He had his son Jackson, who looks just like him, on stage with him, and John had his little girl up there, too, but you can't see her. The keyboard player on the right is my music teacher, Jason Lloyd.




The first picture of Johnny with his band is right after he came out. The blond backup guitarist disappeared after the first song for some reason, and was not seen again. He wasn't missed, though.






I got lots of pictures of Johnny and his band after it was getting dark and the stage lights were up. Alas, they all blurred badly because I was too far away for flash and my camera uses a very long exposure under dark conditions that only works well if it's on a tripod. The only one that looks presentable is the last pic I took of him playing slide.




All in all, it was a terific show! Joe had never heard of Johnny Winter. He thought the show was "awesome."



"A cheerful heart is good medicine."
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Totally awesome review...the best yet.


I've heard he burned it up in Columbia, Missouri back in early June, as well. Sounds like he's having some good nights, and, some not so good nights, kinda like us human's. Wouldn't it be wild if he turned out to be human too?


C'monnnnnnn September!

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Thanks a ton for the review and pics, Ricochet. Johnny's got a few miles on him so it's no surprise that some nights are good, some not so good. Absolutely killer slide guitar, the older his recordings the better IMO. I only saw him live one time, many many beers ago, some new group called Journey was his warm up band! It was at a local drag strip (Edgewater) that used to have summer concerts. There was a group in front of us who poured a bunch of liquor into a watermelon, ate it, and then they passed out and missed the concert!! But I digress....
I was born at night but I wasn't born last night...
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