Edgar Winter

Winter Blues

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Through steady work, Edgar Winter kept himself visible throughout the '90s, culminating with a pair of solid efforts for Intersound. Those appeared under the radar of popular consciousness, known only to hard rock and blues-rock fans. For the general public, Winter re-entered consciousness through a series of television commercials -- usually, they just featured his songs, but he was the star in a clever Miller campaign that suggested Winter and George Hamilton were twins -- along with a prominent song in the political satire Wag the Dog. All of this led to a contract with Pyramid Records and Winter Blues, his first large-scale, heavily promoted release in nearly 20 years. As is customary for any comeback release, Winter Blues is flush with cameos, but this time around, they make sense -- brother Johnny, Rick Derringer and Leon Russell have been long-time colleagues of Edgar, while Dr. John and (surprisingly) Eddie Money fit in quite nicely. Their presence is welcome, since Winter has never been the strongest of frontmen and they never take away from his guitar playing, which remains the best reason to hear Winter Blues. Anyone that paid attention to his Intersound releases would have realized that Winter has been cutting good, solid records in the '90s and this is no different, but anyone that hasn't followed him will be surprised how consistent this is. Really, there's nothing new here, since it's in the vein of his electrified blues and hard rock of the '70s, but it's done well and performed with conviction, resulting in an album that may not reach the heights of his classics, but certainly is among his most enjoyable and consistent works. In other words, it will please both the hardcore fans and listeners in the process of (re)discovering Winter.

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