Great White Tops Bill For ‘Rock ‘N’ Blues’

The Rock ‘n’ Blues ‘95 festival muscles its way into the Spokane Fairgrounds tonight.

Slated to appear are such accomplished rock acts as Great White, Edgar Winter, Head East and Pat Travers.

Great White, which headlines the festival, has made the Inland Northwest a favorite stop in the past couple of years.

Since last summer, the L.A. quintet has performed in the area four times.

Judging by the group’s incessant touring recently, the decade-old Great White is struggling to regain the stardom it once held five years ago.

Because of the shift in musical tides a few years ago, bands like Great White quietly drifted out of the mainstream.

In 1987, the fivesome struck gold with the album “Once Bitten.” It was that album that launched Great White’s career.

Two years later, Great White reached the pinnacle of its success with multi-platinum album “Twice Shy” and the hit single “Once Bitten, Twice Shy,” a re-make of the Ian Hunter classic.

Following that, the band’s career went into a tailspin.

The band’s 1991 album “Hooked” reaped golden sales. However, most of album’s sales occurred immediately after its release. Due to a lack of promotion, “Hooked” never sold much past the 500,000 mark.

So when “Psycho City” came out in 1993, Capitol Records had virtually abandoned all interest in Great White.

As a result, “Psycho City,” an artistic success, turned out to be a low-selling failure.

Then in 1994, deliverance came in the form of a new, young major label, Zoo Entertainment.

Great White released its most bluesy effort, “Sail Away,” which contained an album-rock hit by the same name.

Taking the stage before Great White is Edgar Winter, who headlined Pig-Out in the Park last year.

The influential Winter’s most recent offering was last year’s aptly titled “Not a Kid Anymore,” his first solo album in over a decade.

Winter has spent his recent years teaming up with other musicians or reforming old bands.

In 1991, the Edgar Winter Blues Group embarked on its first tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Winter went on the road with Carmine Appice, Poco, Steppenwolf and Dave Mason for the Grand Slam Jam Tour in 1993.

During the ‘70s, Winter cut several innovative recordings, including “They Only Come Out At Night,” “Shock Treatment” and “The Edgar Winter Album.”

During its lengthy career, Head East racked up three platinum albums. They include “Flat as a Pancake,” “Head East” and “Live.”

Head East is currently trying to reenter the rock ‘n’ roll world with its comeback effort “Choice of Weapons.”

Pat Travers was another product of the ‘70s.

This singer/guitarist is perhaps best known for his smoking live rendition of “Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights),” which garnered Travers his only platinum album, “Go for What You Know.”

Like Winter and Head East, Travers remained virtually quiet during the 1980s, only to attempt a comeback in the ‘90s.

Since 1992, Travers has recorded three blues-based albums: “Blues Tracks,” “Just a Touch” and “Blues Magnet.”

xxxx Rock ‘n’ Blues ‘95, with Great White, Edgar Winter, Head East and Pat Travers Location and time: Spokane Interstate Fairgrounds, today, 6 p.m. Tickets: $25, with kids 12 and under free with paid adult

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