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Winger takes flight with latest CD

  • Winger's latest album is called Karma. The band shares the bill with April Wine at Penn's Peak Friday night.
    Winger's latest album is called Karma. The band shares the bill with April Wine at Penn's Peak Friday night.
Published June 17. 2010 05:00PM

In 2006, the members of Winger reunited and recorded its fourth album.

The comeback continues to provide a new lease on musical life for the quartet, which had its commercial zenith in the late 1980's and early 90's.

The latest product of the rejuvenated Winger is Karma, the band's fifth album, which was released last year on Frontier Records.

Karma demonstrates the band hasn't forgotten how to rock while on hiatus.

"We take it seriously," said Winger drummer Rod Morgenstein in a phone interview last week as the band prepares for its Friday night show at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe, where it shares the bill with Canadian rockers April Wine and Palmerton-based Taunted by Tomorrow. "We put out heart and soul into it. We're all real proud of this record. We took our time recording it and putting it together, and we've been getting stellar reviews for it."

Winger debuted in 1987, taking the name of singer and bassist Kip Winger. The band's self-titled debut album was released a year later and included hard rocking hits such as "Seventeen", "Madalaine" and the more mainstream "Headed for a Heartbreak", all of which received ample radio play at the time.

In 1990 the band's second album, In the Heart of the Young", produced its biggest charting hit, "Miles Away".

In 1993, original keyboardist/guitarist Paul Taylor left the band, and Winger finished its third album, Pull, as a trio. During the ensuing tour, John Roth replaced Taylor on the road.

Over the years, the members of Winger have kept busy with their own projects.

Kip Winger writes classical music that has been performed with ballet in San Francisco. Guitarist Reb Beach had lent his six-string prowess to Whitesnake.

Morgenstein, a member of the Dixie Dregs, has worked with the Dregs' spin-off Jazz is Dead (the group performed at Penn's Peak in 2006) and is an assistant professor at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston.

"We all come from different kinds of backgrounds and we've branched out into other areas," said Morgenstein. "We each bring what we do from our own lives into Winger. For some reason, the four of us really click.

"We're really close and we've maintained our friendships, but each of us is our own person and we have our own talents. They are all great musicians, and when we come together, we really love what we're doing."

The current live show includes material from all phases of Winger's career.

"We're doing at least three songs from Karma and the songs we're best known for, plus some of our favorites," related Morgenstein. "Some of the songs open up with expanded arrangements. It's a nice, diverse show, pulling things from all five of our records and with some surprises thrown in, too."

Morgenstein said Winger will continue working together in the future as its members' careers permit.

"We always leave the door open to do more recording and touring," he said. "Winger is a great live band, and we still love what we're doing. When the well runs dry, it's time to stop doing it."

Tickets for April Wine, Winger and Taunted by Tomorrow at Penn's Peak Friday are $27 in advance and $32 the day of the show for general admission. Show time is 7:30 p.m.

Call 1-866-605-7325 for more information.

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