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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Winter, Johnny With Dr. John - Live In Sweden 1987
Winter, Johnny With Dr. John - Live In Sweden 1987
MVD Entertainment Group // Unrated // April 22, 2016
List Price: $19.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ryan Keefer | posted May 18, 2016 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

By the time blues guitarist Johnny Winter recorded this hour-long performance for Swedish television in 1987, he was successfully riding the wave of success for some time. He'd been touring and recording albums for almost two decades at that point, and played with or for such blues icons as Muddy Waters and B.B. King.

On this tour of Scandinavia, Winter brought along Dr. John, and he came out onstage to join Winter and his band for several numbers. The playlist from the concert follows:

"Sound the Bell"

"Don't Take Advantage of Me"

"Mojo Boogie"

"You Lie Too Much"

"Sugar Sweet"

"Love Life & Money"

"Jumpin' Jack Flash"

"Prodigal Son"

Such Winter originals like ‘Sound the Bell' and ‘Mojo Boogie' are included for obvious reasons but others are covers; the last two songs were made famous by the Rolling Stones, with ‘Prodigal Son' being a cover from an old blues singer originally. Dr. John helps out on ‘Jumpin' Jack Flash' and the interpretation has a southern twang in its execution even if you exclude the vocals.

Winter continued performing until his death in 2014, though the pace and frequency of his recordings declined after this 1987 show. I'd like to think Winter was at the top of his creative wave before it gradually break towards the shores of mortality, and the brief performance of his work (and the work of some others) is entertaining to check out.

The Disc:
Video:

Full frame viewing for this concert, and it looks as good as a late 1980s Swedish television production would look, I guess. The early moments include darkness and a lot of irregularity because they were shot on a bus, and the image noise continues in stretches of the concert. Dr. John apparently is (was?) a tiparillo smoker, and you can barely make that out from what's shown onscreen. It's passable viewing, just not by any huge leaps and bounds.

Audio:

Dolby Stereo and the results are fairly straightforward. Vocals sound clear as do the guitars, the sound mix is clean and balanced and there isn't any level of immersion that exists that would otherwise impress. Everything is in front of the theater and sounds…adequate.

Extras:

A bonus performance of "Prodigal Son" from 1972, but nothing else.

Final Thoughts:

This 1987 concert with Johnny Winter and Dr. John may not be for everyone (it is, after all, electronic blues with a side order of Cajun/creole from Dr. John), but seeing different interpretations of familiar songs is always fun, and the songs Winter composed on his own in a live environment does compel an outsider to check out his body of work. Technically and from a bonus materials perspective the disc could have used some work, but it's worth a peek.

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