Some rock ‘n’ roll legends do not pass away but continue to release creative and listenable music. Edgar Winter will release his latest album, Rebel Road, in early July. It is basic, in your face, hard rock with a melodic foundation that brings it back toward the mainstream.
Edgar Winter is best known for such early seventies albums as Road Work and They Only Come Out At Night and his hits “Frankenstein” and “Free Ride.” Edgar Winter was also one of the early masters of the synthesizer and his use of this instrument as a foundation for his sound was groundbreaking. Such artists as Dan Hartman, Ronnie Montrose, Rick Derringer, and his brother Johnny all recorded with Edgar during this period. Today he produces a more guitar based sound but it is still entertaining and more importantly relevant.
Rebel Road starts out with three blasts of raw energy. The title song, “Rebel Road,” with guest artist Slash, features Winters gritty vocal set against a thumping guitar sound. The song is well written with enough hooks to make it agreeable for extensive radio airplay. “Eye On You” is a basic mid-tempo power ballad with just guitar, vocal, bass and drums. “The Power Of Positive Drinking” features Clint Black playing an amazing harmonica. This country classic is given a hard rock treatment that just shines.
“Rockin’ The Blues” finds Edgar joined by his brother Johnny who takes the song in a blues direction with some of his signature guitar licks. This track is a return to the days when the brothers were playing together regularly.
“The Closer I Get” is a ballad and provides a good interlude so that the listener can catch his or her breath. It is just a voice, acoustic guitar and some subtle strings in support. While Winter’s voice is better suited to an all out up-tempo mode, this is a good place for him to visit every once in awhile.
There are several other excellent tracks contained on this album. Clint Black and his harmonica return for another rousing performance on “Horns Of A Dilemma.” “Texas Tornado” is the only track where Edgar cuts loose on his sax. The song has a simple structure which allows Winter to improvise for a couple of minutes. “Oh No No,” which closes the album, is an ominous, alpha male, strutting, hard rock song with a horn section providing a solid background.
Rebel Road is a very solid album from Edgar Winter. He continues to tour with Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band. Now 38 years into his career, Edgar Winter has learned his craft well.