by Ross CAT

by Ross CAT

Concert Preview: EDGAR WINTER BAND
                                Featuring Guest vocalist
                                Mark Valentino (Hit Ďní Run
                                *CHARLIE WHEELER BAND
Silver Creek NY
Saturday July 18th ĖGates open at 4pm

     POPPINí THE CORKÖ..Western New Yorkís best kept secret is about to be unveiled this Saturday Night at WILLOW CREEK WINERY.  The sprawling natural backdrop offers a Live Music Experience like no other in WNY.
Back II Back Entertainment Group is proud to present one of Musicís most talented & versatile performers EDGAR WINTER as the Rockiní Blues icon will christen the brand new State of the Art National Concert Stage.
     Like a fine wine
EDGAR WINTER has only gotten better with age as he performs his vintage hits of the vinyl era along with tracks from his latest inspired release ďRebel RoadĒ.  The WINTER & WILLOW CREEK pairing are the perfect complement to an unforgettable evening of Rock Ďní Roll relaxation.
The WILLOW CREEK WINERY is located just seven miles past Sunset Bay straight out on US 20 West.  The splendorous venue offers Free Reserved Camping & Free Parking for all its shows.  The Evenings festivities will culminate with a Fire Works Display immediately following the EDGAR WINTER Band set.
WILLOW CREEK is also pleased to announce that Buffalo Radio Legend ďThe Slick OneĒ TOM TIBERI will surface from his lair to be the Master of Ceremonies for this monumental event.
The music starts at 5 pm with the pride of Pennsylvania The Charlie Wheeler Band.  Followed by Widow Maker featuring Buffalo Music Hall of Fame guitarist MICHAEL HUND as he welcomes a very special guest, multi-award winning vocalist MARK VALENTINO of Hit Ďní Run fame; who by the way will be deservedly inducted into the 2009 class of the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame.
The event will also feature another multiple award winner the Legendary LAFAYETTE TAP ROOM Mobile Menu, come on and get ďGet Your BBQ OnĒ as Marc & Dickie take the show on the road.


       The Rock Rapport had the pleasure of catching up with EDGAR WINTER to talk about his fascinating career & his visit to WILLOW CREEK WINERY as he baptizes the National Concert Stage.

     Ross CAT - Hello EDGAR itís truly an honor to speak with you again.   Willow Creek Winery & the Back II Back Entertainment Group are absolutely elated to have you christening the stage at Willow Creek.
The last time you where in this neck of the woods was at the Fallsview Casino getting set for the RINGO STARR All-Star tour.  The Rock Rapport covered that concert and thought you stole the show, talk about being part of RINGOíS touring band?

     EDGAR --Well Thank You, thatís very kind.  Doing those shows with RINGO and the All-Stars is one of the most memorable experiences of my life.  I would wake up every morning thinking WOW Iím going to be performing with one of the BEATLES. 
    The BEATLES and their music where in a class of their own, they changed the mindset of an entire generation, they brought about a revolution without firing a single shot.
    Beyond the music thatís the thing I respect the most about RINGO heís such a heartfelt advocate & spokesperson for PEACE & LOVE.  Iím just an old hippie from Woodstock so those feelings really resonate with me, playing with RINGO brings all that back.

     Ross CAT - One of the great new tracks on your most recent release ďRebel RoadĒ is called ďPeace & LoveĒ, it has a very Beatlesque flavor to it, tell us about that song?

     EDGAR --That song is our way of paying homage to the BEATLES, itís dedicated to RINGO, the memory of GEORGE HARRISON and the brilliance of JOHN LENNON & PAUL McCARTNEY whose music will live on forever in our hearts.
     From a musical stand point I think there where two golden eras of music, the Big Band Jazz & Swing of the Forties &Fifties and the Rock Revolution of the Sixties & Seventies which was pioneered by the BEATLES.  The inspirational freedom that those periods brought to music was the foundation of so many wonderful songs; I can sense resurgence or reawakening if you will of some really great music from this generation.

     Ross CAT - Speaking of the next generation youíre still out there mixing it up with artists like SLASH, and CLINT BLACK who by the way wields a mean harmonica on a couple of cool tracks including ďThe Power of Positive DrinkingĒ on your latest record ďRebel RoadĒ.   Tell us about making that record?

