Showing posts with label #Edgar Winter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #Edgar Winter. Show all posts

Monday, August 18, 2014

‘Rock ‘N’ Blues Fest’ -A Tribute to Johnny Winter is ‘Triumphant’ in Clearwater

-Concert Review
  By Ray Shasho

Rock ‘N’ Blues ‘Hippiefest’ –‘A Tribute to Johnny Winter’ was welcomed with open and peace-loving arms by an enthusiastic Ruth Eckerd crowd on Saturday night. The show was originally to be headlined by blues guitar legend Johnny Winter who passed away on July 16th.  Without the shows most noted and consistent act over the decades, you’d think there might be some mixed emotions encompassing the Hall about the evening’s events …. But not in Clearwater baby! The crowd responded energetically and altogether entertained by four captivating performances embodied with Rock, Blues, R&B, Jazz, and Psychedelic melodies.  

KIM SIMMONDS: A near capacity Ruth Eckerd audience began an evening of ‘Hippiefest’ fun and festivities with British Blues legend Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown. Since 1966, Simmonds has been founding member, lead guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter of the band. Savoy Brown was part of the UK blues progression that helped to regenerate and popularize blues music in America throughout the 60’s. Kim Simmonds /Savoy Brown are the epitome of what rock and roll was and should always be. Deep-rooted, pure, artistic, manifesto, virtuoso, everlasting … these are the components that should land Kim Simmonds in the rock and roll hall of fame. Savoy Brown was also responsible for launching classic rock favorites Foghat. Simmonds is genuine rock and roll heritage. He opened the show with “Going to the Delta” spotlighting a track from his latest album with the same title. Simmonds ensued with “Nothing Like the Blues” and “Cobra,” more tracks from his latest release Going to the Delta. Kim Simmonds concluded his set with “Poor Girl” from the 1970 release Looking In followed by a rousing applause from a jubilant Clearwater crowd which truly appreciated  rock prodigiousness throughout the night. 

PETER RIVERA: Onstage next and quietly slipping behind a huge set of drums was the heart, soul, original voice and beat of Rare Earth, a very hip band of musicians that played an incredible mix of music comprised of rock, funk, soul, and psychedelic fusion. Rivera became the undisputed leader of Rare Earth, the only white band to score hits with the Berry Gordy, Jr. Motown Record label. In 1974, Rare Earth was the opening act for the California Jam …sharing the stage with Earth Wind & Fire, The Eagles, Seals & Crofts, Black Oak Arkansas, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

In 1992, Peter Rivera performed with the Classic Rock All Stars. The core lineup became Jerry Corbetta(Sugarloaf), Mike Pinera (Blues Image, Iron Butterfly & Alice Cooper), and Dennis Noda (Cannibal & the Headhunters). The band became very successful and toured extensively until Dennis Noda’s death, and the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s to Jerry Corbetta.
Although Rare Earth was at the height of its success between 1970 to the mid 70s, a resurgence of their material has been spotlighted on countless advertisements, television shows, movie trailers and motion pictures. Rare Earth has sold over 30-million records worldwide and was inducted into The Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame.

Peter Rivera immediately ‘Funked Up’ the house with the Rare Earth classic “Hey Big Brother” a huge crowd-pleaser at the California Jam in 1974. Rivera commented during the song that ‘Big Brother’ is watching us more than ever …through Facebook, cell phones, and late night internet surfing … while stirring the crowd. The song was a Top 40 hit and featured on the critically acclaimed Rare Earth In Concert album (1971). Rivera followed with Rare Earth’s psychedelic rock version of “(I Know) I’m Losing You”(1970) from the Ecology album. Peter Rivera was phenomenal throughout the night … looking extremely fit and dapper while his prodigious drumming skills and vocals were impeccable. Rivera’s next classic tune … “Get Ready” lifted Rare Earth into superstardom. Rare Earth’s 21:30 version on their 1969 album by the same name was shortened for Top 40 radio airplay. “Get Ready” reached #4 on Billboard’s Hot 100. Peter Rivera concluded his set with a song that instantly raised the Ruth Eckerd audience to their feet, while they boogied to the soulful/ rock/ funk/ Top 40 classic “I Just Want to Celebrate” (1971) from The One World album.  …While all the performances of the evening were outstanding … Peter Rivera’s set was simply the best of the evening. 

