Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Amazing discovery

Considering what a wasteland popular music has become – at least from my nearly 67-year-old perspective – it’s a real thrill when I discover music that really lights me up.

Usually, that means something that’s been around for awhile but somehow escaped my notice.

Maria was on the local public library’s website the other night, looking for MP3 songs to download as part of the library’s five free song downloads per week for registered patrons.

She was looking for classic cowboy songs by Roy Rogers, but what she found was a whole other thing – Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings, specifically their “Live at the Sierra Nevada Brewery Big Room” album.

What burst forth from her computer speakers was the most joyous sound I’ve heard in months – New Orleans flavored Delta blues featuring Rogers (the blues musician, not the King of the Cowboys) playing slide guitar like nobody I’ve heard since I stumbled across Sonny Landreth several years ago.

I logged on and downloaded five tracks of the album, clapped on my headphones and took off on a musical excursion that had me grinning from start to finish.

Then it got even better.

Internet searches brought me to his website where I discovered Rogers collaborated in recent years with Ray Manzarek, former keyboardist with the Doors, who died a few weeks ago.

They released two albums – Translucent Blues in 2011 and Twisted Tales, just out June 18 – and played several gigs together.

What I’ve heard of the Rogers-Manzarek material knocked me out!

If you like the blues and the Doors you owe it to yourself to check out Roy Rogers, with and without Ray Manzarek.

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