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Edgar Winter

Although he's often skirted the edges of blues music, at heart, saxophonist, keyboardist and composer Edgar Winter is a blues musician. Raised in Beaumont, TX, the younger brother of ukulele player and guitarist Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter has always pushed himself in new directions, synthesizing the rock, blues and jazz melodies he hears in his head. As a consequence, his fan base may not be what it could have been, had he made a conscious effort -- like his brother Johnny -- to stay in a blues-rock mold over the years. He's one musician who's never been afraid to venture into multiple musical arenas, often times, within the space of one album, as in his debut, Entrance (1970 Columbia Records).

Edgar Winter, the second son of John and Edwina Winter, was born December 28, 1946 in Beaumont, TX, and much of the credit for Edgar and Johnny's early musical awareness must go to the brothers' parents, who have been a constant source of encouragement throughout their respective musical careers. The boys' father sang in a barbershop quartet, in their church choir, and played saxophone in a jazz group. Edgar and Johnny, who's three years older, began performing together as teens, playing local watering holes like Tom's Fish Camp before they were old enough to drink. The pair's early R&B and blues groups included Johnny and the Jammers, the Crystaliers and the Black Plague.

In high school, Edgar became fascinated with the saxophone stylings of Julian "Cannonball" Adderley and Hank Crawford, and he began playing alto sax in earnest. As a pre-teen, he had played ukulele, like his older brother. But by the time he was of college age, Edgar had become competent on keyboards, bass, guitar and drums.

Edgar was signed to Epic Records in 1970 after performing on his brother's Second Winter album. He recorded Entrance, his debut, which featured himself on most of the instruments. After radio success accompanying his brother on Johnny Winter And, he formed a large horn ensemble called White Trash. Although it was a short-lived group which broke up in mid-'72, Winter assembled another group to record two more albums for Epic Records, White Trash and Roadwork. Winter's single, "Keep Playing That Rock 'n' Roll," reached number 70 on the U.S. rock radio charts, and the album Roadwork hit number 23 on the album charts. By the summer of 1972, through constant touring, (and a ready willingness to do interviews, unlike his older brother), Winter formed the Edgar Winter Group in the summer of 1972. In January, 1973, Epic released They Only Come Out at Night, produced by guitarist Rick Derringer, which reached number three in the U.S. This album had Winter's most famous song, "Frankenstein," which reached number one in the U.S. in May of 1973. Later that year, "Free Ride" from the same album reached number 14. Although he's never matched that kind of commercial radio success again, Winter has continued to tour and record at a prolific pace. He relocated from New York City to Beverly Hills in 1989 to pursue movie score work, which he's had some success with, most notably with a slightly reworked version of "Frankenstein" for the movie Wayne's World II.

Although his early-'70s albums like Entrance, White Trash, They Only Come Out at Night and Shock Treatment are bluesier affairs than some of his later albums, there are blues tunes like "Big City Woman" on one of his 1990s releases, Not a Kid Anymore (1994), on the Intersound label, and 1999's Winter Blues was almost wholly devoted to the idiom. A good introduction to Winter for those who weren't around in the early '70s is The Edgar Winter Collection (1993) on Rhino Records. ~ Richard Skelly, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Free ride best song of all time made the summer of 70s great
MY ALL TIME FAVORITE ALBUM IS ROADWORK. WHAT A BAND! TURN IT UP & JAM ON!
A master at his craft.
Free ride by Edgar winter
Nice
Along with his superb composing and instrumental skills, Edgar is one of the greatest singers ever!
this was one of the songs from the movie of Dazed and Confused
Rollercoasti n g the best theme parks of the world. . .
Anyone else a little weirded out by the album cover?
different guitar solo too
mcf19067
Yes. You are right. Sounds like one of the demos that was supposed to be destroyed.
geminileoris i n g
This version sounds weird - definitely not the original recording. More like a Karaoke version. Why?
milosdad
Also, love the White Trash album.
milosdad
Edgar Winter, Montrose and Cactus 1975. Wow!
Very much looking forward to seeing Edgar and Rick Derringer at the Strand Capital in York PA
robinson.b8
The Edgar Winter Band is awesome in concert. The bass player Koko Powell is amazing.
lawrencellc1
At the syria mosque at( pitt.) in 1972 EDGAR WINTER PLAYED HIS A** OFF.
GREAT SHOW.!!! IF YOU WERE THERE, DROP ME AN E-MAIL...LAW R E N C E L L C
patti.rader
Dan
patti.rader
I'm from Hbg. PA and we don't have a lot to brag about, but Dab Hartman is a hometown boy. Give credit where credit's due!
mark.ryherd
I'm from and still live in Beaumont, TX, Edgar and Johnny's home town. My older brother grew up with these guys and has all kinds of stories.
Edgar is so under rated as a all around musician. They will continue to rock til they can't move. ROCK ON!
patti.rader
no mention of Danny Hartman?!
sax keyboards drums synthesizer vocals what a beast
edgar with ringo blew me away avg white bands pick up the pieces buckled me hard + those purple pants squawked edgar was the show not ringo
I just saw Edgar Winter with Ringo and the all stars in Lancaster, PA. Great show and Edgar was fantastic.
ive always loved edgar winter. i saw him at az charlies in vegas, and met his stage manager who invited me backstage after the show. then he took me to edgars room and we hung out and i ate french fries with edgar. he was way cool. even gave me a bottle of bailys that he didnt want. stupid me didnt get his autograph on it. i spent the rest of the night gambling with his band. really great times.
The guy who taught me how to play guitar used to tour with this guy.
thevanman552
I saw Edgar this Sunday in Portland, OR. What a show! His band was hot and he was on fire. It was a great show at the Aladdin. He did the new Rebel Road song for us; fantastic blues. He still has the voice, the sax, the synthesizer and the sound. He did the drums, hell, everything but take out the wash. It was great to see the legend still has his chops and the current band is tight, solid, and real. Blues forever
i love johnny winter LIVE!
Have been an Edgar fan for many years - his first album was two thumbs up and of course White Trash - able to incorporate jazz and rock and blues and pull off a tight sound - O'yea where is Johhny?

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