Rock and Blues fans are certainly in for a tasty musical treat this summer as the popular Rock'n'Blues Fest tour returns for a third consecutive year with a run of approximately 20 dates beginning in early August.
This year's line-up features the Johnny Winter Band, Edgar Winter Band and Savoy Brown's Kim Simmonds (who all shared the RNBF stage together in 2012) along with new Rock'n'Blues Fest additions Vanilla Fudge and Peter Rivera, formerly of Rare Earth.
"I love getting together with the great players on this fantastic concert series," states legendary guitarist Johnny Winter, who followed B.B. King on stage more than five decades ago at the age of 17 and, after receiving a standing ovation playing King's guitar, never looked back.
Johnny first came into prominence in the late-sixties after releasing his first solo album, The Progressive Blues Experiment, which was soon followed by his self-titled release on Columbia Records. The music world took immediate notice, and his popularity escalated even more after his unforgettable performance on day three at Woodstock in August of '69. 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, Johnny has put out approximately two dozen solo albums including his 2011 album, Roots, which he and his band performed a track from on Late Show with David Letterman. On February 23, Winter celebrated his 70th birthday, honored by Legacy with the release of a four-CD box set, True To The Blues: The Johnny Winter Story.
Edgar Winter, an undeniable fan favorite who has appeared on both Rock'n'Blues Fest tours to date, is ecstatic about sharing the stage, once again, with his brother Johnny and being a part of this year's festivities. "Hey all you Rockers and Recliners! It's musical chairs again and it looks like the Rock'n'Blues Fest is becoming something of a tradition. 'How so,' you ask? Well, HE'S BACK! My brother, the legendary Johnny Winter, is closing the show again this year. We really missed him last time and it's always a special occasion getting to jam with Johnny. I would like to thank all you fans who have followed us throughout all these years. We can't do it without YOU. We just want you to know how much it means to be doing what we most love, and see you out there rockin' and having a good time."
A multi-instrumentalist (keyboards/sax/percussion) whose music encompasses many different genres including rock, blues, jazz and pop, Edgar first entered the national spotlight with his early recording of "Tobacco Road," featured on his 1970 debut album, Entrance. He 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. In 1973, the band's first effort, They Only Come Out at Night, would spawn the hit singles, "Free Ride," and the monster, chart-topping "Frankenstein." The album, itself, would remain on the charts for an incredible 80 consecutive weeks. The pivotal album would eventually reach double-platinum status, selling more than two million copies. With over 20 albums and numerous collaborative efforts to his credit, Edgar Winter has not been satisfied to ride the wave of popular music stardom. His music has been featured in several major national television, 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 the unmistakable Vanilla Fudge, which currently features original members Mark Stein (vocals, organ), Vinny Martell (guitars, vocals) and Carmine Appice (drums, vocals). Formed in 1966, the original band (with bassist Tim Bogert) would have a huge hit the following year with a revival of the Supremes classic, "You Keep Me Hangin' On." Featured on their debut album, the song displayed the key elements of their style and would be a hit on both sides of the Atlantic. Known for their psychedelic covers, the album would also feature two Beatles songs along with a rendition of the R&B number, "Take Me For a Little While," which would be a Top 40 hit. Between 1966 and 1969, the band would release five studio albums before disbanding in 1970. In 2005, the original members reconvened for a tour with Riders On The Storm (featuring Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek of The Doors) and Steppenwolf. A year later, they were inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame along with Billy Joel, Joan Jett and the producer of their debut album, George "Shadow" Morton. In March of 2011, during what was announced as their "farewell tour," the band performed their biggest hit, "You Keep Me Hangin' On" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Since that time, the band has consistently toured all over the world.
Vinny Martell looks forward to hitting the road this summer. "Hendrix toured with us... Joplin jammed with us... Zeppelin opened for us... We thank all our fans for helping to make Vanilla Fudge a piece of music history. Music has always been, and still is, the timeless language of peace and hope and unity in this turbulent world... Keep rockin' with us in the twenty-first century and come out to this summer's Rock'n'Blues Fest!"