VANILLA FUDGE: While each of the acts on the bill had the same supporting musicians, most likely to save time between acts … Vanilla Fudge had (3) original members onstage. Legendary drummer/singer/songwriter/ Carmine Appice … lead singer/ keyboardist/composer/ Mark Stein, and lead guitarist/ vocalist … Vince Martell. ‘The Fudge’ opened with “Take Me for a Little While” from their debut album Vanilla Fudge (1967).  The band dedicated their next song to Johnny Winter, a profound and beautifully performed Curtis Mayfield composition … “People Get Ready.” Carmine Appice’s vocal rendition of the song was awe-inspiring. The band followed with the Jr. Walker & the All-Star classic hit “Shotgun” which was performed by Vanilla Fudge on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ in 1969.            
One of the evening’s magical moments was Carmine Appice performing an incredible drum solo. Brooklyn native Carmine Appice has attained one of the most illustrious rock resumes in music history. The accomplished drummer, singer, and songwriter tours as a key member with classic rock legends Vanilla Fudge and Cactus. Appice also tours with The Rod Experience, a historical tribute to Rod Stewart and his band featuring original members. Carmine Appice joined Rod Stewart’s band in 1977 and co-wrote the mega hit “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” and “Young Turks.” Vanilla Fudge concluded their set while raising the Ruth Eckerd roof with their psychedelic/ rock/ mega hit of 1967 “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (#6 Billboard Hot 100 Hit). It was a truly remarkable set by rock folklore. 

EDGAR WINTER: Winter entered the stage wearing an all-white outfit, coordinating perfectly with his long blondish/white hair. Edgar’s appearance and persona exhibited ‘professional rock star and performer’ all the way! Winter expressed his gratitude to everyone for letting him continue with the series of ‘Rock ‘N’ Blues Fest /Hippiefest’ concerts as a tribute to his late big brother Johnny Winter. An emotional Edgar Winter stated that performing music helps him with the healing process. Winter performed an interesting mix of rock, jazz, and the blues. The second half of his set was devoted to Johnny Winter. Edgar

Winter always lights up his audiences with charismatic and energetic performances. Winter’s eclectic musical styles crossover into multiple genres including …blues, jazz, pop, and country, but he’s especially revered as a rock hero. Edgar Winter opened his set with the Chuck Berry penned classic “Johnny B. Goode” which was also a favorite of Brother Johnny’s.
He followed with “Tobacco Road.” In 1970, Edgar Winter released his first studio album entitled Entrance and the “Tobacco Road” track featured Brother Johnny on guitar, harmonica, and vocals. The song also successfully lifted Edgar into the limelight.  Next …Winter told the Clearwater audience the story behind the next song on his setlist “Frankenstein.”Winter stated … “I wrote the song years before it was recorded, or at least I came up with the original riff. When I was playing with my Brother Johnny in the late 60’s and no one knew who I was or if Johnny even had a brother and I had not yet recorded an album. He’d do the first part of his set with a blues trio and then say … “And now I’m going to bring on my little Brother Edgar!” So I’d walk out and the crowd would go … Oh, look there’s two of them!” Winter demonstrated both instrumental and athletic abilities on his performance of “Frankenstein.” The 67 year old Winter performed unwaveringly across the stage … wailing on saxophone, dropping to his knees while manipulating the keyboards and synthesizer, and aggressively beating out musical rhythms on the standup drums. Edgar’s performance of “Frankenstein” was simply explosive!!!

In 1972, the classic lineup of The Edgar Winter Group was born … Edgar Winter (vocals, keyboards, synthesizers, saxophone, and drums), Dan Hartman (bass, vocals), Ronnie Montrose (guitar, vocals), and Chuck Ruff (drums, vocals). The Edgar Winter Group scored huge commercially with the release of … They Only Come Out at Night. The album landed at #3 on Billboard’s Hot 200 and remained on the charts for an amazing 80 weeks. By 1986 the album became double platinum. They Only Come Out at Night spawned the classic rock mainstays … “Frankenstein,” (#1 Billboard hit -written by Edgar Winter).
Winter performed “Free Ride” (#14 Billboard hit -written by Dan Hartman) next which was definitely a crowd-pleaser bringing everyone at the Hall to its feet. Winter then played musical conductor, singing Scat (using his voice as an instrument) ala Ella Fitzgerald while exhibiting his jazz influence. Winter would scat a particular piece vocally and each member of the band would have to play it on their instruments verbatim. There were also hints of Blind Willie Johnson’s/Zeppelin arrangement “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” and The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” riffs.
Edgar Winter devoted the second half of his set to Brother Johnny performing “Highway 61 Revisited” with Savoy Brown’s Kim Simmonds joining him onstage. The finale of the evening was an incredible rendition of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” that featured Edgar as conductor of a band with Peter Rivera, all the members of Vanilla Fudge, and the shows band of proficient musicians … guitarist- Doug Rappoport, bassist- Koko Powell, and drummer- Jason Carpenter. All three are incredible musicians and had multiple moments during the show to shine.

