bergenPAC's Rock'n'Blues Festival to Feature Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter & More Tonight, 8/14
Coming to bergenPAC in Englewood, New Jersey today, August 14th is the Rock'n'Blues Festival which will debut featuring five well-known players who were initially inspired to pick up their instruments due to their love for rock and blues: Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer, Leslie West and Kim Simmonds. The concert is set for 8PM. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com, bergenPAC.org or by calling the box office at 201 227 1030.
"I think the blues will always be around," says legendary blues guitarist Johnny Winter, who will be performing as part of the Johnny Winter Band and headlining the Rock'n'Blues Fest tour. "People need it."
As the story goes, at the age of 17, Johnny went to see B.B. King in his home state of Texas, and requested a turn at the mic. King eventually gave in and handed his guitar to Johnny, who ended up getting a standing ovation for his performance. Needless to say, it wouldn't be long before Johnny had his own legion of followers.
Johnny released his first solo album, The Progressive Blues Experiment, and themusic world took notice, leading to his historic performance at Woodstock. Twenty years and several successful solo albums later, he was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame. In the late 70's, he collaborated with another blues legend, Muddy Waters, on three separate albums of Waters', including the Grammy-winning Hard Again (1977). Over the years, he put out approximately two dozen solo albums including his most recent highly-acclaimed recording entitled, Roots, which he and his band recently performed a track from on Late Show with David Letterman. Named as one of Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, Johnny Winter still remains one of the top blues/rock guitarists touring today.
Joining Johnny for the Rock'n'Blues Fest "ride" will be his younger brother, Edgar Winter, who has certainly met with considerable acclaim in his own right with such monster hits as "Free Ride" and the chart-topping rocker, "Frankenstein."
"As far as I'm concerned, blues and jazz are the great American contributions to music," comments Edgar, who will be bringing the Edgar Winter Band along for the almost two-month trek.
A multi-instrumentalist (keyboards/sax/percussion) whose music encompasses many different genres including rock, blues, jazz and pop, Edgar first hit the national spotlight with his early recording of "Tobacco Road," featured on his 1970 debut album, Entrance. Edgar would soon form the band White Trash and release two hit albums in '71 and '72 titled, Edgar Winter's White Trash and Roadwork. Hot on the heels of the certified gold album, Roadwork, Edgar would put together an entirely new outfit called The Edgar Winter Group that would originally feature guitarist Ronnie Montrose. The band's first effort, They Only Come Out at Night, would spawn both the hit singles, "Free Ride" and "Frankenstein," and remain on the charts for an incredible 80 consecutive weeks. The pivotal album would eventually reach double-platinum status, selling more than 2 million copies. More recently, Edgar achieved chart success in 2003 with the song, "Dying To Live" -- featured as "Runnin" (Dying to Live) in the film Tupac Resurrection -- as the Eminem-produced song hit #5 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles sales chart. With over 20 albums and numerous collaborative efforts to his credit, Edgar Winter has not been satisfied toride the wave of popular music stardom. His music has been featured in several major national television and radio and advertising campaigns. In addition, his music can be heard in no fewer than fifteen film and television projects.
Next on the bill is rock guitarist Rick Derringer, who's had an illustrious career as both a solo artist and critical band member.
Air guitarists will surely be out in force when Rick breaks into his well-known rock anthem, "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo." The song continues to be a staple on rock radio and was featured in several movies including The Spirit of '76, Rush, Stag, What A Girl Wants and the cult classic, Dazed and Confused. It's a little known fact that years before his success as a solo artist, Rick had a band at the age of 17 called The McCoys that had a #1 hit in 1965 called, "Hang on Sloopy." The song would eventually be knocked out of the top spot by The Beatles' "Yesterday." A year after its release, The McCoys would find themselves as the openers for the entireRolling Stones American tour. Although written and recorded a few years earlier, Rick released his most famous version of the song in 1974 andnever looked back... In 1977, he would appear on the last Led Zeppelin North American Tour. In the years to follow, Rick would perform with such artists as Alice Cooper ("Under My Wheels"), Steely Dan ("Show Biz Kids" and "Chained Lightning"), KISS, Todd Rundgren and Weird Al Yankovic among others including both Johnny and Edgar Winter. From 1986 to 1992, Rick would tour with Cindy Lauper and co-write a song from her True Colors album titled, "Calm Inside The Storm." Before embarking on last year's Hippiefest tour, Rick toured Europe with Ringo Starr as a member of Ringo's All-Starr Band.