It’s definitely in the stars – and on the stage — for blues, rock and jazz multi-instrumentalist and all-around musician’s musician Edgar Winter, who has just launched the Galaxy Tour in support of the Classic Pictures Ltd. DVD and CD releases, Edgar Winter Live at The Galaxy. The performance, recorded and filmed in early 2003, at the Galaxy Theatre in Anaheim, Calif., features the keyboardist, saxman, and vocalist doing what he does best — fusing synth-driven rock, pre-acid jazz, big city blues and Texas-Louisiana funk – backed by the blazing Edgar Winter Band. Winter, guitarist Doug Rappoport, bassist Mark Meadows (Meredith Brooks) and drummer Chris Frazier (Steve Vai) take viewers and listeners on a “Free Ride” through the Galaxy with an energy-intensive set list that includes “Keep Playing That Rock ‘n’ Roll” “Turn On Your Love Light” “Free Ride” “Texas” “Show Your Love” “New Orleans” “Frankenstein” and “Tobacco Road.” The DVD also offers interviews, backstage footage, concert rehearsals, photo gallery, biography, discography, and audio options 5.1 Dolby Digital Sound & 5.1 DTS.
“The Galaxy show was rocking,” says Winter, still flush from his triumphant late summer performance at L.A.’s Universal Amphitheatre, in which he opened for longtime pal and musical co-conspirator David Lee Roth. “I really love this band and its great to have the energy of our live show captured for real.”
Fortunately for the contemporary music universe, Winter’s star continues to burn very bright, indeed, not only as a prolific artist in his own right, but also for what his songs offer in terms of their unflagging relevance and singularity to other creative entities. For example, the Billboard No. 1 hit, “Frankenstein,” and the Top 20 hit, “Free Ride,” have been used in major national television and radio campaigns for Buick, Burger King and Heinz 57. “Free Ride” is the backbone of current TV commercials for Capital One and Cellular South, and will be a focal point of an upcoming Simpsons episode, following up “Frankenstein,” which was previously used in the top-rated animated series.
Rapper Eminem and blues guitarist Jonny Lang (two names unlikely to be used in the same sentence) are both dialed into another Winter masterpiece, “Dying to Live.” Lang recorded a “breathtaking” version, according to its originator, for inclusion on the new Lang album, Long Time Coming. Eminem sampled the chorus for “Dying to Live” in “Running (Dying to Live),” the Tupac Shakur-Biggie Smalls track from the Paramount Pictures film, Tupac (release date 11.4).
Edgar Winter explains, “Everybody understands “The Blues”, because suffering (and hope) are universal. I wrote “Dying To Live” in the Woodstock Era (civil rights and the peace movement). But whether we’re fighting for our country, or just trying to make it one more day on the street; we all face the struggle for survival. We all live and die a little every day of our lives”. I want to thank Eminem for hearing the pain and joy in the humanity of this song, and transforming it in a way I never would have imagined. I have never been a part of the “Rap World” (until now), and I am deeply honored to be in such great company. I can’t wait to see the movie and hear the soundtrack.”
“Running (Dying to Live)” is a genre crossover for Winter a la Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” when Run DMC recorded it. Winter has always traversed genres with the same inherent dexterity he applies to the keyboard and saxophone, as well as to his vocals, so it would follow that Madison Avenue, Eight Mile Road and Hollywood Boulevard lead to his diverse catalogue of compositions.
“Although I am recognized as a rocker, I love jazz and classical and I try to integrate elements of music from the entire spectrum into what I do. And blues is the common thread that runs throughout all my music.”
And as Winter keeps on rockin’ through the Galaxy, we keep on knockin’ for more.