Johnny Winter

Blues-rock legend Johnny Winter has never been the picture of health.

Then again, when has any bluesman? But nowadays, the 63-year-old Texan

plays while sitting down (he fractured his hip in 2000), and his

fingers move across the frets like he has carpal tunnel or mild

arthritis. Though he did give up the booze, pills, and powders, much

damage has been done, rendering his live performances raw, exposed

affairs. Some people might complain or wince, but Jesus, ain't that

what the blues was always about? I'll take a tattooed, pale, and

rickety picker like Winter over a wading pool like Clapton any day.

With Joe McMurrian Quartet. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave.,

628-3151. 7 p.m. $30 adv./$35.

Thu., Feb. 28, 7 p.m., 2008

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