Johnny Winter – The Alligator Records Years (2013)
After a four-year recording hiatus, Johnny joined the Alligator Records family in 1984. His desire to record nothing but authentic blues made for a perfect fit. When Johnny released GUITAR SLINGER later that year, it was widely hailed as his best (and bluesiest) album ever; it charted in both Billboard and Cashbox as well as earning a Grammy nomination. The next year, Johnny followed up GUITAR SLINGER with SERIOUS BUSINESS. The powerhouse album won Johnny his second Grammy nomination with Alligator Records. THIRD DEGREE, his final Alligator release, came out in 1986. The album featured several special guests and an array of blues styles. Original blues cohorts, Tommy Shannon and Uncle John “Red” Turner, as well as Mac “Dr. John” Rebennack, all made guest appearances. Johnny also played two solo acoustic cuts on the National Steel guitar (the first time he’d played the National in the studio since 1977).
Johnny was living his artistic dream, recording nothing but pure blues. Surprisingly, his Alligator albums earned their way onto rock radio and a video for the song Don’t Take Advantage of Me played on the fledgling MTV network for over six months. But no matter how much commercial success Johnny’s Alligator albums received, they never compromised his commitment to his roots. Johnny had returned to the blues.