Personnel: Johnny Winter (vocals, guitar); Billy Branch (harmonica); Gene Barge, Terry Ogolini (tenor saxophone); Steve Eisen (baritone saxophone); Don Tenuto (trumpet); Jim Exum (trombone); Ken Saydak (keyboards); Casey Jones (drums).
Liner Note Author: Dick Shurman.
Recording information: Red Label Recording Studio, Winnetka, IL; Streeterville Recording Studios, Chicago, IL.
Photographer: Paul Natkin.
Remarkably pale and frighteningly skinny--some artists shouldn't be allowed to pose for album covers with their shirts off--Johnny Winter is still a hell of a guitar player, and 1984's GUITAR SLINGER is among his best efforts. Showing up after a string of lackluster albums to reclaim his crown from a similarly butt-ugly young Texas buck name of Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Beaumont native fired back with his most focused blues rock effort since 1970's JOHNNY WINTER AND.
The difference this time is that instead of using another hot guitarist as his musical foil, Winter sets his compact, knife-sharp solos against a full Memphis Horns-style brass section. That soulful combination pushes these songs, including a sinuous version of the blues standard "Iodine in My Coffee," over the edge, making GUITAR SLINGER one of the all-time classic albums of Johnny Winter's long and varied career.