     EDGAR --I was trying to make a Rock Ďní Roll album, sadly there just doesnít seem to be much of that around these days.  I do appreciate the other genres of music out there but it seems that Country Artists have stepped in and filled the void that exists.
     Iíve always considered myself somewhat of a Rebel musically; I never seem to fit into the categories that the business tried to squeeze me into.  For me itís never really been about being famous itís about following my heart and making music that I truly believed in.
    Being that so called Rebel has also afforded me a bond with the Biker community, Iím extremely proud that the song ďFree RideĒ has become an anthem of sorts to many out there who value their Independence.
     Iíve always looked at the open Road as a symbol of Freedom so the album title ď
Rebel RoadĒ is just saying Iím not going to be told what Iím supposed to believe or how Iím supposed to live.  So for Better or Worse Iím still barreling down that ďRebel RoadĒ.

     Ross CAT - The Rock Rapport took a little Rock Ďní Roll road trip this past March to see your band perform at the Berkeley Heritage House in Toronto and where blown away watching the master musician & his band at work.
     Tell us about the young guns in your current line-up?

     EDGAR --Why Thank You I concur, I just love these guys.  Playing guitar is DOUG RAPPOPORT, KOKO POWELL is on Bass and JASON CARPENTER on drums.
     It really feels like a band in a true sense we have a great chemistry and synergy.  In my time Iíve played with a lot of amazing musicians, most notable some great guitarists like my brother JOHNNY, RICK DERRINGER & RONNIE MONTROSE to name just a few.
 As for DOUG, heís been with me almost six years and has developed into an electrifying talent & band mate. KOKO used to play with SPENCER DAVIS, that boy just lays down a great groove, thatís a must in my band.  JASON is one of those rare drummers that is the total package; he has a Gospel background and brings a vibe like no ones business.
     While Iím primarily considered a Rocker Iím influenced by Jazz & Classical and the one common thread throughout all my music is Blues.
     Growing up in TEXAS my Brother JOHNNY & I started out playing together and I really felt that Blues & Jazz were the great American contributions to music.  To me theyíre related, most folks think that Blues is something in the past tense, to me it continues to exert a profound influence on all the contemporary music of today.  As for Jazz that evolved out of the Blues through Ragtime & Dixieland.
    Ultimately that is what my music has always been about, exposing all the elements that the art of music has to offer instead of being branded or classified.

     Ross CAT - Youíve sustained a very successful career with your unique style of music; do you feel not having a particular style has hindered you commercially?

     EDGAR --In all honesty thereís no question about it things might have turned out differently had I gone along with the program at certain junctures of my career.
     For the suits in the music business itís never been about freedom of artistic expression itís always about selling albums or CDís.  Record companies need their artists to be one certain style of music so they can target a specific audience demographic.
      Iíve always avoided falling into that trap throughout my career, that train of thought hasnít always made me the most popular guy with Record labels and Radio stations. But it has allowed me the freedom to explore new horizons and blaze new frontiers musically, thatís what itís all about for me.  I consider myself very fortunate to do what it is I Love to do.
    Iím a musician and playing music is what I was born to do, whether itís at Madison Square Garden or the club around the corner.

     Ross CAT - Seeing you perform live this past year for the first time I was floored at the stunning talents you bring to the stage as a musician on the keyboards and saxophone, which do you prefer in creating new music?

     EDGAR --Strangely enough I donít like to use any of the instruments I play when composing music. In terms of writing music I do most of mine in an alpha state just drifting off to sleep or when I first wake up.  A lot of my songs come from a dream state or letting my imagination take me away somewhere.
      Iíd have to say I work from the lyrics; I keep a pad handy and jot down lists of ideas or titles as they come to me.
     My favorite instrument to play is the saxophone because your life breath supports the tone, you can bend notes with your lips itís a true extension of your being.
     As for the keyboards itís very mechanical the rods, hammers and keys limit your expression but to understand music theory the piano is the perfect instrument.

     Ross CAT - Lets take a trip down ĎRebel RoadĒ the amazing collection of relevant rock tunes that came out last year.
       Right out of the gate on the title track SLASH comes out guns ablazing, how did he get involved in the project?

     EDGAR --I was originally going to call the album Rockiní the Blues, which is a song on the album that my brother JOHNNY plays on.  As the album started to come together I thought we needed another biker song as each year we take ďFree RideĒ out to Sturgis, the JAY LENO Love Ride and the Easy Rider Tour; in my mind it was time to tap into that sense of freedom again, thatís how ďRebel RoadĒ was born.
When I perform live or make a new record I love to surround myself with people who mean a lot to me & that I respect, so when it came time to lay down the music for the album SLASH came to mind immediately.  I picked up the phone and gave him a call and he said ďLetís do itĒ.
     I first met him at a millennium party at the White House during the Clinton administration, just imagine SLASH walking around the White House in his top hat, we had a riot.  Needless to say we were the life of the party and had a blast, as they say the rest is history.

