What would make middle-aged graying men obviously in their sixties with
male-patterned baldness jump on their toes like girlish teeny boppers or
uninhibitedly strut their stuff to music? One thing, the music of legendary
guitarist, Johnny Winter who performed at the Whiskey Roadhouse inside the
Horseshoe Casino last Friday night.
This particular concert began with the Terry Quiett Band. With
bassist Aaron Underwood and drummer Rodney Baker, this band is definitely an
up-and-coming rock/blues band with immense talent and potential. Between
their enthusiasm, sense of musicianship, original songs, excellent techniques
with their instruments, superb vocals, sense of being a band, and loving the
music they play, their varied sounds perfectly matched the expectations of this
blues crowd. They also demonstrated their flexibility by even performing a
quieter selection in a true country/blues/rock style. This is definitely a
band that everyone will want to see again and again.
The Johnny Winter Band consists of Johnny, guitarist Paul Nelson, bassist Scott
Spray, and drummer Vito Liuzzi. Starting off the night with "Johnny Be Good"
set the pace for the night with the legendary guitarist. Many songs were
played from his recent album, and thoroughly enjoyed by this predominantly male
crowd who became one with the music from the "guitar slinger" and his band.
For being sixty-eight years old, he walked slightly bent but overall looked
healthy, compared to his emaciated years. However, age has not
changed his technique, his musicianship, or his passion for the hard rock blues.
With his superb band, who any one of them could be a blues star by themselves,
the respect they give to Winter's playing and music, is truly wonderful since
all of them are so masterful.
The show was too loud for the venue. If you can't understand the words
because of the volume, it could have been more controlled. The other side
though is that it has to be difficult balancing the noise from the slot machines
and the Whiskey Roadhouse along with the amps from the various bands.
Johnny Winter showed that age has not affected his ability to still be one of
the best guitarists worldwide. For Johnny, his guitar is an extension of who
he is and how he communicates. With fingers masterfully flying, his guitar
playing proved to everyone why he was on the lists of the best guitarists from
Rolling Stone years ago. This type of playing showed why most Woodstock
performers became legends in music.
The staff of the Horseshoe Casino was outstanding with their helpfulness and
courtesy. For the entire audience and bands, there could not have been a more accommodating venue.
Johnny Winter is definitely one performer everyone needs to see at least once in
a lifetime. For those of us who were not at Woodstock, the Whiskey Roadhouse
last Friday night proved to be a memorable event for years to come . If you
ever get the chance again, definitely go see Johnny Winter and his phenomenal