White Hot Blues & Rock & Roll
I’ve been a fan of Johnny Winter for 40 odd years now and apart from his worldwide hit single knew next to nothing about younger brother, Edgar Winter. Apart from also being born albino and being famous for playing an electric keyboard like a guitar he had pretty much passed me by until last week.
The title track Rebel Road kick starts the album like an off-road Yamaha with a 6L engine!
The trademark Winter rasp is all over this funky rocking and rolling track like a rash; and the itch doesn’t go away, as ace guitar-slinger Slash sounds like his guitar is on fire.
To some degree Texas Tornado is autobiographical but could easily be a Jimmie Vaughan song; especially when the saxophone kicks in. Do you think that’s a coincidence?
Later Horns of a Dilemma, throws an almighty curve ball as Edgar produce a hell raising Country Rocker featuring Clint Black on co-vocals and red-hot harmonica about working ‘for the Man’ and it’s a belter that Hank Jr. would be proud of .
Clint joins in again on another high voltage ‘rocker’ – The Power of Positive Drinking; which has a chorus straight out of Rock n Roll High School and will have fans pumping the air with gusto.
Apart from the tip-top quality of every single track here; the biggest surprise is the diversity of styles Edgar employs; from the all out Rockers through the slower moodier tracks like Freedom and the homage to the Beatles; especially Ringo; whose All-Star Band Edgar has been part of. Peace and Love is an absolute delight; full of harmonies, melodies and choruses – something I never expected to hear from a Winter sibling.
Speaking of Winter siblings I have to mention the track that every reviewer will lead on; and in fairness Rockin’ The Blues is a truly excellent track, a white-hot Blues-Rocker that stands out like fiery beacon. Even without the casual listener knowing that it is elder brother Johnny Winter playing that blistering lead guitar; you know it’s a Master craftsman on the fretboard.
Edgar Winter has a voice just made for Rock and Roll and his keyboard playing is as cool/hot as was his brother’s guitar playing; plus the core supporting cast of drummers Jason Carpenter and Jimmy Paxon, bass player Koko Powell and guitarist Doug Rappoport show the Superstar guests that they too can play their respective instruments as well as anyone.
All in all an album well worth investigating for Blues and Rock fans of all ages and persuasions.
UK Release Date November 16th 2015
(Original release 2008)