Blues royalty at Rock N' Blues festival

| 06 Aug 2012 | 04:43

MORRISTOWN — Rock out with a who's who of classic blues guitar heroes, including The Johnny Winter Band, The Edgar Winter Group ("Free Ride"), Rick Derringer ("Rock N' Roll, Hoochie Koo"), Mountain's Leslie West ("Mississippi Queen") and Savoy Brown's Kim Simmonds on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mayo Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $37-$77.

Johnny Winter has been a guitar hero without equal. Signed to Columbia records in 1969 in what was called the largest solo artist deal of its time, Johnny Winter immediately laid out the blueprint for his fresh take on classic blues a prime combination for the legions of fans just discovering the blues via the likes of Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton. Constantly shifting between simple country blues to all-out electric slide guitar blues-rock, he has always been one of the most respected singers and guitar players in rock and the clear link between British blues-rock and American Southern rock.

By the time Edgar Winter left his hometown of Beaumont, Texas in the 1960s, he was already technically proficient in every aspect of music. A child prodigy who achieved international success early on, Edgar Winter has found an audience in every major entertainment medium — music, film and television. In late 1972, Edgar Winter brought together Dan Hartman, Ronnie Montrose and Chuck Ruff to form The Edgar Winter Group, the legendary band that created such hits as the number one "Frankenstein" and the ever popular "Free Ride."

Leslie West has gained fame the world over during his 30-plus year career as one of the most innovative and influential musicians in the history of rock music. He is most noted for his role as leader of the explosive hard rock trio, Mountain, which was named by VH-1 as one of the Top 100 Hard Rock Groups of all time.

Rick Derringer was just 17 when his band The McCoys recorded the No. 1 hit "Hang On Sloopy" in the summer of 1965, knocking "Yesterday" by The Beatles out of the top spot. The McCoys had enjoyed four years of successful touring, when Rick merged his talents with Johnny Winter in 1969 forming Johnny Winter And (And referring to The McCoys). Eventually, the busy Derringer joined Edgar Winter's White Trash full-time and produced the gold LP, "Roadwork." Derringer's solo album, All American Boy, was released in 1973.

Kim Simmonds is heading into four decades of playing the blues. Simmonds founded legendary British blues band, Savoy Brown in 1965. He has continued making new albums and taking worldwide tours and ranks among the all-time greatest guitar players.

The Mayo Performing Arts Center is located at 100 South St., Morristown.