If there was any part of the show I would change, it would be during Edgar Winter’s set.  Although Rappoport was an excellent guitarist, it appeared as though Winter was spotlighting the performer with lengthy guitar solos.  I would have preferred more Edgar Winter tunes and Johnny Winter tribute songs and perhaps a little less scatting and guitar solos.
All in all it was an incredible evening enjoyed by all! 

Special thanks to Jeff Albright of the Albright Entertainment Group.
   Peter Rivera official website                               

Coming up NEXT … Legendary guitarist/singer/songwriter Randy Bachman (The Guess Who, BTO, Bachman & Turner) …
Don Wilson guitarist, pioneer, and co-founder of ‘The Ventures’… Keyboard extraordinaire Patrick Moraz (YES/The Moody Blues)… Al Kooper (The Blues Project, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Bob Dylan, and responsible for the success of Lynyrd Skynyrd… Country Music’s shining new star -19 year old Mary Sarah … Folk/Rock singer & songwriter Jonathan Edwards (“Sunshine”) and  …Legendary keyboardist Keith Emerson (The Nice, Emerson, Lake & Palmer)

Contact music journalist Ray Shasho at

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© Copyright All Rights Reserved 
All photos by Mark Javer


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Johnny Winter Dead at 70: ‘The Blues’ & ‘Rock and Roll’ Will Never Be The Same!

Johnny Winter died early Wednesday morning in Zurich, Switzerland. The news was first reported by Bradenton, Florida resident Jenda Derringer, the wife of classic rock music legend Rick Derringer. Derringer has performed and recorded with both Johnny and Edgar Winter and remained very close friends through the years.

At 7:00 this morning Johnny Winters official Facebook site released this statement ...

Legendary Johnny Winter Dies at 70

"Texas blues icon Johnny Winter has passed away on July 16, 2014 in his hotel room in Zurich, Switzerland.
His wife, family and bandmates are all saddened by the loss of their loved one and one of the world's finest guitarists.
An official statement with more details shall be issued at the appropriate time."

JOHNNY WINTER is acknowledged worldwide as a legendary blues artist, but he also holds the title of American rock ‘n’ roll hero. Winter wore both hats equivalently on stage. Only Johnny Winter could scream ROCK ‘N’ ROLL!  … a battle cry to a generation of rebellion youths in front of sold-out arenas and stadiums with his kind of intensity and emotional reverberation. No other audience could reciprocate to those words more passionately than at a Johnny Winter concert. And who more revered than Johnny Winter (except for the man himself) could follow up his ROCK ‘N’ ROLL battle cry with perhaps one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll songs in history, “Johnny B. Goode.”

Johnny Winter was born and raised in Beaumont, Texas. In 1969, Winter signed with Columbia Records in one of the largest solo deals of the time. Winter was enticed to join his first band after listening to local deejay J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper of “Chantilly Lace fame”) spinning 50s rock ‘n’ roll music over the airwaves. But it was the blues that would become his essence, and his admiration for legendary American blues artists like Robert Johnson, Elmore James, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters to name just a few.

Winters first album was entitled, The Progressive Blues Experiment originally issued by Austin’s Sonobeat Records in 1968, and rereleased by Columbia Records in 1969. Winter’s self-titled second album with Columbia was also released that year, the album included covers by Robert Johnson, Sonny Boy Williamson, Lightnin’ Hopkins and B.B. King. Winter’s successful debut album set the stage for an appearance at the famed Woodstock Festival in New York. Winter was not included in the Woodstock movie or initial soundtrack because of contractual issues between Steve Paul (Johnny’s former manager) and festival organizers. 

Johnny Winter’s next album, Second Winter, featured some of his predominant concert setlist material, Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode,” and Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited.” In 1970 Winter formed a new band featuring several members of The McCoys (“Hang On Sloopy”) including legendary guitarist and songwriter Rick Derringer. Steve Paul was also The McCoys manager and responsible for bringing them together. The band released, Live Johnny Winter And spotlighting Derringer’s penned, “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo.” It was during this time that Winter fell under the spell of Heroin addiction.

In 1973, Johnny Winter returned to the music scene with his fifth studio album, Still Alive and Well followed by Saints and Sinners (1974) and Captured Live (1976). 

In 1977, Chess Records, long-time record label for legendary blues guitarist and vocalist Muddy Waters, dissolved. Johnny Winter revitalized Waters by inviting him into the studio to record what would be recognized as Muddy Waters comeback album. Winter produced and played on the Chicago-style electric blues album entitled, Hard Again. It was Muddy Waters first album released on Blue Sky Records, a label created by Steve Paul for Columbia.  The album won a Grammy Award for Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording.

