The performance of Rick Derringer at this year’s Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival tonight at 6:05 – 6:50 p.m. is going to be made even more special this year with the inclusion of his old band mate from their days in Edgar Winter’s White Trash, saxophonist, Jon Smith.
Derringer and Smith, joined with Edgar Winter in 1969 to form Edgar Winter’s White Trash, and toured and recorded extensively over the next several years with the band. Their recordings included one of the most popular live albums of the era, Roadwork.
After their stint with the White Trash ended, Derringer and Smith drifted apart with each having prolific career’s in their own right. Derringer, of course, went on to record the hit album, All American Boy in 1973, which spawned the top ten single, Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo.
Since then, Derringer has performed continuously recording his own music as well as recording and producing for other artists, including Steely Dan, Barbara Streisand, and Edgar and Johnny Winter. He even composed wrestler Hulk Hogan’s theme song.
Along the way, Derringer found time to tour as a member of Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band.
Smith, who is from southwest Louisiana, is one of the most well known and in-demand saxophone players in Rock & Roll history. He has toured and recorded with such artists as Boz Scaggs, The Doobie Brothers, Toto, and Sarah Vaughn.
Smith is now the owner and bandleader of the legendary Louisiana rhythm and blues group, The Fabulous Boogie Kings and performs regularly with the band.
It has been a quarter century since Derringer and Smith have performed together and both of them are very excited about the opportunity.
“I can’t wait to be on the stage with Jon again and hear him play some of that snotty sax,” laughed Derringer. “Jon is simply one of the finest tenor saxophonists you will ever hear. I am sure that sharing the stage with him again will bring back a lot of great memories.”
Smith said it’s far too long since he and his old friend have been on the stage together. “I can’t believe it has been 25 years,” said Smith. “It seems like only yesterday that Rick and I were travelling the circuit with Edgar and the White Trash, having a great time and playing some great music. This reunion is really going to be something special.”
Both artists expressed appreciation to the Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival and Johnny Earthquake and The Moondogs for helping get them back together.
“I played with The Moondogs a few years ago and had a blast,” said Derringer. “They are a great bunch of guys and really talented, professional musicians. It’s going to be a pleasure sharing the stage with them again.”
According to Smith: “I’ve been hearing about Johnny Earthquake and The Moondogs for a long time and am looking forward to finally getting to play with them. To be able to do it on the same stage as my old friend, Rick, makes it even more special.”