Reviewed: June, 2009
Rebel Road is Edgar Winter’s 20th recording. Of course, this doesn’t include his countless collaborative works as well as the myriad soundtracks and commercials that have used his iconic work.
Winter’s landmark hits, Frankenstein and “Free Ride” still stand up well as pillars of rock classics. That said, I sincerely believe that Edgar’s work on “Rebel Road” have the same quality material that will stand the test of time. Not only that, I also believe that we will see Mr. Winter add another genre to his appeal by drawing Country fans to his work. Either that or Country artist will record his work, exposing him to that lucrative base.
But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s look at the title cut from the CD.
“Rebel Road” has all the right ingredients for a rock classic. It rocks the senses! It also doesn’t hurt that guitar virtuoso, Slash, handles the axe work on the tune. This song cries out to be used in a Harley Davidson commercial. Are you listening to me, Keith Wandell? Or how about you, Mark-Hans Richer? This advice is free. The rest of my brilliant ad ideas will cost you. You know how to reach me.
Back to the disc.
Rebel Road makes you want to get on a Harley and hit the roads at very high rates of speed. I say that and I don’t even own a motorcycle. That’s the affect this has on its listeners. Did I already say that it rocks?
The other brilliant tune that was originally the working title cut for the album is “Rockin’ the Blues”, featuring Edgar’s brother, Johnny. When two siblings who have rock, blues, and jazz burned into their DNA like the Winter boys do, you know that when they get together to jam, sheer brilliancy will result. Between Edgar’s signature keyboard work and Johnny’s straight forward rock/blues genius, I have run the risk of causing my iPod to get permanently stuck on this tune. Yes, it’s that great.
Winter crosses the genre barrier with two incredible Country flavored tunes, “The Power of Positive Drinkin’” and “On the Horns of a Dilemma”. Both cuts feature Country great, Clint Black. Clint plays the harmonica on “Drinkin’” as well as on “Dilemma” with a bit of vocals to boot. Why these two great tunes haven’t commanded the attention of the suits on Music Row in Nashville, I’ll never know. I would say more but I’ve already given too much great, free advice in this peace. You guys know where to reach me. Have your people call my people and we’ll do lunch.
At the risk of getting real mushy on everybody, I have to say that “The Closer I Get” is one of the best love songs that I’ve heard in a long time. Written for his wife of over 30 years, Monique, this song should serenade every wife on anniversaries and Valentine’s Day. It’s heart-felt, positive and romantic, all in one tune.
Speaking of positive, this disc oozes an upbeat, positive vibe, even on the blues tunes. It’s refreshing to hear an album that has a positive message over-arching the entire work without making it a concept album.
I’ve hit on all of my personal favorites but the whole CD is great.
“Rebel Road” proves, yet again, that Edgar Winter is not only a versatile, musical genius but still relevant on the music scene after over forty years in the business.
Buy the disc. In fact, buy two and give one to a friend. Trust me. They’ll love it!
Written by Randy Patterson