Johnny Winter continued to produce and play on several studio albums and a best-selling Live album with his good friend Muddy Waters … I’m Ready (1978), Muddy “Mississippi” Waters Live (1979) and King Bee (1981) Waters final release. Two of those albums won Grammy Awards. The string of Johnny Winter albums initiated for Muddy Waters produced the most lucrative period in the career of the legendary bluesman. Muddy Waters died in 1983.

Since 1984, Johnny Winter focused solely on blues oriented-material in the recording studio. His heart was saying no to rock and roll while his soul was saying yes to the blues. Winter abandoned rock ‘n’ roll to resurrect the blues.

Johnny Winter has headlined the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Chicago Blues Festival, Warren Haynes Christmas Jam, Swedish Rock Fest and Europe’s Rockplast. Winter performed with The Allman Brothers Band at the Beacon Theater for their 40th Anniversary of the bands inception. He’s also performed at the 2007 and 2010 Crossroads Guitar Festivals.

 In 2008, The Gibson Guitar Company released the Johnny Winter signature Firebird guitar in a ceremony presented by Slash (Guns N’ Roses guitarist) in Nashville.
Johnny Winter earned the title of one the hardest working performers in the music business by consistently touring worldwide.

 His latest studio releases … the critically acclaimed Roots (2011) CD which featured compositions by some of Johnny’s favorite blues artists and included guest performances by … Vince Gill, Warren Haynes, John Popper, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, selected by Johnny’s producer/manager and guitarist Paul Nelson.

Johnny Winter’s most recent CD is entitled ‘Step Back’ and is a follow-up to the ‘Roots’ CD  featuring guest artists … Eric Clapton, Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Ben Harper, Mark Knopfler, Joe Perry (Aerosmith),  Dr. John, Brian Setzer, Joe Bonamassa, Leslie West (Mountain), and Jason Ricci. The release contains classic blues covers and is set to be released on September 2nd.

Winter is currently a headliner on the ‘Rock ‘N’ Blues Fest’ starring Johnny Winter, (Brother) Edgar Winter, Vanilla Fudge, Peter Rivera (original voice & drummer of Rare Earth) and Savoy Brown’s Kim Simmonds. The concert is scheduled to arrive at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida on August 16th.
I chatted with Johnny’s Brother, Edgar Winter, on Tuesday (July 15th 2014) about the event.
                   Nobody played the blues & rock and roll like JOHNNY WINTER                        
                            ‘The Blues’ & ‘Rock and Roll’ will never be the same!                   
                                    RIP JOHNNY WINTER 1944-2014
Contact classic rock music journalist Ray Shasho at         
                       © Copyright All Rights Reserved  

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Alice Cooper, Moody Blues, Roger Waters, Roger McGuinn, Edgar Winter… CONCERTS!

 By Ray Shasho

Classic rock concerts are in abundance. Here is a complete listing.  Buy your tickets NOW!

Ruth Eckerd Hall  in Clearwater   Buy tickets at

Daryl Hall & John Oates -Saturday December 3rd
Paul Simon -Monday December 5th
Michael McDonald & America -Saturday December 10th
Arlo Guthrie & Judy Collins -Thursday December 15th
Tedeschi Trucks Band -Thursday December 29th
B.B. King  -Saturday January 7th
Gregg Allman Band -Saturday January 14th
Gordon Lightfoot -Friday January 20th
Willie Nelson -Thursday February 2nd
Dennis DeYoung (The music of Styx) – Friday February 24th
The Doobie Brothers w/Pablo Cruise -Sunday February 26th
The Moody Blues –Tuesday March 13th
Elvis Costello & The Imposters -Tuesday April 24th

The Capitol Theatre  in Clearwater  Buy tickets at

Tom Rush -Friday January 27th
Roger McGuinn -Saturday March 17th

Blast Friday (just outside the doors of the Capitol Theatre) FREE CONCERTS!