"The last time Vanilla Fudge played with Johnny Winter was when he jumped up on stage with Janis Joplin and jammed with us at the West Palm Beach Pop Festival in Florida," reflects Vanilla Fudge singer Mark Stein. "I'm looking forward to playing with him and brother, Edgar... two rockin' bands! And I know Pete Rivera will be singing some of his great hits from Rare Earth. It should be a great show!"
Any connoisseur of seventies rock will certainly remember Rare Earth. Their funky, good-time, music is still played on classic rock stations across the country and their place in music history is firmly cemented. Peter Rivera is the original drummer and lead vocalist behind all of the hits. Rare Earth has sold over 25 million albums and had Top Ten hits with the songs, "Get Ready," "I Just Want To Celebrate" and "(I Know) I'm Losing You." Two other songs, "Born to Wander" and "Hey Big Brother" would enter Top Twenty on the charts. The albums Get Ready (1969) and the two-record set, Rare Earth in Concert (1971), both achieved double platinum status. Peter Rivera has been called the premier rock drummer/vocalist of the seventies and his vocals have been featured on countless radio and television commercials over the years. In addition, his voice has been heard in several movies and television shows including A Knight's Tale, Three Kings, Arthur, Tropic Thunder (trailer), Six Feet Under, Chicago Hope and Beverly Hills 90210 among others. He continues to tour the world with The Classic Rock All-Stars and looks forward to his trek with this year's Rock'n'Blues Fest.
"I'm really looking forward to the rock and blues tour and can't wait to get started," remarks Peter. "I hope we can all rock it out!"
Considered one of the architects of British blues, Kim Simmonds began performing professionally in London in the mid-60's after learning how to play guitar by listening to his brother's blues records as a teenager. As leader and founder of the legendary blues rock band, Savoy Brown, he has 49 album releases currently available and continues to tour all over the world with the band as well as a solo acoustic act. In 1967, the band would help propel the UK blues boom movement that brought blues music back to the United States, invigorating the style forever. In the process, Savoy Brown became part of the framework that launched the rock and roll music of the 1970's, with their vast influence stretching into modern rock as we know it today. In 2011, the band celebrated its 45th anniversary by releasing a new CD titled, Voodoo Moon. Later in the year, Kim would release his most recent effort, Out Of The Blue, a collection of varied material that placed him in a new setting as both singer and songwriter. Among the most loved, most respected and longest running of its genre, Savoy Brown is one of the magical names in blues rock. Kim Simmonds -- who was on the 2012 Rock'n'Blues Fest bill with the Winter brothers, Rick Derringer and Leslie West -- will be performing the best of the best on this year's tour.
"Once again, I'm touring with the Rock'n'Blues Fest and, once again, I'm excited to do so. I am a fan of all the other artists on the bill so it will be a pleasure for me to participate. I thrive on the atmosphere, playing among my peers and I know the tour will bring out the best in me!"
Come out and experience the very best combination of rock and blues that you might ever have a chance to see!
As Edgar Winter says, "See you this summer and get ready to Rock 'n' Roll!"
ROCK'N'BLUES FEST 2014 TOUR*
August 1 - Theatre at Westbury - Westbury, NY
August 2 - Rockland's Harbor Park - Rockland, ME
August 3 - Count Basie Theatre - Red Bank, NJ
August 5 - Keswick Theatre - Glenside, PA
August 6 - South Shore Music Circus - Cohasset, MA
August 7 - State Theatre - New Brunswick, NJ
August 8 - Bergen Performing Arts Center - Englewood, NJ
August 13 - King Center for the Performing Arts - Melbourne, FL
August 14 - Florida Theatre - Jacksonville, FL
August 15 - Broward Center for the Performing Arts - Fort Lauderdale, FL
August 16 - Ruth Eckerd Hall - Clearwater, FL
August 21 - City National Civic - San Jose, CA
August 22 - City National Grove of Anaheim - Anaheim, CA
August 23 - The Cannery - Las Vegas, NV
August 24 - Snoqualmie Casino - Seattle, WA
*Additional dates expected to be announced soon.