Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer and Johnny Winter headline Rock'n'Blues Fest tour

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A new multi-artist American tour thrillingly combines rock and blues — in fact, it’s right there in the name — with appearances by Johnny Winter, Rick Derringer and Edgar Winter, among others.

The Rock’n’Blues Fest has already confirmed 20 stops, beginning in July, with more to come. Complete list of announced dates, cities and venues is below. Derringer and the Winter brothers will be joined by Mountain’s Leslie West and Kim Simmonds.

[SOMETHING ELSE! INTERVIEW: Johnny Winter talks to us about his memorable experience at Woodstock, the New Orleans connection in his music — and how Dallas is still the meanest places he knows.]

“The Rock’n’Blues Fest is my kind of festival series,” Johnny Winter says. “It’s always great playing shows with my brother and, add to that, all the other great artists and their bands and this should make for one historic round of concerts.”

Johnny Winter, a Woodstock alum who later went on to a celebrated late-career collaboration with blues legend Muddy Waters, paired with Derringer to produce his biggest seller, 1970’s Johnny Winter And — the first of several projects that loudly blended blues and heavy rock. Winter earned a Grammy for Waters’ Hard Again in 1977. His most recent release, Roots, is the 20th solo project for Winter, named one of Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

Perhaps best known for rock anthem “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo,” Derringer was also a teen member of the McCoys, who had a No. 1 hit in 1965 with “Hang on Sloopy” and later opened for the Rolling Stones’ American tour. In 1977, Derringer would appear on the last Led Zeppelin North American Tour. He has also made important contributions as a studio and touring sideman with Alice Cooper (“Under My Wheels”), Steely Dan (“Show Biz Kids” and “Chained Lightning”), Kiss and Todd Rundgren, Cyndi Lauper (for whom he co-wrote “Calm Inside the Storm” on her True Colors album), and Ringo Starr, among others.

Edgar Winter is best known for his 1970s hits “Free Ride” and “Frankenstein” — both of which featured the late guitarist Ronnie Montrose. Those two tracks propelled the Edgar Winter Group’s initial effort They Only Come Out at Night to an incredible 80-week stay on the charts, eventually selling more than 2 million copies. More recently, Edgar Winter achieved chart success in 2003 with the song, “Dying To Live” — featured as “Runnin” (Dying to Live) in the film Tupac Resurrection — as the Eminem-produced song hit No. 5 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles sales chart.

“This is truly a a landmark, historic, musical celebration of which my band and I are proud to be a part,” Edgar Winter says. “It’s going to be a ‘guitar guru gala’ of gargantuan proportions. For me personally, it will simply be the greatest!”

West appeared at Woodstock as a founding member of the band Mountain, which went on to score a Billboard Top 40 single in “Mississippi Queen.” Considered one of the pioneers of heavy metal, Rolling Stone magazine once identified them as a “louder version of Cream.” In 2005, he contributed to Ozzy Osbourne’s Under Cover album, performing guitar on a remake of “Mississippi Queen.” The following year, West released his latest solo album, Blue Me, and was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.

Simmonds is considered one of the architects of British blues, having performed professionally in London since the mid-1960s. As leader and founder of the 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, becoming part of the framework that launched the rock and roll music of the 1970s. In 2011, the band celebrated its 45th anniversary by releasing a new CD titled, Voodoo Moon.

Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Johnny Winter and Rick Derringer. Click through the titles for complete reviews …

JOHNNY WINTER – ROOTS (2011): Johnny Winter returns to some of his earliest childhood favorites, and a few tracks from his first bar bands, on the aptly titled new project Roots. The Megaforce Records release boasts an all-star cast of guest artists including Derek Trucks, Vince Gill, Susan Tedeschi and his brother Edgar Winter, performing tracks originally done by everyone from Elmore James to Bobby “Blue” Bland. “They’re songs I grew up really liking, things I was really influenced by,” Winter told us. “It’s very exciting, a record that really takes me back. All of those songs, I really identify with.”

THE McCOYS – HANG ON SLOOPY: THE BEST OF THE McCOYS (1995): She was a tramp, lived on the wrong side of the tracks, and everybody put her down. But the boy loved her anyway. That was the soap opera behind “Hang On Sloopy,” a plucky little pop rock nugget by the McCoys that soared to the No. 1 spot on the national charts in the late summer of 1965. Although the Indiana band went on to score a couple of other top forty hit singles, including a cool copy of Peggy Lee’s “Fever” and a bubbly remake of Ritchie Valens’s “Come On Lets Go,” they are forever associated with “Hang On Sloopy.” Now there’s nothing negative about that, but as we hear on 1995’s Hang On Sloopy: The Best of the McCoys (Sony), which centers on material recorded in 1965 and 1966, Rick Derringer and the McCoys dispatched a string of comparably strong songs ripe for rediscovery or worth checking out if you missed them the first time around.

FORGOTTEN SERIES: JOHNNY WINTER – GUITAR SLINGER (1984): Gas up Johnny Winter’s Guitar Slinger if you’re in the mood for some good old hell-raising Texas blues. Don’t expect a clean garage here but a oil-stained, parts-thrown-everywhere, Playboy-calendar-hanging, hot-rod factory behind some redneck’s trailer. Winter’s cranked-up, turbo-charged playing will be on the rack, his trademark slide will be in the tool chest, and plenty of those NASCAR speed solos that only he can deliver — and, really, who else can keep up?

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Here’s a look at the announced dates for Rock’n’Blues Fest:
Sunday, July 29 – Pantages Theater in Tacoma, Washington (w/o Leslie West)
Wednesday, August 1 – The Winery in Saratoga, California
Friday, August 3 – Sam’s Woodsite in Mammoth Lakes, California
Saturday, August 4 – The Grove in Anaheim, California
Sunday, August 5 – The Palms Concert Theatre in Las Vegas, Nevada
Thursday, August 9 – Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis, Massachusetts
Friday, August 10 – Newport Yachting Center in Newport, Rhode Island
Saturday, August 11 – Spy Class Ridge Winery in Sunbury, Pennsylvania
Sunday, August 12 – County Center in Westchester, New York
Tuesday, August 14 – Bergen Performing Arts Center in Bergen, New Jersey
Wednesday, August 15 – Keswick Theatre in Glenside, Pennsylvania
Thursday, August 16 – Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, New Jersey
Friday, August 17 – South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset, Massachusetts
Saturday, August 18 – NYCB Theatre in Westbury, New York
Sunday, August 19 – Mount Laurel Performing Arts Center in Bushkill, Pennsylvania
Tuesday, August 21 – Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey
Friday, August 24 – The Peabody Auditorium in Daytona Beach, Florida (date billed as “Hippiefest”)
Wednesday, August 29 – Fraze Pavilion in Kettering, Ohio
Thursday, August 30 – DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, Michigan
Friday, August 31 – Country Club Hills Theatre in Chicago, Illinois

More dates to be announced; go here: http://www.pollstar.com/resultsArtist.aspx?ID=271301&SearchBy=rocknblues

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