Rare Earth -Friday January 27th
Pablo Cruise -Friday February 24th
Rick Derringer -Friday March 30th
Firefall -Friday April 27th
Edgar Winter -Friday May 25th

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall  in Sarasota   Buy tickets at

B.B. King –Thursday January 5th
Kenny Rogers –Thursday January 26th
Willie Nelson & Family -Friday February 3rd
Foreigner (Acoustique) –Tuesday February 7th
Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons –Wednesday February 29th
The Moody Blues –Friday March 16th

Hard Rock Live Orlando    Buy tickets at

Alice Cooper – Wednesday December 14th
B.B. King – Sunday January 1st
The Robert Cray Band –Saturday February 18th

House of Blues Orlando  Buy tickets at
Evanescence -Wednesday January 18th

Amway Center  in Orlando   Buy tickets at

Jimmy Buffett and The Coral Reefer Band –Saturday February 4th
Roger Waters (The Wall) - Saturday June 16th

Jannus Live  in St Pete    Buy tickets at

Dokken/L.A. Guns -Friday December 2nd
David Allan Coe –Thursday December 8th
Cheap Trick with Orchestra and Choir– (New Years Eve) Saturday December 31st

Largo Cultural Center   Buy tickets at

The Pat Travers Band – (New Years Eve) Saturday December 31st

The Club at Treasure Island   in St Pete   Buy tickets at

Jefferson Starship -Saturday January 7th

David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts  in Tampa  Buy tickets at

Dickey Betts and Great Southern w/Devon Allman’s Honeytribe -Wednesday December 7th at Ferguson Hall
Evanescence -January 16th at Carol Morsani Hall
Kansas –Saturday February 11th at Ferguson Hall

Vinoy Waterfront Park St Pete  Buy tickets at
Tampa Bay Blues Festival

Los Lonley Boys, Roomful of Blues (plus many more) -Friday April 13th
Jimmie Vaughan, Tower of Power, James Cotton Band (plus many more) -Saturday April 14th
Delbert McClinton, Charles Bradley, Jimmy Thackery (plus many more) -Sunday April 15th

State Theatre  in St Pete    Buy tickets at

L.A. Guns –Saturday December 3rd

Firefly Gala presented by The Dart Foundation
BLONDIE -Saturday March 24th                                                                                   
At The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton Call 941-365-7716 or visit for details

The Lakeland Center    Buy tickets at

Mickey Dolenz with Paul Revere & the Raiders/ Rockin’ Christmas –Thursday December 15th
The Association – Wednesday January 18th

St Pete Times Forum   in Tampa   Buy tickets at

Red Hot Chili Peppers -Monday January 23rd
Radiohead -Wednesday February 29th
Neil Diamond – Sunday June 3rd

Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall   in Fort Myers   Buy tickets at

B.B. King -Sunday January 8th
Gregg Allman –Tuesday January 17th
The Moody Blues –Monday March 12th

Bands, Brew & BBQ at Busch Gardens Tampa   Buy tickets at

Lynyrd Skynyrd  -Sunday February 12th
Bret Michaels –Sunday February 19th
38 Special –Sunday February 26th
REO Speedwagon -Sunday March 4th

American Gardens Theatre Epcot Center Lake Buena Vista  Buy tickets at
“Flower Power” Concert Series

Jose Feliciano –Friday March 9th-Sunday March11th
Starship starring Mickey Thomas -Friday March 16th – Sunday March 18th
The Guess Who- Friday March 23rd- Sunday March 25th
Paul Revere & The Raiders/Chuck Negron - Friday April 13th - Sunday April 15th
The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie –Friday April 20th - Sunday April 22nd
Chuck Negron (former singer of Three Dog Night) -Friday April 27th-Sunday April 29th
The Orchestra (featuring former members of ELO) –Friday May 4th –Sunday May 6th
Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone – Friday May 11th- Sunday May13th
Davey Jones – Friday May 18th-Sunday May 20th

The Plaza ‘Live’ in Orlando   Buy tickets at

Blue Oyster Cult –Saturday December 3rd

The Social  in Orlando    Buy tickets at

Pat Travers – Friday December 9th

Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City   Tickets available at

Air Supply -Saturday March 3rd
Felix Cavaliere's Rascals  -Monday March 5th

Concert tours to watch for in 2012 and those rumors…  Black Sabbath, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Happy Together Tour 2012, Metallica, Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Jimmy Page, The Who.

COMING UPRay interview’s “Spirit in the Sky” legend Norman Greenbaum.

Buy author/columnist Ray Shasho’s new book called ‘Check the Gs’The True Story of an Eclectic American Family and Their Wacky Family Business. Order your copy today for the holidays at,, or

Ray Shasho is a product of the second half of the 20th century, made in the USA from parts around the world, and within him is every trend in music, television, politics and culture contributing to his philosophical and comically analytical reflections collected in his fine book of memories.  I found Check the Gs to be pure entertainment, fantastic fun and a catalyst to igniting so many memories of my own life, as I too am within a few years of Ray.  So to all, I say if you have a bit of grey hair (or no hair), buy this book!  It’s a great gift for your “over-the-hill” friends, or for their kids, if they are the history buffs of younger generations trying to figure out why we are the way we are.
~~Pacific Book Review

Contact Ray Shasho at