Before Edgar Winter had his massive commercial success that began with the instrumental “Frankenstein”, he put together an amazing array of musical talent called White Trash. Blending gospel, soul, blues, funk, r&b and rock and roll, Winter’s hard-charging combo offered blazing guitar (Rick Derringer and the amazing but little-known Floyd Radford), a killer horn section and a majestic in-your-face sound that could raise the dead.
The first studio album was a classic and the reunion record enjoyable, but the live album Roadwork is one of the best concert discs ever made. Jerry LaCroix and Edgar Winter handle most of the vocals, and you’re unlikely to find two better throaty shouters . The song selection includes classic like “Tobacco Road” and “I Can’t Turn You Loose” in addition to material from Rick Derringer and the Winter brothers.
And ah, yes, that wonderful moment when Edgar introduces the surprise guest, brother Johnny – out of rehab and back on the stage with a vengeance. I wish I had been there; I imagine there were tears flowing down the faces of those wildly applauding. Derringer, too, was amazing – he has rarely sounded better than he is here ripping through Chuck Berry’s “Back in the U.S.A.” – listen to that tone!
The original album was a two-disc set in a gatefold sleeve, so that frightening photo of Edgar on the cover was even larger than it is now on CD. (Hey, it was the 70s!). If you can find the LP, do so, because this is an example of what people mean by the “warmth of vinyl”. But get it however you can and play it loud.
(If you aren’t going to plunk down the seven dollars on good faith, then listen to more clips here.)