Taking it easy with ‘Winslow: An Evening with the Eagles’ at Echo Lake Park

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MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ — More than 2,000 Eagles fans gathered at Echo Lake Park on Wednesday, July 19, to see Winslow celebrate the iconic band.

They opened the set with “Take it Easy” and continued for more than two hours, playing many of the Eagles’ best-known hits, including, “I Can’t Tell You Why,” “Best of My Love,” “One of These Nights,” “New Kid in Town,” “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” “Witchy Woman” and “Take it to the Limit.” The band closed the show with “Hotel California.”

In addition to hits, their live catalog also included deep tracks such as “Seven Bridges Road” and some of the solo work of legendary Eagles members Don Henley and Joe Walsh.

Audience member Judith Rodriguez, who never saw the band before, said, “I was impressed.”

Betsy Scheidegger, who also saw Winslow for the very first time, said she liked the music because, “It’s from my time.”

Recreating the quintessential Eagles experience, Winslow is comprised of six musicians: Steve Ratchen, vocals and bass guitar; Don Miller, guitars and vocals; Jack Scharnikow, vocals and guitar; Ernie Vitale, guitars and vocals; Brian Clayton, drums and vocals; and Arnold Valentino, keyboards and vocals.

What makes the Eagles continue to be special throughout the years, with new generations of fans each year, is they have many well-known hits that are timeless, according to Vitale, who joined Winslow in late 2017. He said the band rehearsed a full year before performing live, adding, “Learning and polishing the vocal harmonies and getting tight with the music took patience and a lot of hard work.”

Because of the vocal harmonies, Vitale’s favorite Eagles songs include “Best of My Love,” “I Can’t Tell You Why,” “New Kid in Town,” and “One of These Nights.” The Eagles were the first band Vitale learned as a young guitarist, playing many of the songs from its “Greatest Hits” album.

Clayton said he enjoys being in Winslow because he finds the music is a challenge. “The band has an edge,” he explained. “We’re authentic. We’re self-managed. We’re having a great time!”

All members of Winslow are professionals who have made their mark in the music business. Ratchen, who is known for playing extended range instruments upside down, is a writer, bassist and keyboardist for recording artist Alchemy X and a writer and bassist for recording/performing artist The Wizards of Winter.

In addition to playing with Winslow, Miller is the current guitarist for southern rock tribute band Black Cross and Vitale is the current lead guitarist for blues/classic rock act Dave Alen Band.

Scharnikow is a veteran New Jersey-based singer/songwriter who has fronted dozens of rock and metal bands throughout the years.

Currently, Clayton is a producer, singer, songwriter, musician and original country artist who has been recording and touring since 2001. In the past 10 years, he’s released two compact discs and has received extensive nationwide radio airplay.

Valentino played keyboard for numerous bands, including Sequoia. His influences include Jordan Rudess, Rick Wakeman, and Keith Emerson.

For the rest of the summer, Winslow will be performing throughout the East Coast.

For more information on Winslow, visit its website at https://winsloweaglestribute.com/.

Photos Courtesy of Winslow and Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta