HOME SOUNDcheck GOhear GOview GOread GOplaces DOmore


  » Contact Us
  » Advertise With Us

  » Classifieds
  » Newspaper Ads

Edgar Winter at the Crofoot, 5 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Tuesday, November 26, 2019

» See more SOUND CHECK

Thanks to a pair of 1973 hits, "Free Ride" and the chart-topping instrumental "Frankenstein," Edgar Winter has an indelible spot in pop music history.

But there's more to his story than that.

The Texas musician, younger brother of Johnny Winter, has released nearly 20, on his own and leading the bands White Trash and the Edgar Winter Group in addition to other projects -- including guest appearances for his brother, Rick Derringer and David Lee Roth. Winter, 72, was also part of Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band in 2006 and appears on the ex-Beatles' new album "What's My Name."

And, yes, you've seen Winter in a Miller Lite commercial, alongside famously tanned actor George Hamilton...

• Like many others Winter celebrated the 50th anniversary of the inaugural Woodstock Music and Art Fair, where he performed as part of his brother's band. "I really thought of Woodstock as marking the beginning of my career, and it completely changed my life. I had thought of myself more as a serious musician and instrumentalist, (playing) jazz and classical music. But seeing all those people united in that unique way made me realize music was more than my personal escape world. It can reach out and transcend and bring people together. That's when I thought about being an artist, writing songs and doing something with popular music."

• Next year, meanwhile, marks the 50th anniversary of Winter's debut album, "Entrance," an ambitious work he acknowledges was "an experimental piece. I made it with that specific intention of blending blues, classical, jazz and rock. I was so young I didn’t know any better. I didn't think it was going to have any commercial potential, so I really owe (then Columbia Records chief) Clive Davis a great debt of thanks for believing in me and allowing me to make that album. He said, 'If you're OK with that then we are, and we'll support you.'"

• Winter did, of course, have a commercial breakthrough with the Edgar Winter Group's 1972 album "They Only Come Out at Night" and its hit singles -- which he remains proud of more than four decades later. "I love those songs. I think too often a lot of the classic rock people become associated with songs they don't seem to have that same enthusiasm for playing. But for me 'Frankenstein' is the perfect example of a song that was done just for fun...and is still fun all these years later. I love playing 'Frankenstein' and 'Free Ride,' and the people still love 'em. They'll always be part of the shows."

• Winter's next project is a tribute to his brother that will come out next year and feature a corps of guests including Joe Walsh, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Buddy Guy, Joe Bonamassa, Robben Ford, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Bobby Rush and others. "It's really turned out to be a wonderful blessing in my life, doing this. I think I see Johnny in a totally different light than other people do. Johnny's my all-time musical hero. If it weren't for him I wouldn't be where I am now. I just feel like I need to acknowledge that and put out a record he would love."

• Winter was also happy to get back together with Starr for the "What's My Name" album. "Ringo is such a unique, just joyful gentleman. And beyond that he's such a heartfelt advocate and spokesman for peace and love, and being an old hippie and having played Woodstock, I just love that idea of spreading that light and that message. I think the Beatles did that, and Ringo carries it on in admirable fashion."

The Edgar Winter Band performs Wednesday, Nov. 27, at the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Steve Cox & the Detroit Hammers open. Doors at 7 p.m. $39.50-$100. 248-858-9333 or thecrofoot.com.

Web Site: www.thecrofoot.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


GO & DO Michigan, an Entertainment Portal
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the written permission of the copyright holder.

© Copyright MediaNews Group, Inc. | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Arbitration