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Show Review: Johnny Winter @ Callahan's Music Theatre in Auburn Hills 11/14/2013

At Callahan's Music Theatre in Auburn Hills on Thursday Nov 14,2013 , Johnny Winter took the stage and effortlessly proved why he is considered one of the top 100 greatest guitarist's of all time.

This was my first experience at Callahans Music Theatre in Auburn Hills, it is a small venue known for live music and the perfect setting for listening to the blues. Johnny sold out the place and won over the house as was evident by the crowd as the sat in their seats mesmerized by his performance.


Winter has struggled with some health problems over the last few years, and as his band began the set intro. Mr.Winter was guided to his seat at the center of the stage by an assistant. But, his frail condition does not get in the way of living up to his guitar hero status. As soon as he struck the first chord everyone in the room knew that they were listening to a man who is a blues master. As soon as he started playing his guitar and singing there was a transformation: A wall of guitar hit me and I was floored by how hard he could still rock. Winter opened his set with his rendition of "Johnny B. Goode" then followed it up with "Good Morning Little School Girl" and "Got My Mojo Workin'." When he played "Jumpin' Jack Flash" the audience intensified their cheers and the song went into an extended jam during which Johnny traded solos with the rhythm guitar player, playing a medley of rock tunes in the process. This brought the house to its feet in a standing ovation.

As Winter and the band filed of the stage, I realized that he had not yet played a single song with a slide. A couple of minutes passed, and the crowed began to chant "Johnny, Johnny…" The legend reemerged, carrying his Gibson Firebird, which had also been missing from the act up to this point, and dived right into "Dust My Broom." There is nothing like hearing Johnny Winter play slide. I was certainly far from disappointed as he ran the pipe down the neck of the Firebird making it scream and howl.

Johnny finished the night by playing Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited," before again proceeding off stage at the same pace he had taken the stage. It's not often that one gets to experience a blues legend. There is no substitute for the real thing when it comes to the blues -- and Johnny Winter is the heart and soul of keeping the blues alive!

Review and images by Karla Kay Harris - Guest Contributor to