I have always included Edgar Winter in my conversations about Southern Rock. Sure, the Texas singer/multi-instrumentalist fronted one of the finest r&b bands of the seventies with Edgar Winter’s White Trash, and he also led The Edgar Winter Group. Not many folks would call “Free Ride” or “Frankenstein” Southern rock. Still, Edgar has been known to toss out some serious swamp boogie and Southern Rock in the tradition of 38 Special or Atlanta Rhythm Section. Now Edgar returns with an album that slides nicely onto the shelf right between your Skynyrd and Tucker albums.
The album kicks off in fifth gear with the title track, “Rebel Road,” a song that rocks along with a real Molly Hatchet vibe. I couldn’t wait to scour the liner notes to see who was smoking that guitar on the track. Was it Hlubek? Nope. It is the one and only Slash, Good stuff? You bet your ass.
The album features a little bit of everything, but the Southern Rock sound keeps raising it’s fist and yelling. “The Power of Positive Drinking” is a rave up, and one of several tracks that feature one of Edgar’s best buds, country superstar Clint Black, blowing harp and singing back up.
Edgar reunites with his legendary brother Johnny Winter for “Rockin’ the Blues,” another good one, and turns in another of his famous love ballads for his wife with “The Closer I Get.”
“I’d Do it Again” rocks with a VanZant or 38 Special feel, and “Texas Tornado” is an autobiographical story of Edgar’s love of the saxophone. “Peace and Love” is a very Beatle-esque ballad written especially for another friend, Ringo Starr. The album closes with “Oh, No, No,” a rocking tune about making out.
Rebel Road may be Edgar’s best album in several years. His current band is very good, and the guest stars don’t hurt things a bit. Check it out.
-Michael Buffalo Smith