     Ross CAT - Speaking of history you and your fabled brother JOHNNY have an incredible history together, talk about the emotions you feel when sharing a song like ďRockiní the BluesĒ after all these years?

     EDGAR --Itís just vintage JOHNNY, he came right over to the studio directly from a performance, he had never heard the song before and just played through it the first time.
      I just closed my eyes and thought WOW this takes me back to when we started out playing as kids.  I had written the song with him in mind, I new it would be the perfect vehicle for what he does.  The words are very meaningful as they tell a story about some of the things that we went through together.

     Ross CAT - The WINTER Brothers story in itself is an inspirational tale, from sharing the stage at Woodstock to performing together again four decades later.

     EDGAR - It really is, we hadnít done anything together for far too long. Over the past few years weíve done a dozen or so shows together each year, theyíre really emotionally charged and are my favorite shows to play.
     JOHNNY is my all time musical hero being able to grow up with him and learn was and is truly a blessing.

     Ross CAT - What other artists influenced you as a young musician?

     EDGAR --My second greatest influence would have to be RAY CHARLES, his versatile playing style was amazing.
      Gospel music has been overlooked throughout history; to me itís the flipside of the Blues.  Some of the most awe-inspiring voices are derived from gospel SAM COOKE, LITTLE RICHARD, JACKIE WILSON and ARETHA FRANKLIN.

    Ross CAT - Iíd be remiss if I didnít touch on the groundbreaking record ďThey Only Come out at NightĒ; itís such a revered body of work what was the studio like back in the day with all that talent in one room including yourself, RONNIE MONTROSE & RICK DERRINGER in the infancy of your careers?

     EDGAR --Making an album was a very different process back in those days.  Groups would enter the studio with maybe three or four songs ready to go while creating the rest in the studio that was part of the magic of the music from that era.
     When I was putting the band together DAN HARTMAN already had the idea for ďFree RideĒ, as soon as I heard it I was blown away, I felt that song had a destiny.
     ďFree RideĒ was released as the first single and didnít do anything on the charts.  It wasnít until ďFrankensteinĒ became a hit that we re-released ďFree RideĒ and it became the hit that I had envisioned.
    At that time in the studio we where just trying to define ourselves as a group.  That particular line-up was meant to be the quintessential All American Rock Band.  I wanted not just great players but artists that could contribute on every level in the creative process.
      I think we accomplished that as JOHNNY, RICK & RONNIE all went on to enjoy great success of their own.  Writing with DAN HARTMAN was a joyous experience for me as I carry many of those moments with me to this day.
    It was a magical time and itís wonderful to hear those songs standing strong today to take me back there every so often.

     Ross CAT - Youíve not only enjoyed a fruitful career thus far; a congratulations is also due on the success of your marriage to your lovely wife Monique.
     Itís obvious sheís been an inspiration to your life and your music; fans definitely owe her a debt of gratitude for keeping the flame burning in your Rock n Roll soul.  Tell us how you managed to preserve such a solid relationship in the Rock Ďní Roll business?

     EDGAR --Absolutely, Iím probably more proud of our marriage and our relationship than of my music.  Weíve been married thirty years ďNOT BAD FOR A ROCK Ďní ROLLER, hell thatís not bad for any marriage these days.  Sheís just a beautiful warm caring giving person who has managed to keep me sane and grounded all these years.
     Iím fortunate to have gone through the craziness of my youth in this business and all that comes with it and survived; largely in part to her Love and Support.  Thereís a song on ď
Rebel RoadĒ that I dedicated to Monique ďThe Further I Go, The Closer I Get to YouĒ.  As a matter of fact every album Iíve ever done has a Love song dedicated to Monique.

     Ross CAT - Lastly EDGAR Iíd like to Thank You for your time, we look forward to having you as part of this historic event at WILLOW CREEK WINERY on July 18th.

     EDGAR --WE ARE READY TO ROCK Ďní ROLL brother, hope to see you all out there.

     The Rock Rapport would also like to Thank Jake Hooker & Dave Lopez for hooking us up with EDGAR Be sure to visit the EDGAR WINTER website @
Tickets for the EDGAR WINTER Band are available at & All Tops locations; they are $17.50 advance & $20.00 @ the gate.
Also visit
WILLOW CREEK WINERY website @ for upcoming concerts & hours of business to tantalize your taste buds with the regions finest wines.
Back II Back Concert Event is sponsored by Richís Music Exchange ( & The CATT-REZ Smoke Shop in Irving, make your first stop on the reservation your last for Gas & Tobacco needs.

-------------------------PEACE & HARMONIES----------------------------

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