By MIKE CHAIKEN
To the fans, Edgar Winter always has been about the music.
Edgar Winter is “Frankenstein,” the heavy, heavy instrumental track that was a monster hit and still echoes on classic rock radio. Edgar Winter is “Free Ride,” the ebullient hit single that is played nearly as much as “Frankenstein.”
He’s the brother of the late guitar great Johnny Winter. He’s the guy that helped launch the careers of Rick Derringer, and the late guitar slinger Ronnie Montrose and the late singer Dan Hartman.
To most of the world, however, Edgar Winter isn’t typically associated with the world of wordsmiths.
But the ever creative Winter is getting prepared to let the world in on a secret.
He’s a man of words as well as musical notes.
Winter is coming to the Mohegan Sun Wolf Den in Uncasville on July 21.
Calling from Los Angeles, Winter spoke about some of his latest projects.
Several of them have nothing to do with music.
“I have a book of poetry that is called, ‘The Songs That Never Were,’” said Winter.
Winter explained that when he was on the road, he would write poetry for his wife Monique. Then he would email it to her. In time, he had collected 100 of these pieces.
Originally, Winter said, there was no intention of releasing the pieces. But he found writing poetry liberating after all these years of writing lyrics, which were often restricted to the frame of pop music. He found poetry also liberating because it can be considerably more personal than a song lyric. You’re not confined to any particular subject, he said.
Winter said he also has been writing short stories. He said he’s been writing about a magical place called, “Shadowlands.” Winter said he loves J.R.R. Tolkien and his “Lord of the Rings” as well as C.S. Lewis’s “Narnia” tales. Winter’s stories evoke a similar mood, time, and place.
However, Winter’s foray into the literary world doesn’t mean he is foregoing new music.
For his short stories, he has composed classical music that serves as a soundtrack to the tales. However, the compositions also work well on their own. He is nearly finished recording that venture, he said
Additionally, he is venturing into musical theater with a comedy version of “Frankenstein” called “Frank N. Stein.” It’s about a plastic surgeon who caters to the rich and famous, he explained.
“I’m always doing some kind of odd interesting things,” said Winter.
However, rock music isn’t too far off his radar. For instance, he also wants to record a new album with his current band – lead guitarist Dan Rappaport, bassist Koko Powell, and drummer Jason Carpenter. One possibility is a record that celebrates the sound of Texas blues. Growing up in Texas, he said he never appreciated the local music scene but grew to appreciate it more once he left home. For this record, he would like to record songs from the likes of Blind Lemon Jefferson, Gatemouth Brown, T-Bone Walker and others. Then he would pair them with songs he has written in a similar vein.
And, of course, Winter is playing his decades long catalogue on the road.
“You’ll never hear Edgar Winter talk about a farewell tour,” Winter said, “I just love to play.”
Winter said he takes the bluesman’s approach to his musical career. “I’m in it till the end.”
Winter started playing music at the age of 4 and hasn’t stopped. He’s 69.
“I never thought of it as a career,” said Winter, who once considered becoming a scientist. “But I never thought of doing anything else. It’s such a part of my life.”
Edgar Winter will be performing at the Mohegan Sun Wolf Den in Uncasville on Thursday, July 21 at 8 p.m. This is a free show. For more information, go to MoheganSun.com or EdgarWinter.com