Rock’N’Blues Fest Ready To Roll

The only tour giving you not one, but two Winters arrives in late July featuring the Johnny Winter Band and the Edgar Winter Band along with Rick Derringer, Mountain’s Leslie West and Savoy Brown’s Kim Simmonds.

There’s a lot of history packed into the Rock’N’Blues Fest tour. Brothers Johnny and Edgar helped keep hard-rockin’ blues alive throughout the mellow rock/disco 1970s. Along with releasing his own albums, Johnny worked with Muddy Waters on three of the blues master’s albums, including the Grammy-winning Hard Again in 1977.

Photo: Larry Hulst
Oriental Theater, Denver, Colo.

Younger brother Edgar has cut a pretty wide swath through musicdom as well. His 1972 album, They Only Come Out At Night introduced Winter to new fans as songs such as “Free Ride,” “Hanging Around” and the mega-hit instrumental “Frankenstein” dominated radio stations’ playlists.

Then there’s Rick Derringer, who played with Edgar on They Only Come Out At Night and saw his own album, All-American Boy hit gold with the single “Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo” which included a guest spot by Edgar. But that wasn’t Derringer’s first time in the spotlight. As a teen he fronted Indiana-based band The McCoys and sang lead on the group’s chart-topping hit, “Hang On Sloopy.”

Photo: Todd Gay /
Ridgefield Playhouse, Conn.

Photo: AP Photo
Radio City Music Hall, New York City

Master guitarist Leslie West brings a celebrated legacy to the tour including his years with Mountain as well as collaborations and solo projects. He appeared on the last Led Zeppelin tour of the U.S. and has worked with artists ranging from Alice Cooper to “Weird Al” Yankovic to Todd Rundgren as well as both Winter Brothers. He’s also a proud veteran of Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band.

A stalwart of Brit blues, Kim Simmonds has led Savoy Brown through dozens of member changes, but has always retained the reputation as one of the leading bands for rocking the blues. Simmonds celebrated the band’s 45th anniversary in 2011 with the release of Voodoo Moon. Savoy Brown’s Kim Simmonds most recent solo album, Out Of The Blue, was released in 2009, featuring a collection of material showcasing his singer/songwriter talents.

Photo: AP Photo
Heroes of Woodstock Concert, Bethal, N.Y.

The Rock’N’Blues tour launches in Tacoma, Wash., at the Pantages Theater July 29 although West will not be present at the journey’s kick-off show. Other stops include Saratoga, Calif, at the Mountain Winery Aug. 1; Southern California’s City National Grove Of Anaheim Aug. 4; Las Vegas at the Pearl Concert Theater Aug. 5; Hyannis, Mass., at Cape Cod Melody Tent Aug. 9; Red Bank, N.J., at the Count Basie Theater Aug. 21 and the Chicago-area’s Country Club Hills Theatre Aug. 31.

Photo: Tom McNeill

Some shows are already on sale. Having five great artists on the tour means five different online haunts for more information, namely the websites belonging to Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer, Leslie West and Kim Simmonds.