Rolling Stone (4/19/69, p.28) - "...There's an urgency and bite to every track...As an electric guitarist, Winter is explosive, fluid, percussive, and driving..."
Dirty Linen (4-5/00, p.95) - "...Winter's music speaks for itself. Relying on simple back-up provided by a bassist and drummer, Winter cuts his way through 10 smoking blues tracks..."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.114) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[R]aw, basic blues delivered by Winter plus bassist Tommy Shannon....His singing was equally forceful and raw, true to the roots without denying that he was merely a Texan rocker at heart."
Personnel: Johnny Winter (vocals, guitar, National steel guitar, mandolin, harmonica); Tommy Shannon (bass); Red Turner (drums).
Although his early Columbia albums brought him worldwide stardom, it was this modest little album (first released on Imperial before the Columbia sides) that first brought Johnny Winter to the attention of guitarheads in America. It's also Winter at the beginning of a long career, playing the blues as if his life depends on it, without applying a glimmer of rock commercialism. The standard classic repertoire here includes "Rollin' and Tumblin'," "I Got Love if You Want It," "Forty-Four," "It's My Own Fault," and "Help Me," with Winter mixing it up with his original Texas trio of Red Turner on drums and Tommy Shannon (later of Stevie Ray Vaughan's Double Trouble) on bass. A true classic, this is one dirty, dangerous, and visionary album. The set was issued in a sonically screaming 24-bit remastered edition on CD by Capitol in 2005. It contains no bonus tracks, but it leaves the original crummy CD issue in the dust. ~ Cub Koda & Thom Jurek