Even as the alt-rock bands of the 1990s become this summer’s headliners on the oldies circuit, many of the most formidable classic rock kingpins of the ’60s and ’70s are scarcely ready to surrender the stage.
On Wednesday night, the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank showcases a couple of silver foxes who successfully bridged the realms of hard-driving R&B and transistor-radio pop over the course of a collective century of touring and recording.
Scheduled for 8 p.m., it’s a double bill that sees the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame vocalist Eric Burdon fronting his 2016 lineup of the Animals, with an opening set by multi-instrumentalist master Edgar Winter.
Burdon is of course the diminutive dynamo whose original Animals injected a dose of folk-blues fury and working-stiff attitude into the generally chirpy British Invasion pop scene of the mid-’60s, beginning with a breakthrough cover of “House of the Rising Sun,” and continuing with a remarkable string of hard-edged laments that included “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” “It’s My Life” and “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.”
A move to the Bay Area at decade’s end brought hippie-era hit anthems with his Eric Burdon Band (“Monterey,” “San Franciscan Nights”) — and his post as founding frontman of the multi-racial funk band War extended his reign into a new decade with the FM epic “Spill the Wine.” Expect all these milestones and more, from a career that’s gone on to encompass some 50 LPs.
Returning to Red Bank for the first time since the cancellation of his previous Basie scheduling — a planned two-fer with brother Johnny that was sadly scrubbed in the wake of the elder Winter’s passing — Edgar Winter brings his own grab-bag of radio hits, rootsy influences and quirky surprises from a long path that begins in the bluesy roadhouses of his native Texas (and his band White Trash), and leads to a particularly productive period with his mid-’70s band, the Edgar Winter Group.
Drawing upon the talents of multi-skilled performers/ songwriters/ producers Dan Hartman and Rick Derringer, the EWG hitched its star to the crunchy glam-rock and guitar-heavy power pop of the era, producing mega-hits like Hartman’s “Free Ride” and monster albums like “They Only Come Out at Night.” And then there’s “Frankenstein,” that delightfully weird and quirky instrumental (from a time when the Billboard charts still exploded with happy accidents) that combined metalloid guitar, swingin’ sax and space-age ARP synth into a freak favorite that somehow became embraced by a generation of university marching bands.
Reserve tickets for the July 20 show ($25 – $69.50) right here.